Hello Internet, you great yawning maw that consumes our every waking moment, what do you have for us this time?

Like Grindcore father, like Grindcore Daughter!

Glam rocker or Drag Queen?  Take the quiz!

Interesting article from David Lowery (Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven) on why online radio and music services like Pandora aren’t being fair in how they pay royalties to bands.

And while we’re on the subject of songs, I loved this post from The Onion’s AV Club on the Best Album-Opening One-Two Punches.

Okay, so this article is from January, but let’s face it the Indiepocalypse is here!

Have you ever wondered what country is the most metal?  Well find out what country has the most metal bands per capita!

And once you get there make sure you know your metal, because metal fans write letters to the editor!

Love classic album covers?  How about kittens?  If you answered yes to both, this Pigeons and Planes post is catnip for you!

And if you loved that last one, how about the same thing done with athletes?

…and socks?

Arrested Development is back, and what better way to celebrate it’s return than with fake album covers!

And Cris Shapan created these hilarious album covers that never were, but should have been!

I love architecture, so this Architizer post appealed to me.

And I absolutely loved this post on Music Machinery asking the question – Have Artist Names Been Getting Longer?

Speaking of band names, if you’re having trouble coming up with one you’ll want to use this great tool frizbee sent to me.

Larry sent me this Paste magazine article on the 30 Worst Album Covers of the 80’s and 90’s.  Discuss.

Tastebuds.fm claims these are the Worst Album Covers of All Time!

And if terrible album covers are your thing you’ve got to join this Facebook Group.

I know a few of you thought the cover of David Bowie’s latest album was terrible, but it turns out David doesn’t even want his visage to appear on a new reissue of a Morrissey single.  Someone’s getting shy in his old age.

Thanks to Deadspin for making Beyonce the focus of one of their recent Photoshop contests.

theHoseman recently sent me this fascinating City Page article on the legendary Minneapolis watering hole The CC Club.  Definitely give it a read.

And lastly, for those seeking to use Photoshop to create their own vision of beauty, Dove got the last laugh with a Photoshop action that punked them.  But in the end, their “Real Beauty Sketches” campaign while powerful also got punked, and punked, and punked.

Figment is celebrating its 5th year in existence, and we’re happy to say that this year’s Album Cover Design Contest was a fitting way to celebrate it.

Not only did we have one of the most distinguished album cover designers in the world, Gary Burden, as our judge, but we also were able to give away an incredible prize, a 1-year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.

So thanks to Gary for being such an incredible judge and sharing his expertise with us, and thanks to Adobe for not only supplying such a fantastic prize, but also for being such a great partner over these past 5 years.

Speaking of the winner, let’s get to it,  right?  Gary has surveyed the 10 finalists and here is the winner and 2 runners up he picked from those 10.

 

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1ST PLACE:


Daisy May

“Thrash Punk Superstar”

Design by TMTYTF

Gary:  This is my favorite of these ten covers because it is both an arresting image and it tells you what to expect music wise which is very important. The “punkness” of the lettering adds to that. I have always believed that if the cover art is eye grabbing in a sea of covers in a record store and causes the customer to pick it up and hold it in their hand you are half way to making the sale. Sounds crass perhaps but this is after all packaging for a product and it has a responsibility to help market the product/music. Music is in packages in stores because the artist and the company have decided to market their product/music. Though arguably album covers are art unto themselves, a package has to help sell the product contained within. Otherwise it should just be a piece of art on the wall not attached to an album of music and have no responsibility to sell anything except perhaps itself.

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2ND PLACE:


Pragmatica

“The Grand Facade”

Design by humanblooper

Gary:  I like this cover irrespective of what the musical content may be simply because it is the most beautiful and visually pleasing. I like the fade on the blue background and the consistency of the blue theme throughout. Also the type is well chosen and stays consistent with the rest of the art. It could be appropriate for many different kinds of music which is good and bad.

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3RD PLACE:


The Angel’s Sin

“Deuteronomy 5:17”

Design by algoreyou

Gary:  I really like this cover even though it is not “my cup of tea” content wise just because it is very powerful, scary and has some mystery as to what the musical content might be. Or perhaps it’s obvious. For a while it was my first choice but in the end I preferred DAISY MAY because it was more relatable to me, personally.

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So congratulations to TMTYTF!  We’ll be in touch to get you set up with your free 1-year 2 GB subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.  We’ll also be sending you a Figment t-shirt and depositing 10,000 pieces of Lucre in your Figment account.  As for humanblooper and algoreyou we’ll also be depositing 7,500 and 5,000 pieces of Lucre in your accounts respectively.

We’d like to thank Gary Burden again for taking the time to be our guest judge for this year’s Album Cover Design Contest.  He’s a consummate professional and a real mensch!  Please be sure to check out his work!

Lastly, thanks again to Adobe for being such a great partner year after year!  You guys are the best… literally.

 

Gary Burden is going to have his work cut out for him judging the finalists in this year’s Figment Album Cover Design Contest.  We have a strong group of contenders, but only one designer out of the seven whose designs have made the final cut will be taking home a free 1-year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud.  So let the prognosticating begin, and check back next week to see who Gary picks as the winner and 2 runners up!

 

2013 FIGMENT ALBUM COVER DESIGN CONTEST FINALISTS:


Chad Phantom and the Nobody Panic

“Moonblood Symposium”

Design by Raybo

 

The Angel’s Sin

“Deutoronomy 5:17”

Design by algoreyou

 

Eccentric Arcade

“Everything Is Better When It’s Loud” (single)

Design by frizbee

 

King Fu and The Shank Punch Pow

“Retrograder”

Design by Raybo

 

Let’s Not and Say We Did

“Serendipity”

Design by poppinfresh

 

Pragmatica

“The Grand Facade”

Design by humanblooper

 

Hot Water Burn Baby

“State of Origin”

Design by Raybo

 

Daisy May

“Thrash Punk Superstar”

Design by TMTYTF

 

Metalvein

“The Guardian”

Design by GingaNinja

 

Red Flames Rising

“Theory of Red”

Design by TMTYTF

A special thanks to last year’s winner ChildofAlma for being part of the initial judging panel.  Good luck to all of the finalists.  Stay tuned for Gary’s picks!