We’re very excited to announce the kick-off of one of the biggest contests on Figment!  That’s right it’s time for the 2nd Annual Figment Album Cover Design Contest!  What’s even more exciting is that once again we have an incredible artist and album cover designer lined up to judge it!

William Schaff, who is probably best known for his design work for independent bands like Okkervil River (which unfortunately led to some confusion), has agreed to judge the Top 10 submissions in this year’s contest.  Will is a real talent, but I’ll let his official bio do the talking…

William Schaff is a wreck.  His most recent regular pay work involved him punching people in the head, and hoping they didn’t punch him back. That said he manages to create lots of artwork for different folk. From the likes of fine authors, to such notable independent musicians as Okkervil River, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and many more. This boy has chops! Chops and debt! Working hard at avoiding debt collectors and making as much art as possible before they catch up with him, this fine artist is just trying to keep his lights on, his car insured and his mortgage paid. Well, one out of three ain’t bad..God Bless you, William Schaff

If that didn’t give you enough insight into Will we definitely recommend you read this great interview he did with Pitchfork.

We definitely agree w/ Will’s bio that he has chops, and we’re thrilled that he’s agreed to lend his expert design sense and his well-trained eye to the judging of this year’s entries.

So how does the contest work?  Well, it’s really quite simple, we’re looking for the best original album cover design.  What does that mean?  Well, the album cover that not only has the best design (image, font, layout, etc.), but also best conveys the band and album’ s content.  Last year the winner was The Pearls of Lutra for their album “I shall still do my best.” John Coulthart, last year’s judge, picked them because:

Of all the entries this was easily the most visually arresting even though the image isn’t particularly graceful. Pretty images or glossy photos aren’t always what you need on an album cover but impact counts for a great deal. I’ve no idea where the photo comes from but it’s immediately striking. And the placement of the typography was carefully done as well, it doesn’t spoil the power of the image. The face and the type balance each other with both moving towards the centre. A lot of bands would be very pleased with a cover like this.

So how will the judging work?  The initial round of judging will be done by the Figment staff who will pick the Top 10 covers that they think merit being considered by William Schaff.  William will then pick a winner and 2 runners up from that Top 10.

So what do you get for winning?  Well, beyond just bragging rights, we thought we’d arm the winner with everything they would need to be a top album cover designer.

The first thing would be a copy of the premier 3D graphic design software on the market.  So the winner will receive a copy of the brand new Adobe Photoshop CS5-Extended courtesy of Adobe.  That alone is a prize worth $1,000 USD, but it doesn’t end there!

A good designer also needs inspiration, and since William is this year’s judge, we thought it would be appropriate to arm our winner with some of William’s work.  So the winner will be able to pick up to $50 of Will’s merch!

And lastly, all the best designers are paid for their work, so why should you be any different?  With that in mind, we will pay the winner 1,000 pieces of Lucre for his/her winning piece of cover art!!!

The runners up will each receive 750 and 500 pieces of lucre respectively, and we may have a few other prizes to throw into the mix soon enough, so we’ll keep you posted!

So now that you know what’s at stake, what do you need to do to enter?  Here are the basic rules of the contest:

1. You must be a registered Figment user to participate.  If you don’t currently have a Figment account please click here to create one.  This contest is open to Figment users worldwide.

2.  Create a fake band on Figment and release an album with cover art.  You may also release an album by an existing band that you created.  To be considered an album must contain song titles.  Even thought they won’t be the focus of our judging, an album that is released without any song titles it will be disqualified. Once you have released the album or album(s) you want to submit as an entry please post the band and album name as a comment to this post, so that we and other users can check it out.  If you don’t post the band/album name as a comment to this post or your album cover entry won’t be considered.

3.  Any artwork used in the creation of your album cover should either be original or at least one at which you have the permission of the copyright owner to use.  If you do use someone else’s work you need to make it your own by at the very least adding text or something that makes it your own.  Any album designs that are judged as being a copy of an existing work will be disqualified.  We will also disqualify any album cover that is offensive in nature – sexist, racist or hate-based.

4.  The contest will run from Friday, April 2, 2010 until Friday, June 4, 2010.  All submissions must be posted by no later than 11:59 pm ET on Friday, June 4th.

5.  By no later than, Friday, June 11, 2010 Figment will select the Top 10 album covers and send them to William Schaff for his review.  John will look the Top 10 covers over and select the Top 5 – a winner and two runners up.  The winner and runners up will be announced on Friday, June 18, 2010.

As we stated earlier, this is one of the biggest contests we run on Figment and we’re thrilled to have William Schaff on-board to be the ultimate judge.  So really pull out all the stops and try to create an album cover design that you think captures your fake band’s esthetic and “sound.”  We look forward to your submissions.

If you’d like to read the full contest rules you can access them at:

http://figment.cc/content/pdf/2010_Album_Cover Design_Contest_Rules.pdf

63 Responses to “2nd Annual Figment Album Cover Design Contest!”

  1. JoshTheRadioDude Says:

    Ear Candy by Doll House Girls


  2. javdoc Says:

    ‘Cryptonomicon’ single by Zeroth


  3. TMTYTF Says:

    Bl@ck R3B3L 2 by Drifter http://www.figment.cc/albums/2702/blck-r3b3l-2.fig

  4. TMTYTF Says:

    SeXtasy by The Nymphomaniacs http://figment.cc/albums/3074/sextasy.fig

  5. TMTYTF Says:

    Summer 2010 Sampler by TooMuchTooYoungTooFast Records http://www.figment.cc/albums/3113/summer-2010-sampler.fig

  6. TMTYTF Says:

    “Sing” (Carpenters cover) by Stonekrank http://www.figment.cc/albums/3114/sing-carpenters-cover.fig

  7. ChildofAlma Says:

    “Haunted” by Dollhouse in Black

  8. TMTYTF Says:

    Chapter 4: Rags To Riches by The Phony Fakers http://www.figment.cc/home/viewalbum.fig?id=3128

  9. Algoryou Says:

    Daemon by The Angel’s Sin

  10. theHoseman Says:

    Down The Owsley Hole by Zandergriff Miggs & the Parliament of Owls


  11. Javdoc Says:

    ‘Reconstructing The Truth’ by Crashing Institute


  12. TMTYTF Says:

    “Bloodsoaked Vengeance” by Sleeping Through The Apocalypse http://www.figment.cc/home/viewalbum.fig?id=3072

  13. Figment News » Blog Archive » Figment Album Cover Design Contest Winners Announced! Says:

    […] we selected William Schaff to be our guest judge for this year’s Figment Album Cover Design Contest we knew that he was a talented artist and had produced some incredible album covers for bands like […]

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