Gary Burden, considered to be one of the pioneers of the concept of album cover artwork, will judge the 2013 Figment Album Cover Design Contest.  The winner will receive a 1-year free subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud!

We launched Figment back in 2008 on the premise that anyone who loves music is looking for a creative way to express that love, whether they can play an instrument or not.  As we celebrate our fifth anniversary, we’re proud to say that Figment is indeed a place where people can create through imagination, visual design, and creative writing their perfect figment of a band.  It’s also a place where people can learn how to work in a creative environment, testing ideas and tweaking designs for an audience of peers who provide insights and valuable feedback on their musical figments.


So it’s with a lot of excitement that we announce that one of the true pioneers of album cover artwork, Gary Burden, has agreed to be this year’s guest judge!  Gary is a Grammy Award winning designer who has designed album covers for a who’s who of incredible musical artists including Neil Young, Crosby, Stills & Nash, The Doors, The Eagles, The Mamas & the Papas, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, My Morning Jacket and Conor Oberst to name a few.  His iconic cover designs for classic albums like “Morrison Hotel” by The Doors, “After The Gold Rush” by Neil Young, The Eagles “Desperado”, and “CSN” for Crosby, Still & Nash are not only legendary,  but identify those artists as clearly and significantly as their music does.  So to have him as our guest judge is not only an honor, but a true privilege.


We’re also thrilled to welcome back Adobe as our creative sponsor for this year’s contest.  For the past five years Adobe has provided the contest winner with copies of their incredible Creative Suite of design tools.  This year they are  supplying a 1-year free subscription to their Creative Cloud service to the winner.  Adobe Creative Cloud gives you all of the great Adobe tools available in Creative Suite 6 and more, and allows you to access them from anywhere.  Check out this great video to find out more about this incredible prize.


For those of you who are visiting Figment for the first time or just recently became a player, our Album Cover Design Contest is arguably the biggest contest we hold all year here on Figment.  It’s a competition to see who can design the best album cover for their fake band.  Whether you have mad design chops or just a great imagination and a clear concept, you’ve got a chance to win, and winning has it’s perks.

So how does the contest work?  Quite simply, we’re looking for the best original album cover design.  Sure, technical design skill is a plus, but we’re ultimately looking for an album cover that grabs our attention.  Last year the winner was ChildofAlma, whose design for Sinthetic’s “Binary Empire” was picked by none other than artist/musician Chris Mars.  Chris picked ChildofAlma’s design because,

“In picking the winner, I thought about my own days of record shopping, trying to find music that I would be into – the kind of music that wouldn’t be on the radio. I’d dig through the racks and I’d look for covers that had the right “look”, telling me it was something I might be into.

I needed the spirit of the music conveyed to me visually, cause I might not have a chance to hear it before I committed to buying it. Of course, I’d attract to cool looking artwork in general…but if it was misleading, I’d be pissed about it. And if the artwork didn’t “fit” something I might be into, I might miss it. Then again, if the artwork was too obvious or cliché, I’d figure the music inside might be too.

I think the cover that best suits its band/genre is Binary Empire by Sinthetic.  It’s a cool cover, and if I were to guess what kind of music it would be, I would have hit it spot-on.  This one is a great marriage between visual interest and visual information.  It’s my big winner.”


So how will the judging work?  Once the deadline for entries has passed our editorial team and last year’s winner, ChildofAlma, will form the initial judging panel.  This panel will select the Top 10 finalists from all of the entries.  Since he’ll be part of our finalist judging panel, ChildofAlma will not be allowed to enter the contest.   Once the Top 10 covers have been decided on they’ll be submitted to Gary Burden for consideration.  Gary, as the ultimate judge, will then pick a winner and 2 runners up from that Top 10.


As we mentioned above, the winner will receive a free 1-year subscription to Adobe Creative Cloud with up to 2GB of storage!  But it doesn’t end there, because we’ll match it with 10,000 pieces of Lucre, and a brand spanking new Figment t-shirt.

The runners up will each receive 7,500 and 5,000 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 (EP or singles are also eligible) with cover art.  The band and album must be fake, and not artwork for a real band. You may also release an album by an existing fake band that you created on Figment.  To be considered, any album entry must contain song titles. Even though they won’t be the focus of our judging, any album that is released without any song titles will be disqualified. Once you have released an album you want to submit as an entry please post the band, album name, and the URL to the album as a comment to this post, so that we and other users can check it out.  If you don’t post that information as a comment to this post your entry will not be considered eligible.

3.  Any artwork used in the creation of your album cover should either be original or at least one 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 adding text, altering it through manipulation or doing something else 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.  You may enter as many album covers as you like.  If you would like to enter an album cover you have already released on Figment, please note that you may only enter album covers created since January 1, 2013. Any album covers entered that were released before Jan. 1, 2013 will not eligible.

5.  The contest will run from Wednesday, May 1, 2013 until Friday, May 31, 2013.  All submissions must be posted by no later than 11:59 pm ET on Friday, May 31, 2013 to qualify.

6.  By no later than, Friday, June 7, 2013 the Top 10 finalists will be announced, and sent to Gary Burden for his review.  Gary will judge the Top 10 finalists and select a winner and two runners up.  The winner and runners up will be announced on Friday, June 14, 2013.

As we stated earlier, this is one of the biggest contests we run on Figment and we’re thrilled to have Gary Burden on-board as our judge.  So really try to pull out all the stops and create an album cover design that you think captures your creativity and love of music.  We look forward to your submissions.

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


20 Responses to “2013 Figment Album Cover Design Contest”

  1. TMTYTF Says:

    Illegally Blonde by Jackhammer

  2. frizbee Says:

    Damn. This seems to happen with every contest. I’ve got something on the back burner that would be perfect for the contest, but I don’t want to crank something out and half-ass it just to be in the contest. Also, I haven’t released much so far this year. I’m in a bit of a pickle here.

    I’m fairly certain this question has been asked before, but can singles be entered into the contest, or strictly full length albums?

  3. Eric Says:

    Frizbee – clearly you didn’t read #2 above under “How To Enter”. :). Yes singles and EPs are eligible as long as they were released after Jan. 1, 2013.

  4. frizbee Says:

    Ah, I must have somehow missed that part. Thanks!

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

    “Let ‘Em Drop (single)” by Eccentric Arcade

    “Audiogasm (single) by Eccentric Arcade

  5. human blooper Says:

    “Perils of the Modern Man”

    “The Grand Facade”

  6. Tyman Says:

    “As If” by The People Who Are Made Of Plasma

    “Long Story Short” by Her Fearless Heart

    “Fine Line Between Sorrow And Betrayal” by Temple’s Children

    “To Collapse (LEAKED DEMO)” by Apocolantis

  7. Raybo Sapien Says:

    I have a couple of new releases coming up before the deadline, but here are my current submissions for the cycle:

    “State of Origin” by Hot Water Burn Baby

    “Moonblood Symposium” by Chad Phantom and the Nobody Panic

    “The Manta Redacted” by Janie Dangerfield

    “Year of the Snake” by Fetalus

    Lots of good work from everyone and the year is young!!!

  8. GingaNinja Says:

    The Guardian by Metalvein

  9. algoreyou Says:

    “Deuteronomy 5:17” by The Angel’s Sin

  10. Tyman Says:

    “Please Rescue Me” by Her Fearless Heart

  11. TMTYTF Says:

    Theory of Red by Red Flames Rising

    Unstoppable by Stonekrank

  12. Tyman Says:

    “Save The Bullet For Tomorrow – Single” by Mary’s War

  13. Raybo Sapien Says:




  14. Raybo Sapien Says:

    NUM by WUN:

  15. Coyote McGee "Best (We Could Dig Up) of Coyote McGee, Part Ein" Says:

  16. TMTYTF Says:

    “A Toast…” by Stonekrank

    “Life to the Extreme” by Daisy May

    “Thrash Punk Superstar” by Daisy May

  17. TMTYTF Says:

    “Johnny Steele”

    “The Bull (is Angry)” by Johnny Steele

    “Theory of Red Sessions: Live” by RFR

    “Nymphomania, Part 1” by The Nymphomaniacs

  18. poppinfresh Says:

    “Serendipity” by Let’s Not and Say We Did

  19. Eric Says:

    The deadline for entering this contest has passed. Thank you and good luck to the players who submitted an entry. Preliminary judging is now underway so please check back to see who makes the Top 10!

  20. Raybo Sapien Says:

    Wrong link sent before for IMAGINARY EMPIRE:

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