Thanks to our good friends at Adobe the winner of our 2011 Figment Album Cover Design Contest will be receiving Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended.  So with less than one month left until the deadline are you looking for an edge that will take your design from average to exceptional?  Well thanks to Adobe you can, by clicking here you can download a free 30-day trial of Adobe Photoshop CS5 Extended and use it to create your entry.

So what can you do with Photoshop CS5 Extended?  How about being able to remove any image detail or object from a picture by magically filling in the space left behind so it looks like the removed content never existed?  You can do it with their breakthrough Content-Aware Fill technology.  How about being able to enhance 3D objects and designs with easy shadow creation, image-based lights, and materials like glass and chrome?  With CS5 Extended you can!  Wanna be able to swing a person’s raised arm to their side?  The Puppet Warp feature lets you do it!  How about being able to create 3D logos and artwork from any text layer, selection, path or layer mask?  With CS5 Extended’s Adobe Repoussé you can twist, rotate, extrude, bevel and inflate your designs.  Needless to say Photoshop CS5 Extended is packed with incredibly cool features, so do yourself a favor and check them all out.

You can also check out trials of Adobe’s other products on their download page.

We’ve been thrilled with the level of creativity and design prowess we’ve seen on Figment over the past year.  In short, all of our players have upped their game, and we’ve enjoyed seeing the results!  So as we kick off our 3rd Annual Figment Album Cover Design contest we’re excited to see what our players will come up with for this year’s contest!

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.

We’re proud to have Adobe, the leader in digital media creation and editing products, team with us for the 3rd straight year to supply our winner with Photoshop CS5 Extended.   In addition, we’ll outfit the winner with a brand spanking new Figment t-shirt as well as 1,000 pieces of lucre.

We’re also excited to announce our judge for this year’s contest.  In the past we’ve asked album cover designers to judge the contest, but this year we decided to take a slightly different tack and enlist a musician.  After all, who do album cover designers ultimately have to please?  The band, right?  So we went out and got one of our favorite musicians, Tad Kubler, to be the guest judge.  Tad is the lead guitarist for indie rock band The Hold Steady, and has had a hand in the design and layout of several of the band’s releases.  In addition, he is a talented photographer, who has snapped pictures for his band and many others.  Tad will be lending his expertise as a musician, photographer, and designer, to pick a winner and 2 runners up.

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 javdoc for the album cover he designed for his band Zeroth’s single “Crytonomicon”.   William Schaff, last year’s judge, explained his choice this way:

Imagine that you and I are were hitting the yard sales on a bright Saturday morning. Our goal that day is to purchase an album that we know nothing about. The band’s genre isn’t what is affecting our choice, because we don’t know the band. What they sound like doesn’t matter because we’re looking to meet something new. So we’re going strictly on what strikes our visual fancy. Now you and I may have disagreement on what those criteria are, but lucky me! I get to be the fellow who says what gets chosen. If I was at a yard sale and had only these ten records to chose from, Zeroth would catch me the most, because it is unclear what exactly is going on. I see numbers, I see letters that don’t make sense to me. Yes, the word “Zeroth” is at the bottom, but it is pales in comparison to everything else going on. It has me curious! I am assuming it may be some sort of detailed, electronic music (which I am able to enjoy at times) but I am not sure. That uncertainty has me wanting to check it out. Neat!

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 Tad Kubler.  Tad will then pick a winner and 2 runners up from that Top 10.

As we mentioned above, the winner will receive a copy of the premier 3D graphic design software on the market, Photoshop CS5-Extended courtesy of Adobe, a prize worth $1,000 alone!  But it doesn’t end there, because we’ll match it with 1,000 pieces of Lucre to spend on Figment, and a brand spanking new Figment t-shirt.

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 (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’s page on Figment 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, 2011.  Any album covers entered that were released before Jan. 1, 2011 will not eligible.

4.  The contest will run from Monday, April 4, 2011 until Friday, June 3, 2011.  All submissions must be posted by no later than 11:59 pm ET on Friday, June 3, 2011.

5.  By no later than, Friday, June 10, 2011 Figment will select the Top 10 album covers and send them to Tad Kubler for his review.  Tad will judge the Top 10 covers and select a winner and two runners up.  The winner and runners up will be announced on Friday, June 17, 2011.

As we stated earlier, this is one of the biggest contests we run on Figment and we’re thrilled to have Tad Kubler 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 aesthetic.  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/2011_Album_Cover_Design_Contest_Rules.pdf

So who won?  That’s what you want to know right?  Well, Ed Repka looked at the 10 finalists and picked the following winner and 2 runners up!

THE WINNER

Children of a Nuclear Winter “Married To The Machine”

Design by daedae

Here’s what Ed Repka had to say about “Married To The Machine”:

For me, the visual is the most important element and this cover has the most interesting image. I like the detail, use of colors and the story book narrative quality. The image draws you in and begs the viewer to figure out what is going on. It also works perfectly with the title and overall sci-fi concept. The song titles are well thought out and clever as they follow the cycle of a relationship.  The logo and title are bold and clear with the only drawback being their conservative placement. It looks like something you would get from an independent label rather than a major. Which is a good thing.

So congratulations to daedae for winning this year’s Figment Concept Album Contest.  As you may remember he placed 2nd in last year’s contest, so clearly daedae is a concept specialist!  He’ll be receiving a ZT Lunchbox Amplifier courtesy of ZT Amplifiers, a copy of the new concept album “Warp Riders” by The Sword courtesy of Kemado Records, and a copy of Steven Adler’s new autobiography “My Appetite for Destruction” courtesy of Harper Collins.  In addition, we’ll be depositing 500 pieces of lucre into daedae’s account to help him woodshed ideas for his next conceptual opus!

2nd Place

Gravestompers “Toxic Messiah”

Design by TMTYTF

Ed had this say about “Toxic Messiah”:

This album is a very close second. It’s almost a tie with the first. Toxic messiah has good compositional use of text and image giving it a professional look.  The placement of the text and image follow the classic 1/3 to 2/3 composition which really works for me but fails a bit since the title is a little hard to read on the left side and I don’t know what the “IX” is for.  The image is interesting, even though not particularly metal looking and I could see this in record stores. As for the concept, its a classic supernatural narrative and the song titles are evocative and typically metal.

So congratulations TMTYTF on your second place finish…sounds like you were a breath away from first, but for your efforts we’ll be sending you a copy of Steven Adler’s new autobiography “My Appetite for Destruction” as well as depositing 350 pieces of lucre into your account.

3rd Place

Dollhouse in Black “I Am Zombie”

Designed by ChildofAlma

Ed had this to say about “I Am Zombie”:

This works nicely because again, the image and the title work together to make a pleasing composition. The only drawback is the logo placement at the bottom in small type.  this would never occur on a real cover, the bands ego’s are too big to allow it and the marketing people always want the logo on top. It also has good song titles with a typical metal scenario.

Congratulations ChildofAlma, you’ll also be receiving a copy of Steven Adler’s new book “My Appetite for Destruction” as well as 200 pieces of lucre.

We’d like to thank Ed Repka for being such a terrific judge.  It’s not often you get to have someone of his stature in the design community look at your work, and his insights and keen eye for what makes a good metal concept album cover really made this contest a great one!

On a personal note, we’d like to extend our condolences to Ed and his family.  On October 5th, Ed’s father Edward L. Repka died at the age of 92.  Ed’s dad was very supportive of his work and even served as a model for some of the characters in his paintings.  All of us at Figment were saddened to hear the news and were appreciative of Ed’s commitment to judging this contest  despite this devastating loss.  According to Ed, his father had always taught him that you’re only as good as your word, so we thank him for being true to his father’s memory.  We hope you’ll join us in extending your condolences to Ed and his family by leaving a comment here on this page or on his MySpace page.   R.I.P.  Edward L. Repka.

We’d also like to thank Ken Kantor and ZT Amplifiers, Kemado Records, and Harper Collins for supplying all of the great prizes for this year’s contest!  We highly recommend you check out ZT Amps, buy the new Sword album “Warp Riders” and pick up a copy of “My Appetite for Destruction”.

Thanks again to everyone who entered and to our finalists – if you haven’t check them all out do it now!

We’d like to start by saying…WOW…great work everybody!  When we decided to limit our 2nd annual Concept Album Contest to just metal concept albums we knew that it would be popular, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that we were expecting our fair share of schlock.  Well, we were not only pleasantly surprised, but downright thrilled by the quality of all of the submissions.  Clearly you all embraced this challenge and your hard work shows.  So thank you for making our job of narrowing it down to these 10 finalists that much harder!  We mean it!

Here are the 10 finalists we sent to Ed Repka to judge (in no particular order):

Serpentinuum

“Philm”

Dollhouse in Black

“I Am Zombie”

Gravestompers

“Toxic Messiah”

Crimson Eye

“Five”

Xoana

“And So It Begins…”

Children of a Nuclear Winter

“Married To The Machine”

Vorpal Queen

“In The Chamber of the Vorpal Queen”

Zeroth

“Babel”

Vengeance Burns Eternal

“Wergeld: {At What Price, The Souls of Kinsmen Slain?}”

Jesus Wrench

“The American Way of War”

Good luck to everyone!

The Deadline Approaches!

October 20th, 2010

The deadline for our Figment Metal Concept Album contest is fast approaching!  On Friday, October 22nd at midnight ET we will close the contest to new entries, so make sure you post your entries before then!

When the deadline for entries passes, our crack Figment editorial staff will narrow the submissions to ten (10) finalists.  These ten (10) finalists will be sent to renowned metal album cover artist Ed Repka who will select a winner and two (2) runners up.

The winner will receive:

ZT Lunchbox guitar amplifier courtesy of ZT Amplifiers.  Since it’s introduction in early 2009, the ZT Lunchbox guitar amplifier has changed the way many musicians think about amps.  Never before has an ultra-compact amplifier reached gig-level output, let alone sounded good enough to be used not only live but in the recording studio as well (three Lunchboxes were in studio for MGMTs latest album “Congratulations”, and they are beginning to appear on several other recordings.)  Lunchboxes have found homes with pros such as Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Nels Cline and Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), and Hunter Perrin (John Fogerty Band) among many, many others.  This goes to show that the Lunchbox is useful even for players who can have any gear they wish.

A copy of the new metal concept album “Warp Riders” from Austin, TX based metal band The Sword courtesy of Brooklyn’s own Kemado Records.  We’re all HUGE fans of the band here at Figment and think “Warp Riders” will rightfully grace many a year-end Top 10 list this year.  This album should serve as suitable inspiration for the winner!

A copy of ex-Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler’s new book “My Appetite for Destruction” courtesy of Harper Collins.  After 40 years, twenty-eight ODs, three botched suicides, two heart attacks, a couple of jail stints, and a debilitating stroke, Steven Adler, the most self-destructive rock star ever, sets the record straight on his year’s in Guns N’ Roses, his subsequent descent into addiction, and his ultimate recovery.  It’s a harrowing, but honest look at the highs and lows of being a rock star and a must-read for metal fans.

So what are you waiting for?  Check out the rules and get your entries in now!

The concept album is a mainstay of popular music.  Whether it’s Frank Sinatra’s “In The Wee Small Hours of the Night” or Pink Floyd’s “The Wall”, the concept is the same, it’s an album whose songs all contribute to a single overall theme or unified story.

Last year Lords of Winter won our first Concept Album Contest with their album “The Saga of Carus:  I.  Journey to Roh’Orn”.  It was a great concept album and the fact that it was just the first album in a musical triptych only made it that much better, but the real take away was how well metal as a musical genre lent itself to the concept album format.

So when it came time to think about our 2nd Annual Concept Album Contest, we decided that rather than go broad we’d limit it to just one genre – Metal!  Now the challenge is even greater because to stand out in the crowd you’ll really need to ramp up your game.  In short, we want to test your metal mettle.

Now that we’ve thrown down the gauntlet, we also want you to that not just anyone is going to pick this year’s winner.  While all of us at Figment are metal fans, and are more than capable of paring down the entries to a Top 10, we felt we needed someone with direct experience in the metal world and bona fides to match.  Needless to say, Ed Repka is that person!  If you’re not familiar with Ed, you probably are familiar with his work.  Here’s a little info on him:

A connoisseur of the grotesque and proponent of supernatural realism, Ed Repka is known worldwide for his illustrations of Vic Rattlehead, Megadeth’s skeletal mascot, which over two decades have adorned CD covers, posters, t-shirts, and hordes of other metal merchandise.

Regarded as the undisputed king of “Thrash” metal art of the ’80’s, Ed specializes in menacing reminders of impending apocalypse, and grim visions of the irradiated aftermath.  His vibrant use of color and shadow combined with darkly satirical characterizations form his distinctive style which has garnered commissions from clients such as Atlantic Records, Brockum, Capital Records, Earache, Metal Blade, Relativity, Roadrunner, Ryko, Screamin’, Topps and many others for use on CDs covers, video covers, posters, trading cards, t-shirts, toys, comics, and magazines.

In 2002, he became the Art Director of the National Entertainment Collectibles Association (NECA), where he designs, sculpts, paints and directs the successful action figure lines, Headknocker bobble-head figures and other pop culture collectibles the Association produces.

To say Ed is qualified judge this contest is an understatement, and we’re honored to have him on-board.

So let’s get to the nitty gritty!  The contest begins today, Wednesday, September 22nd and entries may be submitted until midnight on Friday, October 22nd.  During that time we’ll be asking you to create a metal concept album based around a central theme.  It can be for any genre or subgenre of metal music, but it has to be metal album.  We’re also asking that you only submit newer albums, so only entries created on or after September 6, 2010 will be eligible.

When the deadline for entries (October 22nd at midnight) passes, our crack Figment editorial staff will narrow the submissions to ten (10) finalists.  These ten (10) finalists will be sent to Ed Repka who will select a winner and two (2) runners up.

So what do you get if you win?  Well, we thought it was only appropriate that we put together a prize package that lived up to the subject matter, so we’ve put together a truly metal prize package for our winner!  The winner will receive:

A ZT Lunchbox guitar amplifier courtesy of ZT Amplifiers.  Since it’s introduction in early 2009, the ZT Lunchbox guitar amplifier has changed the way many musicians think about amps.  Never before has an ultra-compact amplifier reached gig-level output, let alone sounded good enough to be used not only live but in the recording studio as well (three Lunchboxes were in studio for MGMTs latest album “Congratulations”, and they are beginning to appear on several other recordings.)  Lunchboxes have found homes with pros such as Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Nels Cline and Jeff Tweedy (Wilco), and Hunter Perrin (John Fogerty Band) among many, many others.  This goes to show that the Lunchbox is useful even for players who can have any gear they wish.

A copy of the new metal concept album “Warp Riders” from Austin, TX based metal band The Sword courtesy of Brooklyn’s own Kemado Records.  We’re all HUGE fans of the band here at Figment and think “Warp Riders” will rightfully grace many a year-end Top 10 list this year.  This album should serve as suitable inspiration for the winner!

A copy of ex-Guns N’ Roses drummer Steven Adler’s new book “My Appetite for Destruction” courtesy of Harper Collins.  After 40 years, twenty-eight ODs, three botched suicides, two heart attacks, a couple of jail stints, and a debilitating stroke, Steven Adler, the most self-destructive rock star ever, sets the record straight on his year’s in Guns N’ Roses, his subsequent descent into addiction, and his ultimate recovery.  It’s a harrowing, but honest look at the highs and lows of being a rock star and a must-read for metal fans.

500 pieces of Lucre to put towards your own “sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll” lifestyle here on Figment.

The runners up will receive the following:

2nd Runner up will receive a copy of Steven Adler’s book “My Appetite for Destruction” courtesy of Harper Collins and 350 pieces of Lucre.

3rd Runner Up will receive a copy of Steven Adler’s book “My Appetite for Destruction” courtesy of Harper Collins and 200 pieces of Lucre.

To enter please follow these basic rules:

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 a Metal concept album with cover art.  You may also release a Metal concept album from an existing band that you have previously created.  To be considered an album must have been released on or after September 6, 2010, and be based around a central theme which is articulated and reflected in the album artwork, description and song titles. 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 metal concept album entry won’t be considered.

3. Users may enter as many metal concept albums as they would like, but only albums that were created on or after September 6, 2010 will be considered eligible.

4.  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.

5.  The contest will run from Wednesday, September 22nd until Friday, October 22, 2010.  All submissions must be posted by no later than 11:59 pm ET on Friday, October 22nd.

6.  All Figment players worldwide are eligible to enter.  Please note that prizes may not be compatible in all countries and that Figment nor it’s prize providers are responsible for make-goods in these situations.

7.  The Figment editiorial staff will select 10 finalists from all of the submissions and provide them to Ed Repka to judge by no later than Tuesday, October 26, 2010.

8.  On Friday, October 29, 2010 Figment will announce the Top 3 metal concept albums as selected by Ed Repka – a winner and two runners up.

You can view the full official rules at:  http://bit.ly/cvIhTm

We’re going to be judging the entries based on the creativity of the album’s central theme and how well that theme is conveyed throughout the album, from the artwork to the album description and the song titles.  So good luck and let the conceptualization begin!!!

The Art of the LP Contest Winner

September 7th, 2010

If you missed our recent interview with author Johnny Morgan, you not only missed a great interview, but you also missed a great chance to win a copy of his new book.

“The Art of the LP:  Classic Covers 1955 – 1995” by Johnny Morgan and Ben Wardle (2010 Sterling Publishing) is a celebration of album artistry.  Whether it’s the smoldering pin-up girl on The Cars’ “Candy-O” or Andy Warhol’s controversial zippered pants on the Rolling Stones’ “Sticky Fingers”, album cover images have long captivated our imaginations and added to the music experience contained within their packaging.  “The Art of the LP” organizes album cover artwork chosen from this 40 years span by visual theme, and then analyzes why some covers become iconic while others missed the mark entirely.

We really enjoyed the book here at Figment, so during our interview we asked Johnny –

‘FN:  Figment is a site devoted to fake bands and their visual identity.  Do you think someone could be fooled into believing a fake band was real if the album artwork for the band was strong enough?

JM:  Definitely. Hopefully Art of The LP can help someone to construct a good-looking album cover for a long forgotten but highly regarded American punk band called XXXX who toured once with the Replacements in 1986, before falling apart at a diner in Ames, Iowa amid a storm of ketchup, beer and amphetamines, just as their debut album ‘Pick Your Noise’ was being pressed on a limited run of 1000 copies.”

Thanks to the good people at Sterling Publishing, we were able to make Johnny’ s wish a reality by creating a quick contest to see who could design the best cover for the XXXX’s debut album.  Johnny judged the entries and selected this cover for the XXXX long lost debut album “Pick Your Noise.”

by scarletto

The two runners up are:

by thehoseman

by frizbee

So congratulations scarletto, we’ll be getting a copy of Johnny’s book out to you asap!  We’d also like to congratulate the two runners up, and all of the players who participated.

As for the rest of you, we highly recommend you check out “The Art of the LP”, it’s a great book and a treasure trove of info on what to do and what not to do when designing an album cover!

When 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 Okkervil River, Godspeed You!  Black Emperor and Songs:  Ohia among others.  What we didn’t know was just how great of a person he was.  Easy to talk to, interested in what all of you are doing on Figment, and best of all excited about interacting with fellow artists like yourselves.  Will has been watching what all of you have been up to over the past 2 months and even if he didn’t pick you as a winner or runner up in this year’s contest, rest assured he’s not only looked at your stuff, but given it careful consideration.  So before we turn it over to him to announce the winners, we’d just like to say thanks to Will for being such a great judge.  I hope you will all continue to follow his work and if you can help support his work by buying one of his pieces of art, whether it’s an album that contains his artwork on the cover or a piece that he created, let’s all say thanks by helping to support a great artist and friend of Figment.

And now without further adieu I will turn this post over to Will:

All right….wow….you folks have challenged me. Please allow me to start all this by re-iterating, I am not a “judge” here, but a fellow artist. I am excited by, and recognize the power an image can have on people, and how it can bring someone in. So what I say is said as a fellow artist, and is what I would say were I sitting by you as you worked this out on your computer, or over your drawing board.

This has been tough to pick one over the other. Sometimes for reasons that would make y’all smile, sometimes not. But I am going to have to say first place goes to:

Zeroth

“Cryptonomicon”

by javdoc

Allow me to explain why. Imagine that you and I are were hitting the yard sales on a bright Saturday morning. Our goal that day is to purchase an album that we know nothing about. The band’s genre isn’t what is affecting our choice, because we don’t know the band. What they sound like doesn’t matter because we’re looking to meet something new. So we’re going strictly on what strikes our visual fancy. Now you and I may have disagreement on what those criteria are, but lucky me! I get to be the fellow who says what gets chosen. If I was at a yard sale and had only these ten records to chose from, Zeroth would catch me the most, because it is unclear what exactly is going on. I see numbers, I see letters that don’t make sense to me. Yes, the word “Zeroth” is at the bottom, but it is pales in comparison to everything else going on. It has me curious! I am assuming it may be some sort of detailed, electronic music (which I am able to enjoy at times) but I am not sure. That uncertainty has me wanting to check it out. Neat!

1st Runner Up

Eccentric Arcade

“Jar Full of Hearts”

by frizbee

Eccentric Arcade’s “Jar Full of Hearts” has me most interested the next because out of all the choices I am looking at, It feels as though the artist who made this incorporated the text in way with as much consideration as the art work. It is not just some font chosen from what Photoshop or some artist’s late night internet travels found them. From the color of the font, to they way the font is presented, it has me interested. The imagery is strikingly presented, and well crafted (hand drawn?)

2nd Runner Up

Fitchburg Subdivision

“The Virtue of Fools”

by JoshTheRadioDude

Fitchburg Subdivision…well — and this may piss off a few of the ladies out there making album covers — but they have an attractive young woman on the front. How does that not catch a fellow’s interest?? O.K., maybe not all fellows, but it does often catch mine. The font they used for their band is interesting, where as (and this is where they lose a few points) the font chosen for the name of the album does not show the same consideration as the rest. It is a common font found on most everyone’s microsoft word list of fonts.

That would be my main criticism of what I was seeing of all contestants.. If you feel it necessary to put text on your image think carefully about where the text is coming from. There are times that a classic, easily recognizable font fits the bill. But not usually. Maybe hand draw a font.

Have more confidence in your image, too. I was sorry that there was no one who felt so strong about the image that they left it at that. No band name, or album title visible on the front cover (that’s what the spine’s for!). Remember, when you see a poster for an album in a record shop or what not, it is usually 90% image and 10% text. The label knows it is the image that is going to draw you in. Imagine if it was the other way around — 90%text and 10% image. That would be silly.

Thanks for showing me your stuff, folks. Congrats to the ten finalists, and congrats to the winner and runner ups. It’s neat what y’all are doing. Keep it up, and keep having fun.

All the best.

William

So congratulations to javdoc for winning this year’s Album Cover Design Contest.  We’ll be sending him a copy of the brand new Photoshop CS5 Extended courtesy of Adobe, $50 of William Schaff merchandise, a copy of Steve Almond’s new book “Rock and Roll Will Save Your Life” courtesy of Random House, and 1,000 pieces of lucre.

Congratulations to frizbee and JoshTheRadioDude too!  They will be receiving 750 and 500 pieces of lucre respectively as well as a copy of the book “Record Store Days” by Gary Calamar and Phil Gallo courtesy of Sterling Publishing.

And finally congratulations to all of the finalists and everyone who entered a cover.  You guys all upped your game this year and it showed in some great covers!

Until next year…

We’d like to thank everyone who submitted an entry in our 2010 Figment Album Cover Design Contest.  We had a bunch of great entries, and the overall quality level was terrific.  So thanks for entering!

Unfortunately, only 10 entries can be submitted to our guest judge William Schaff, so there was a lot of debate among the members of the Figment editorial board over who would make the cut.  The ten finalists below represent those covers we felt stood out from the pack and deserved a chance at winning the contest.  We’ll let Will decide who the winner and 2 runners up will be, but these 10 deserve a big round of applause regardless.

Here are the Top 10 in no particular order:

Fitchburg Subdivision

“The Virtue of Fools”


Eccentric Arcade

“Jar Full of Hearts” (Single)


Zandergriff Miggs & The Parliament of Owls

“Down the Owsley Hole”


Shane Osiris

“Stealing the Sun”


Dollhouse in Black

“Haunted”


KARKASS

“Mr. Grim”


Zeroth

“Cryptonomicon”


The Forgotten Falling

“Apocolyption”


Zandergriff Miggs & The Parliament of Owls

“Conscious Pilot”


The Jupiter Archives

“Neverland”


So those are the 10 finalists.  We will post the winner and 2 runners up on Friday, so stay tuned!

The Deadline is Midnight!

June 4th, 2010

Planning to enter our Figment Album Cover Design Contest?  Already did, but want to add another entry?  Well either way the deadline is tonight at midnight ET.  So don’t delay, get your entry in now!