The “album cover” game

12 May, 2011 § 1 Comment

So there’s a fairly simple “game” I like to play every once in a while. The idea is to make a clever/creative/funny/cute/useable fake album cover for a fake band. This is a great way to test your Photoshop skills or just to kill some time and have some fun. The rules are thus:

  1. Visit a random Wikipedia article. The title of the article is the name of your band/musician. For example, I just clicked it and ended up with the result “Central City Historic District.” Not the best name for a band, but it can certainly be used.
  2. Visit a random Wikipedia quotes page. The last four words of the last quote on the page make up the name of your band/musician’s album. For me, I just got the Ethan Nadelmann quote page; the last four words of the last quote (my album title) are “a measure of risk.” That one’s actually pretty good. So far, we’ve got an an album by Central City Historic District called A Measure of Risk.
  3. Visit Flickr’s interesting photos from the last week. This is the part that can really mess you up or round off your whole album. Pick the third image on the page. This picture is what you will use for your album cover. This is the photo I just ended up with.
  4. Go into your imaging software of choice and create an album with the above elements!

Some things to consider:

  • For the first step, if the result is the name of an already-existing band or musician, I randomize it again. I will use the name of any other famous person or historic figure/place, however.
  • For the second step, it is possible your random quote page will just be a placeholder for a year (in other words, it’ll just be a number with no quotes following it). In this instance I will randomize it again.
  • For the third step, I will of course always use the third picture, but I may not use it in its entirety. I may get creative with it, rotate some elements of the image, take some elements out, etc. But I will not add anything (other than the text for my band name and album title) to the picture and I will always make sure some elements of the picture remain in the end. You’ll see what I mean when I post examples in the future.
  • Other than that, I absolutely will not just randomize things until they seem to go together well. I started out making album covers for every result. Now, if one of my elements (name, title, or picture) just doesn’t look right I’ll randomize everything again.
  • I generally use the dimensions 420×412. I believe that at one time I looked up the ideal dimensions for an album cover and that was the suggestion I found, so I just go with it.

So here’s what I’ve thrown together quickly, using the three album elements I ended up with at the beginning of this post:

I got lucky this time. In future posts I’ll show you examples of what happens when the band name, album title, and picture just don’t work out together as well as examples of what it may look like when you spend a little more time on your album cover than the two minutes I spent on this one.


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