In our latest community contest, we asked designers to take on the challenge of designing a new album cover for Kanye West’s latest album, “Yeezus.”
The original artwork was barely existent; consisting of only a clear jewel case, blank CD, and a red sticker. Some (including Yeezy himself) argue that this is an artistic statement in itself. But regardless, we decided to have a little fun with it and see what our design community could come up with as well!
Perhaps because of the dark and moody themes of the album, designers took daring and calculated approaches to this contest, exploring many themes with their compositions: religion, materialism, greed, the New World Order. Every designer put a lot of thought into his or her design, so we’ve included descriptions along with each entry.
With 315 participating designers and 1284 entries submitted, it was no easy task to narrow down a winner. Here are the results:
Designer: fattah setiawan
Explanation: “The title of this artwork is Puppet, and I think it shows what Kanye wants to deliver through this album. My concept is to capture on one hand the rage and anger of Kanye’s music, but on the other the simplification of sound and instrumentation, the highlighting of vocals and lyrics.
I kept the artist’s ‘bear theme’ in this work, but with a different illustrative approach – representing the challenge for religion between promoting peace and being tempted by materialistic interests, a point I think resonates through this album.“
Explanation: “The meaning behind my design is that the God of man is no longer the God that we once knew, but a God of money. We are new slaves being sold for material gain. Enlightened are the eyes covered by money, they are the dark majority that rule over the minority.
This is my digital rendition of the New World Order or “Novus Ordo Seclorum” as illustrated on the back of the American dollar bill, with the pyramid and all seeing eye.”
Designer: Koby martin
Explanation: “The lively and energetic tunes on Kanye’s previous albums first inspired me to use bright colors in this design. But to represent the new Kanye, I made the colors drip off his face to show his growth, and shedding off of his old vibe to create a new dark and brooding one.
The crosses through his eyes represent the fact that Kanye’s not concerned with what others think of him or his music, and the crown represents Kanye’s bold statement that he is the king of the new school of hip-hop.”
Explanation: “Early reviews described ‘Yeezus’ as dark and brooding. I visualized this into this album cover, starting from Kanye’s head and expression – Head up, empty gaze, showing that he is dwelling upon something, chained, gloomy, angry. He cannot find faith.”
Explanation: “This is a hip-hop themed rendition of the famous ‘Last Supper.’ In the new album, Kanye is a self-proclaimed God of hip-hop.”
Explanation: “In his latest disc, Kanye is filled with so much social criticism. He wants to be a messiah. My image represents the deformity of the reality. So the image is powerful and very fragile at the same time, just like Kanye”
Explanation: “I took the approach to do a design that was dark, eerie, and weird; but I didn’t take the conventional approach that most people took by showing obvious religious and dark imagery.
After I heard some of Kanye’s songs, I contemplated on how in one of is tracks he rapped about how he is God. The triangles represent how he thinks he’s God but in his own twisted way, and represents a symbol for the New World Order. ‘Eerie’ and ‘mysterious’ is exactly how I wanted this design to look and feel.”
Explanation: “My design was inspired by the song, Black Skinhead. The TV symbolizes all the information we receive, good and bad. It is an apparatus to create a trance of consumerism. The suit and tie represent the politicians of the New World Order. I would call this album by Kanye the Nine Inch Nails of hip-hop.”
Explanation: “Today, the most followed religion is consumerism. This is why I’ve written the album title ‘Yeezus’ with pseudo corporate brand icons. Today’s religion of consumerism is driven by fat cats from their sky scrapers, looking down on the masses from their top floor desks, seated on their expansive chairs.
As religion is pretty much absent in the free economic market, the cross is not actually on the album cover. The sky scrapers reveal it’s shape using white space.”
Explanation: “In this cover, I made a fictional story that takes place shortly after Jesus came back from the dead and left his tomb.
After resurrecting, he left behind those two items with an inscription of the word “Yeezus,” knowing a man named Kanye West would come and find them, helping him realize his true destiny to become the God of hip-hop. I added two things that symbolize Kanye West: a pair of Nike Air Yeezys and a Jesus piece.”
Designer Tomislavvidacek’s image captures a sense of melancholy and loneliness, underneath the rage and anger expressed in the new album. The bear represents Kanye, looking out into a world that embraces his art while simultaneously tearing it apart.
Explanation: “The concept is that the ‘K’ of the playing card King also represents Kanye. This card is representative of a person who is intelligent and authoritative in judgment. He is ruling everything, seeing everything. I think Kanye sees himself as this type of figure.”
Thanks again to all of the designers who participated in this contest! We appreciate all of your hard work and creative ideas. Congratulations again to fattah setiawan for submitting the winning design! Click here if you’d like to check out all of the entries in the contest.