Create a CA cover and land a £500 commission

Computer Arts' annual talent search in association with D&AD New Blood returns for 2015.

Computer Arts is on the hunt for an exciting new cover artist. The brief we've set with our partners at D&AD New Blood is simple: create an original cover illustration for Computer Arts' forthcoming New Talent special (on sale 24 July 2015).

£500 commission fee

The creator of the chosen design will receive a £500 commission to develop their artwork into the final cover, and will be profiled in the issue and right here on Creative Bloq.

As the official D&AD New Blood partner, the issue will profile the very best designers and illustrators from D&AD's annual showcase, as well as our highlights from the 2015 design graduate shows across the UK.

Who is eligible to enter?

This talent search is all about commissioning someone we've not come across or worked with before, and in the spirit of graduate show season we're specifically looking for current students, recent graduates (within the last two years), and also self-taught designers up to age 25 who have never been commissioned by CA before.

Please note: mature students or recent graduates who are over 25 are also eligible to enter.

The brief is open to designers in any country in the world, provided they meet the above criteria.

2014's winning entry

Last year's contest saw Falmouth graduate Paddy O'Hara's beautifully simple 'lemonade amongst the lemons' concept printed with a lemon-fragranced ink with the help of our finishing partner Celloglas.

You can read more about Paddy's story, or watch a video of the making of his winning cover above.

About CA's special issues

Over the last year, Computer Arts has released a raft of themed, conceptual issues that incorporated special cover treatments, not least Love Print / Love Digital (issue 239), for which paper engineer Helen Friel created a double-sided diorama.

The cover featured a multi-layered emboss, textured deboss, rough and gloss varnishes in print, while on the iPad edition you can spin the diorama with your finger. Find out more.

Thomas Danthony's cover for the Education special (issue 232) boasted diffuser foil and a fluted emboss, while our UK Top 30 Studios cover (issue 233) by Kyle Wilkinson was printed with photochromatic, light-reactive ink.

All of these collectible issues were made possible in collaboration with our print finishing partner Celloglas, and once again the winning design of this year's competition will benefit from an exciting menu of potential cover treatments.

Sources of inspiration

This year's New Talent special (issue 243) will be released at the end of July in the UK, just as design graduate show season comes to a close.

It will include a special report introducing our picks of the rising stars of design and illustration, as well as a more practical feature looking at how to land your first job in design.

Themes such as 'fresh talent', 'rising stars' or 'getting noticed' could all be potential starting points for your illustration – but feel free to be creative, abstract and conceptual.

Things to consider

For the print edition, there is scope to work with CMYK plus up to two Pantone spot-colours, UV spot varnish and also potentially a special finish supplied by Celloglas, so think creatively in terms of how your illustration could be enhanced.

CA's Love Print / Love Digital issue made the most of both platforms

CA's Love Print / Love Digital issue made the most of both platforms

We also encourage entrants to consider how their illustration will work on the interactive iPad edition of the magazine in terms of animation and interactivity.

Essential requirements

  • Illustration must work within a square canvas of 217x215mm (this is including a 3mm bleed on all edges)
  • Final file must be 300dpi or vector for the print edition
  • Cover topic - 'NEW TALENT' - must be primary focus
  • This headline may be illustrated, but it must be clearly legible
  • Space must be allowed for a strapline underneath the heading of roughly this length: "Discover the rising stars of design and illustration: who to hire, who to commission and who to be inspired by" (this is subject to change)

How to enter

Download a PDF template of the Computer Arts cover to use as a starting point. This includes the masthead, and the canvas area that you have to work with for your design.

When your concept is complete, simply submit a low-resolution JPEG to – you can also get in touch with us at this address with any queries about the brief.

Deadline for entries: Midday (BST) Friday 5 June 2015

Download the cover template now!

Submissions will be judged by the CA team based on creativity of concept, quality of execution and of course its suitability for use as a magazine cover.

Hi-res artwork (or any amends!) will only be requested from the chosen designer once the commission is set up. All IP remains with the creators, until a contract is set up with the winner.

We will also showcase a selection of the best entries on Creative Bloq, including a paragraph about the artist and a portfolio link. Here are last year's top 10, for reference.

Good luck!