Computer Arts cover contest 2015: top 12 shortlist revealed

Last month, Computer Arts teamed up with D&AD New Blood to provide a unique opportunity to design the cover for our upcoming New Talent special – available on the newsstands on 24 July.

We recently revealed the longlist of 30, and having whittled them down to just 12 standout cover concepts, we can finally reveal them to you here.

Don't forget, you can see full format versions of all the covers at the D&AD New Blood exhibition, taking place in Old Spitalfields Market in East London, open to the public from 10.30am-8pm on Wednesday 1 July and Thursday 2 July (the day we'll be revealing the contest winner), last entry 7pm.

So without further ado, in alphabetical order, the top 12 Computer Arts cover concepts shortlist...

Joonas Jansson

  • Joonas Jansson
  • Age: 30
  • Education: Digital media with a focus on visual design at Metropolia University of Applied Sciences in Helsinki, Finland. Joonas graduated in May 2014.
  • Concept: Joonas had the idea of illustrating an idealised ‘new talent creature’ sporting all the physical and mental qualities of a top design professional. The careful geometries and subtle detail of his artwork were particularly impressive.
  • Print/digital enhancements: “For special effects and finishes I’d like to use UV-spot varnishing on the round skills bubbles (the eye, ear, heart, brain and the ‘sensor’),” explains Joonas. “And if it's technicly possible, it would make a cool effect to use a bit of glow-in-the-dark ink on some parts of the illustration.”“As for the digital version, there are plenty of things that could be animated,” he says. “I would like to see the satellite circling around, the space shuttle taking off, the eye scanning, the heart pumping and the watch sending out a signal - maybe also the tongue ‘wobbling’ and the brain being electrified.”

Josie Gledhill

  • Jose Gledhill
  • Age: 21
  • Education: BA Visual communication and illustration at Loughborough University
  • Concept: Josie chose to depict the ‘new talent’ theme using a troupe of circus performers, whose performances typically display invention and skill; Josie also notes that circus performers are often ‘very colourful’ - just like her well-thought-out, beautifully symmetrical cover illustration.
  • Print/digital enhancements: Josie suggested a spot varnish on certain areas of her design to add depth and “create a feeling of intrigue in the audience”, she says. That goes for the title, the performers in shadow and the explosion from the cannon.

Julia Frances

  • Julia Frances
  • Age: 27
  • Education: BA Graphic design at Glasgow Clyde College
  • Concept: Julia’s simple yet inspired illustration has bags of character: “I wanted to show growth in my design and somehow combine it with the reality that as a designer looking to be hired, you are displaying yourself and your ability for all to see,” she says. “So I came up with a little 'Talent Terrarium' showing the designer, his tools and most importantly his bright ideas (the lightbulb) ready to go.”
  • Print/digital enhancements: Julia suggests a spot UV varnish on the light bulb above the designer’s head (the laptop logo could have the same treatment, she notes) and a metal foil treatment on the metal plaque in order to draw the viewer’s eye to the shiny ‘new talent’ theme in print.For the digital edition, Julia has the light bulb popping up and hovering above the blinking designer’s head - giving birth to his latest bright idea - and adds subtle movement to the flora in the background, as shown below.

Loek Vugs

  • Loek Vugs
  • Age: 22
  • Education: Communication and multimedia design, Netherlands
  • Concept: Loek’s fresh-looking concept focused on the ‘new’ aspect of new talent: “Talent often comes out of nowhere so I wanted to visualise this in a very minimalist way,” he says.
  • Print/digital enhancements: For print, Loek suggests a UV spot varnish for the character moving out of the blue area, to emphasise the 'new' aspect, “as if it was a product that just got a new paint job,” he explains. For his digital example, he animated the character in a loop, so that they come through the paint and walked right out of the frame.

Mateusz Napieralski

  • Mateusz Napieralski
  • Age: 24
  • Education: Motion graphics at Ravensbourne, London
  • Concept: “I compared the birth of New Talent to the literal formation of a star being born in space,” says Mateusz of his explosive cover design. “This process, which comprises of layers of star dust and gases coming together over a long period of time, can be compared to a birth of new talent in the visual communication world. It is the combination of various qualities such as talent, hard work, dedication and passion coming together over time that make one stand out and shine brighter than the others.”
  • Print/digital enhancements: Mateusz thinks the print edition could be enhanced using diffuser foil on detailed elements such as the light rays shining from the star. “I think it would be really interesting if there was an illusion of the star bursting as you pick up the magazine, caused by light reflecting off the foil.”For the iPad edition, Mateusz envisions a constantly rotating cloud of star layers which could be animated in a loop or turned into an interactive element triggered by finger movements (depicted below).

Mathew Lynch

  • Mathew Lynch
  • Age: 23
  • Education: Graphic design, illustration & digital media at Bradford School of Arts
  • Concept: Mathew used striking yet simple forms, clean-cut lines and geometries to symbolise the theme of New Talent on the cover, with a style that's visually on-trend and linked to the idea of rising stars and new ideas on the creative scene.
  • Print/digital enhancements: The print edition is set up to use thermo-sensitive ink, which “enables the reader to literally reveal the new talent within”. As for digital, Mathew animated the trim paths in After Effects, an impressive effect as you can see in the video.

Click page two below for the remaining six covers in the shortlist.

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