Google's Camera-Hiding Wallpaper Contest Could Net You A Free Pixel 6

google pixel 6 homescreen
Google has launched a contest for the artistically minded among us to create a new wallpaper for its Pixel 6 smartphone. Google wants entrants to “celebrate” the front-facing camera by hiding it in plain sight. A panel of judges will then select one talented winner to receive a brand-new Pixel 6 and accompanying case.

google pixel 6 contest tweet
via @MadeByGoogle on Twitter

The contest opened yesterday, August 10th, and will accept entries until August 23rd, 2022 at 11:59PM ET. The winner will be selected around September 9th and notified by email in addition to social media announcements. The contest is open to residents of the United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, Japan, and Taiwan.

google pixel 6 contest sample
Sample design incorporating the camera punch-out

So, what is Google searching for? Submissions will be judged based on how well they meet four general criteria. The criteria are:
  1. Incorporation of the Google Pixel 6 Front-Facing Camera (30%);
  2. Suitability for use on Google Pixel 6 Home Screens (for example: does the wallpaper take applications into consideration or does it obscure the Google Pixel 6 status bar, application shelf, date, time, and weather) (20%);
  3. Brand Appropriateness (for example: use of Google’s colors in the Wallpaper Design) (20%); and
  4. Overall Use of Space (20%).
By our math, that only sums up to 90% but who’s counting.

google pixel 6 template
The Pixel 6 Template (Click for full version)

The contest was announced alongside a template image for submissions to use. The template is very high-resolution to allow entrants to work with the 2160x2400px size requirement. Participants are welcome to include their own photography or illustration but can only enter the competition once.

The rules stipulate that the design must be original unpublished work, not feature any person’s likeness, be free of text, and be generally tasteful. Interestingly, the rules also say the content cannot be generated by a script or bot, so that rules out using DALL-E for your dirty work. Interested participants can catch the full list of rules here.

The single-Pixel 6 grand prize is pretty thin. We are not far off from the Pixel 7 launch, but even a Pixel 6 Pro could be a more appealing reward. Google might also do well to offer up a phone per eligible country, but maybe we should not look a gift horse in the mouth.