BOX=ART: Retrogamer and modern video game box art history.


Video game box art and artist history database




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BOX=ART copyright ©2013 Adam Gidney. All rights reserved. Hosted by Dathorn.


BOX=ART is a site dedicated to the history of video game box art/ cover art and the artists responsible for them.

Box arts are profiled using high quality scans and with the intention of acknowledging the men and women who have played such a major role in shaping our gaming experiences.

Not only for video game enthusiasts, BOX=ART is for all who enjoy quality artwork.

All information on this site is through my own findings and is believed to be correct.  Any corrections, errors or admissions that need to be made, or artists that would like to be involved in BOX=ART, please feel free to contact me.

BOX=ART index


ABPA Backgammon by Jerrol Richardson.

North American artwork. Published by Mattel Electronics in 1979 for the North American Intellivision market.  

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Box art index - A

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Advanced Dungeons & Dragons by Jerrol Richardson.

North American artwork. Published by Mattel Electronics in 1982 for the North American Intellivision market.

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Ancipital by Steinar Lund.

Norwegian/ English artwork. Published by Llamasoft in 1984 for the European C64 market.  

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> Ancipital’s box art would be one of many collaborations between Llamasoft’s Jeff Minter and artist Steinar Lund (also see, Batalyx and Attack of the Mutant Camel).

Ancipital was and still is a great example of how strong characterisation can be all a cover art needs to market a game.  It’s pop-psychadelic style and vivid use of colour was uncommon in Europe’s tentative 1984 box art scene, and was created using the artist’s prefered art medium of airbrush inks.  

The cover would scream graffiti-art, as if some bold statement was being made, and will undoubtedly end up being the only time a hoven man-yak was depicted!   

Autobahn by Janet Lopez.

North American artwork. Published by Sirius Software Inc. in 1981 for the North American Apple II market.  

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>Taking inspiration from German car adverts from the 1930’s - see Adler and Peugeot - Autobahn’s art style would be an early and rare example of European advertising and war time propaganda art being used in box art design.  

It’s flat, pastel colour palette and clever incorporation of logo would artistically lift it above Sirius’ other early covers and complimented the era’s love for bold and simple designs.

Janet would be responsible for other Sirius box arts, but looked to have left the industry in 1983 after Sirius fell victim to the US video game crash and folded.

Of interest, Autobahn’s artwork thematically complimeted the actual games content - basically a top down Monaco GP clone. A rarity for the American scene in the early 1980’s where overblown and often misleading cover arts were standard.   

Ax Battler: A Legend of Golden Axe (アックスバトラー ゴールデンアックス伝説 ) by Julie Bell.

North American artwork. Published by Sega in 1991 for the European and North American Game Gear markets.  

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>Julie Bell would do the unthinkable and give Sega’s handheld an exclusive and quality western box art in Golden Axe offshoot: Ax Battler.

She would coin the artwork as “Savage Lands” after the game’s topography. The artwork would sit firmly in line with Julie’s other early 90’s cover arts (see, Eternal Champions, Defender of Rome II) and exudes a detailed, high fantasy look that was painted in the artist’s preferred media, oils.

Japan would unsurprisingly not use Julie’s art. Instead, it interestingly removed the series’ usual western barbarian look and replaced it with a “Koei war game” style box art by illustrator Jun Satoh.

Her equally famous partner Boris Vallejo would also that year create the box art for the stylistically similar American/ European release of Golden Axe II (Mega Drive/ Genesis).

Akira Watanabe.  Japanese box artist.

Bahamut Lagoon | Squaresoft | 1996.

Battle Unit Zeoth | Jaleco Ltd | 1990.

Buggy Run | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1993.

F-1 Live Information | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1995.

Gale Racer | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1991.

Moepro! 90 Kandō-hen | Jaleco Ltd | 1990.

OutRun | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1986.

OutRun 2019 | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1993 | JPN ver.

OutRunners | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1993.

Pengo | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1990.

Pro Yakyū GG League | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1991.

Project F: F1 Team Simulation | Shin Nihon Laser Soft Co. Ltd | 1991.

Sonic the Hedgehog | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1991 | JPN ver.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1992 | JPN ver.

Super E.D.F. | Jaleco Ltd | 1991.

Taisen Mahjong Hao-Pai | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1990.

Touge Max 2 | Atlus | 1998.

Touge 3  | Atlus | 2001.

Turbo OutRun | Sega Enterprise Ltd. | 1992 | JPN ver.

Ayami Kojima. Japanese box artist from 1997-2007.

The self-taught artist would start out illustrating covers for various Japanese novels including Majin, Cluster Saga, and Nobunaga's Ambition, before being discovered by Konami whilst working as a secretary.

She would get her big break in 1997 with Konami’s Castlevania: The Symphony of the Night (SOTN) for the PlayStation European and Japanese releases.  

Not only creating it’s masterful box art she would also design the in game character art, giving protagonist Alucard and chums a delicate, effeminate look, not unlike artist Kikuchi Hideyuki’s infamous D (who she had previously worked with).

This new look would be in contrast to Castlevania’s previous box art style of depicting the hero as some hulking 1980’s action hero.  

The new artistic approach worked, not only with fans but also with SOTN’s more considered pace and story driven gameplay and helped make Castlevania critically relevant once again.

The following year Ayami would be responsible for the SOTN’s Saturn box art and found time to produce the stylistically similar cover art for Koei’s Soldnerschild, also for the Saturn and later PS1 (1997) and Chou-Denki Card Battle for the WonderSwan (1999).

She would go on to create many other classic Castlevania box arts with her final one to date being the PSP’s Dracula X Chronicles (2007). All would follow the same art style first seen in SOTN apart from Castlevania: Circle of the Moon (2001). This box art’s anime look would be deliberate as it set out to appeal to the Game Boy Advance’s younger audience.

Since then she has created the artwork for download only Castlevania: Harmony of Despair and provided artworks for Koei’s Dynasty Warriors 7.  

A traditional artist in the art media she uses, Ayami starts by sketching with conté crayon sticks and then creates shadows with more conté and India ink. She then Adds depth and texture, usually to the background follows by spreading and shaping molding paste with a palette knife.  

Base colors are then painted into the work using diluted acrylics and finger smudging is used to create glows. To finish, metallic paint highlights are used and then enhanced with a gloss polymer.  This art method has been used on all box arts to date, and the artist’s reluctance to go the every popular computer-art route has been refreshing and revered by fans worldwide.

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow | Konami | 2003.

Castlevania Chronicles | Konami | 2001 | NA ver.

Castlevania: Chronicles | Konami | 2001 | EU/ JPN ver.   

Castlevania: Circle of the Moon | Konami | 2001.

Castlevania: Curse of Darkness | Konami | 2005.

Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance | Konami | 2002.  

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence | Konami | 2003 | NA ver.

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence | Konami | 2003 | EU/ JPN ver.

Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles | Konami | 2001.

Castlevania: The Symphony of the Night | Konami | 1997.

Castlevania: The Symphony of the Night | Konami | 1998.

Chou-Denki Card Battle | Koubunsha | 1999.

Ishin no Arashi Bakumatsu Shishiden | Koei | 1998.

Soldnerschild | Koei | 1997.