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

BOX=ART

Video game box art and artist history database

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BOX=ART copyright © 2013-2019 Adam Gidney. All rights reserved. Hosted by Dathorn.

About BOX=ART

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.

123 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Artist index: Ca - Cu


BOX=ART index

 >C

Video game series index: Ca


CAZA (Philippe Caza).  French box artist in 1989.

Drakkhen | Infogrames | 1989 | EU/ JPN ver. | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS, Super Famicom, SNES, X68000. (1)

Kult | Infogrames | 1989 | EU ver. | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS.






>Box art catalogue

Chris Achilleos.  English box artist from 1985-1991.

Bloodwych | Image Works | 1989 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, ZX Spectrum.

Barbarian II | Psgynosis | 1991 | Amiga, Atari ST.

Battle Master | Mirrorsoft | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST, Genesis.

Carthage | Psygnosis | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST.

J.R.R. Tolkein’s Riders of Rohan | PSS | 1991 | EU ver. | MS-DOS. (1)

Temple of Terror | Adventuresoft UK | 1987 | Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.


Talisman | Games Workshop | 1985 | ZX.




>Box art catalogue

Chris Kenyon.  North American box artist from 1980-1983.

Asteroids | Atari | 1981 | Atari 8-BIT.

Asteroids | Atari | 1981 | Atari 2600/ VCS, 2800. (1)

Battlezone | Atari | 1983 | Atari 8-BIT, Atari 2600/ VCS, Atari 2800, Apple II, Commodore 64, PC Booter, VIC-20, ZX Spectrum.

Jungle Hunt | Atari | 1983 | Atari 2600/ VCS.

Jungle Hunt | Atari | 1983 | Atari 8-BIT, Atari 5200, Apple II, Commodore 64, ColcoVision, PC Booter, TI-99.

Zork | Personal Software Inc. | 1980 | TRS-80.





>Box art catalogue

Cliff Spohn.  North American box artist from 1977-1981.

Air-Sea Battle | Atari | 1977 | Atari 2600/ VCS. (1)

Backgammon | Atari | 1979 | Atari 2600/ VCS.

Basketball | Atari | 1978 | Atari 2600/ VCS.

Bowling | Atari | 1978 | Atari 2600/ VCS.

Brain Games | Atari | 1978 | Atari 2600/ VCS.

Breakout | Atari | 1978 | Atari 2600/ VCS.

Casino | Atari | 1978 | Atari 2600/ VCS.

Codebreaker | Atari | 1978 | Atari 2600/ VCS.

Football | Atari | 1978 | Atari 2600/ VCS.

Home Run | Atari | 1978 | Atari 2600/ VCS.

Human Cannonball | Atari | 1978 | Atari 2600/ VCS.

Indy 500 | Atari | 1977 | Atari 2600/ VCS.

Miniature Golf | Atari | 1977 | Atari 2600/ VCS.

Star Ship | Atari | 1977 | Atari 2600/ VCS. (2)

Super Breakout | Atari | 1981 | Atari 2600/ VCS, Atari 2800.

Surround | Atari | 1977 | Atari 2600/ VCS.

Video Olympics | Atari | 1977 | Atari 2600/ VCS.






>Box art catalogue

Ciruelo Cabral.  Argentine box artist from 1994-1996.

Dragonheart: Fire and Steel | Acclaim Entertainment Inc. | 1996 | PS1, Saturn, Windows. (2)

Ishar 3: The Seven Gates of Infinity | Silmarils | 1994 | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS, Windows. (1)





Ishar 3: The Seven Gates of Infinity

Published by Silmarils in 1994 for the European and North American markets.  

MS-DOS ver. pictured.




The third and final part of the Ishar series would see Argentine artist and dragon painter specialist Ciruelo Cabral lend his enviable talents.

Named ‘Flying Dark Dragon’ the artwork was originally created in 1989 and first appeared on the front cover of one of the artists own publications, The Book of the Dragon, 1991.  Developer/ publisher Silmarils then, bought the use of rights in 1994. Styalistically it comfortably bookended the other two excellent Tolkien-themed cover arts.

Painted using acrylic on cardboard, its floating, dream like style of composition and use of cool colours can be found clearly inspired by the art of Roger Dean. Dean along with Moebius, and Frank Frazetta would play a big part in shaping the artist’s early creative approach.

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>Box art catalogue

>Box art review

Curt Swan.  North American box artist in 1978.

Superman | Atari | 1978 | Atari 2600/ VCS. (1)





Superman

Published by Atari in 1979 for the European and North American Atari VCS markets.  





Atari would capitalise on the Hollywood phenomena, Superman: The Movie (1978), with Superman - the worlds first superhero video game. The box art would use comic art cut from the 1976, 300th Superman comic by DC artist Curt Swan.

It would mark the first time an artist outside of Atari’s in-house art team was used, and the first time a recommissioned artwork was licenced.

>Pictures from left to right - Original box art and 300th Superman comic.

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>Box art review

>Box art catalogue


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Celal Kandemiroglu.  Turkish box artist from 1987-2003.


Born in Turkey and graduating at the Fine Arts Academy in Istanbul Celal would start producing comics professionally in the late 1970’s before moving on to promo art designs for home video and movie releases. By the late 1980’s Celal would be positioned at the forefront of Germany’s video game development scene as it exploded with companies such as Rainbow Arts (Turrican, X-out, Katakis), Thalion (Wings of Death)  and reLINE (Fate: Gates of Dawn, Biing!) mading a name for themselves throughout Europe.  

His diverse style and quick turnaround of cover arts produced (five to seven days) made him a natural go-to-guy and by the beginning of the 1990’s much of Germany’s box art output would be his.

His earliest known cover art, Volleyball Simulator (1987), would set an artistic trend that Celal would use throughout his career: characters would be lit by a distinct light source afflicting heavy shadows on their faces. This style can also be seen on Spherical, Atomino, Crime Time and Fate: Gates of Dawn. Lighting would in fact be played to special effect on many of his box arts, with the artist having a penchant for illuminating his subjects in often mystical or ghoulish light.

His comic book background would be evident in his artistry with playful tones running through many of his cover arts. But high fantasy and sci-fi painters such as Boris Vallejo and Roger Dean would have an unmistakable influence when considering the detail and form composition that his characters and vehicles often had.  

Early box arts have an airbrushed look to them (Z-out, Zero Gravity, Rock ‘n Roll), but his versatility would stretch to other art mediums with cover arts for his war games (Berlin 1948: East vs West, Air Supply and Dyter-07) having a softer brush-painted appearance. Later with the advent of Photoshop, he would put the brush down and use digital art exclusively (Sacred series).

Like many box artists of his generation Celal would early on become involved in the graphic art side of video game development. Using the early paint program Deluxe Paint on titles such as X-out, M.U.D.S and Dragonflight, he would create not only title screens (as many box artists did in the 80’s) but also background and sprite work.  Later, this would lead the artist’s career to further development roles such as editor, 3D modeller and art director.

In the 2000’s he would join Take Two and become heavily involved with the Sacred series. Since then he has freelanced as a 3D modeller.  




>Artist profile

>Box art catalogue

Air Supply | Magic Bytes | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST.

Atomino | Psygnosis | 1991 | Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Macintosh, MS-DOS. (8)

Battle Stations | Magic Bytes | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS.

Berlin 1948: East vs West | Rainbow Arts Software GmbH | 1989 | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS. (1)

Big Business | Magic Bytes | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS.

Biing!: Sex, Intrigue and Scalpels | Magic Bytes | 1995 | Amiga, MS-DOS.

Black Gold | Starbyte Software | 1989 | Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS.

Crime Time | Starbyte Software | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS.

Detector | Time Warp Productions | 1988 | Amiga.

Domination | Magic Bytes | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST.

Dragonflight | Thalion Software GmbH | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS.

Dyter-07 | reLINE Software | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64.

Elysium | Magic Bytes | 1992 | Amiga, MS-DOS.

Fate: Gates of Dawn | reLINE Software | 1991 | Amiga, Atari ST.

Football Unlimited | Software 2000 | 1994 | Amiga, MS-DOS.

Katakis | Rainbow Arts Software GmbH| 1988 | Amiga, Commodore 64.

Leavin’ Termanis | Thalion Software GmbH | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST.

Legend of Faerghail | Rainbow Arts Software GmbH | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS.

Lethal Xcess: Wings of Death II | Eclipse Software Design | 1991 | Amiga, Atari ST. (2)

Masterblazer | Rainbow Arts Software GmbH | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST, MS-DOS.

Monster Business | Ascon GmbH | 1991 | Amiga, Atari ST.

M.U.D.S - Mean Ugly Dirty Sport | Rainbow Arts Software GmbH | 1990 | Amiga, MS-DOS.

No Second Prize | Thalion Software GmbH | 1992 | Amiga, Atari ST.

Revenge of the Apes | Retrodesign | 2003 | Atari 2600/ VCS. (9)

Rock ‘n Roll | Rainbow Arts Software GmbH | 1989 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST,  Commodore 64, MS-DOS, ZX Spectrum.

Second World, The | Magic Bytes | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS.

Spherical | Rainbow Arts Software GmbH | 1989 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum.

Spin World | Axxiom | 1988 | Amiga.

StarTrash | Rainbow Arts Software GmbH | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64.

Stone Age | Eclipse Software Design | 1992 | Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS.

Talisman | Software 2000 | 1995 | MS-DOS.

Tie Break | Starbyte Software | 1990 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, CDTV, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, ZX Spectrum.

Turrican | Rainbow Arts Software GmbH | 1990 | EU/ NA ver. | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, CDTV, Commodore 64. (3)

Turrican II: The Final Fight | Rainbow Arts Software GmbH | 1991 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, CDTV, Commodore 64, MS-DOS, ZX Spectrum.

Turrican 3 | Rainbow Arts Software GmbH | 1993 | Amiga.

Volleyball Simulator | Softgold | 1987 | Amiga, Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Commodore 64, MS-DOS. (7)

Wings of Death | Thalion Software GmbH | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST. (4)

X-Out | Rainbow Arts Software GmbH | 1989 | Amiga, Atari ST. (5)

Z-Out | Rainbow Arts Software GmbH | 1990 | Amiga, Atari ST.

Zero Gravity | EAS Software | 1988 | Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64. (6)














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Castlevania.  Konami video game series from 1986-2014.

Castlevania | Konami | 1986 | Commodore 64, Famicom, Game Boy Advance, MS-DOS, MSX, Nintendo Disk System, NES, X68000. (2)

Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge | Konami | 1991 | JPN ver. | Game Boy.

Castlevania II: Belmont’s Revenge | Konami | 1991 | EU/ NA ver. | by Tom Dubois | Game Boy.

Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest | Konami | 1987 | Nintendo Disk System, NES.

Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse | Konami | 1989 | JPN ver. | Famicom.

Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse | Konami | 1990 | EU/ NA ver. | by Tom Dubois | NES. (15)

Castlevania 64 | Konami | 1999 | JPN ver. | by Tomohiro Morisawa | Nintendo 64. (4)

Castlevania 64 | Konami | 1999 | NA ver. | Nintendo 64.

Castlevania 64 | Konami | 1999 | EU ver. | by Tom Thiel | Nintendo 64.

Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow | Konami | 2003 | by Ayami Kojima | Game Boy Advance. (10)

Castlevania: Bloodlines | Konami | 1994 | NA ver. | by Tom Dubois | Genesis. (19)

Castlevania: Bloodlines | Konami | 1994 | EU/ JPN ver. | Mega Drive.

Castlevania: Chronicles | Konami | 2001 | EU/ JPN ver. | by Ayami Kojima | PS1. (14)

Castlevania: Chronicles | Konami | 2001 | NA ver. | by Ayami Kojima | PS1.

Castlevania: Circle of the Moon | Konami | 2001 | by Ayami Kojima | Game Boy Advance. (5)

Castlevania: Curse of Darkness | Konami | 2005 | by Ayami Kojima | PS2, Xbox. (18)

Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow | Konami | 2005 | Nintendo DS.

Castlevania: Dracula XX | Konami | 1995 & 1996 - as Vampire’s Kiss | by Akihiro Yamada | Super Famicom, SNES. (8)

Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance | Konami | 2002 | by Ayami Kojima | Game Boy Advance.

Castlevania: Judgement | Konami | 2008 | by Takeshi Obata | Nintendo Wii. (13)

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence | Konami | 2003 | NA ver. | by Ayami Kojima | PS2. (9)

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence | Konami | 2003 | JPN ver. | by Ayami Kojima | PS2.

Castlevania: Lament of Innocence | Konami | 2004 | EU ver. | PS2.

Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness | Konami | 1999 | NA ver. | Nintendo 64.

Castlevania: Legacy of Darkness | Konami | 2000 | EU ver. | by Tom Thiel | Nintendo 64. (16)

Castlevania: Legend of Cornell | Konami | 1999 | JPN ver. | Nintendo 64.

Castlevania: Legends | Konami | 1997 | Game Boy.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow | Konami | 2010 | by Jose Luis Vaello Bertol | PS3, Xbox 360.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow 2 | Konami | 2014 | by Jose Luis Vaello Bertol | PS3, Windows, Xbox 360.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate | Konami | 2013 | JPN/ NA ver. | by Jose Luis Vaello Bertol | 3DS.

Castlevania: Lords of Shadow - Mirror of Fate | Konami | 2013 | EU ver. | by Jose Luis Vaello Bertol | 3DS. (6)

Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia | Konami | 2008 | EU/ JPN ver. | by Masaki Hirooka | Nintendo DS. (1)

Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia | Konami | 2008 | NA ver. | by Masaki Hirooka | Nintendo DS.

Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin | Konami | 2006 | Nintendo DS.

Castlevania: Rondo of Blood | Konami | 1993 & 1995 - as Dracula X | PC Engine, SNES.

Castlevania: The Adventure | Konami | 1989 | Game Boy.

Castlevania: The Dracula X Chronicles | Konami | 2007 | by Ayami Kojima | Sony PSP. (12)

Castlevania: The Symphony of the Night | Konami | 1997 | EU/ JPN ver. | by Ayami Kojima | PS1. (3)

Castlevania: The Symphony of the Night | Konami | 1997 | NA ver. | PS1.

Castlevania: The Symphony of the Night | Konami | 1998 | by Ayami Kojima | Saturn. (11)

Castlevania X68000 | Konami | 1993 | X68000. (17)

Super Castlevania IV | Konami | 1991 | JPN ver. | Super Famicom.

Super Castlevania IV | Konami | 1991 | EU/ NA ver. | by Tom Dubois | SNES. (7)









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>Box art catalogue

>Box art review

Debut box art for the Castlevania series. The whip tottering Belmont character art would be based upon Frank Frazetta’s famous ‘Norseman’ (1972) painting.

It was the only box art designed for the debut game, and was used across more gaming formats than any other in the series.

>Pictures from left to right - Original box art and Frank Frazetta’s Norseman painting.  

Castlevania (Akumajo Dracula)

Published by Konami globally in 1986.  

Famicom ver. pictured.




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Castlevania III: Dracula’s Curse (悪魔城伝説) by Tom Dubois.

North American artwork. Published by Konami in 1990 and 1992 for the North American and European NES markets respectively.





Tom’s box art would be the first in the series to be designed by a non-Japanese. The artist has stated that inspiration came from visual effects creator Ray Harryhausen and movies such as Jason and the Argonauts (1963), and was designed using Alkayd.

>Pictures from left to right - NES box art and original artwork.

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Castlevania 64 (悪魔城ドラキュラ黙示録) by Tomohiro Morisawa.

Japanese artwork. Published by Konami in 1999 for the Japanese Nintendo 64 market.




Tomohiro’s cover would be the first computer art designed box art for the series.

Castlevania 64 along with it’s remix follow up, Legacy of Darkness, are the only two games in the series to receive a different cover art in each of the three major regions, Europe, Japan and North America.

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Castlevania: Dracula XX (Vampire’s Kiss) by Akihiro Yamada.

Japanese artwork. Published by Konami globally in 1994.  

Super Famicom ver. pictured.




Castlevania: Dracula XX would nestle between two distinct periods of the series’ artistic direction.  

Before, Konami had the Belmonts as brawling and anglicised, and their box art’s reminiscing 1980’s action movie posters (Castlevania/ II/ III, Super Castlevania IV, Castlevania X68000 and the Game Boy series).  After, saw Ayami Kojima’s delicate, effeminate and fine art take on horror, starting with Castlevania: The Symphony of the Night.

Akihiro Yamada artwork would bridge these two periods with his unique style of heavy inking combined with pastel tones, retaining the muscle-bound hero but giving the cover art a more distinct Japanese-anime look.

Dracula XX would see an international release in the form of Castlevania: Vampire’s Kiss and with artwork intact, (the EU and NA box arts being the most sought after in the series) but unfortunately due to the SNES’s landscape box dimensions much of Akihiro’s portrait original would be cropped.

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Castlevania: The Symphony of the Night (Akumajo Dracula X: Gekka no Yasoukyoku) by Ayami Kojima.

Japanese artwork. Published by Konami in 1998 for the Japanese Sega Saturn market.  




Kojima would help reinvent and revitalise the Castlevania series with this masterful artwork. Before her involvement Castlevania’s box arts in general couldn’t have been more different. Hulking overtly Americanised characters, Hammer Horror Dracula's and clichéd backdrops had artistically populated the series since 1986.  Ayami’s delicate, effeminate characterisation drastically changed all of that and along with Konami’s new “Metroidvaina” gameplay critically made the series relevant again.

It is a box art of great quality and an example of fine artistry winning over the then popular CG art look of the late 1990’s. Ayami would also be responsible for the stylistically similar European/ Japanese PlayStation version.

The success of The Symphony of the Night made Ayami one of Konami’s premier artists and forever linked her to the series. She would follow up just about all her subsequent box arts in Symphony’s style of art.

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Armorines: Project S.W.A.R.M | Acclaim | 1999 | Nintendo 64.

Bust-A-Move 4 | Acclaim | 1999 | Game Boy Color.  

Dishonoured | Bethesda Software | 2012 | PS3, Windows, Xbox 360. (1)

Dishonoured 2 | Bethesda Software | 2016 | PS4, Windows, Xbox One.

Dishonoured: Death of the Outsider | Bethesda | 2017 | PS4, Windows, Xbox One.

Evil Within, The | Bethesda Software | 2014 | PS3, PS4, Windows, Xbox 360, Xbox One.

NBA Jam 2002 | Acclaim | 2002 | Game Boy Advance.

Sid Meier’s Civilization V | 2K Games | 2010 | Linux, Macintosh, Windows.

South Park Rally | Acclaim | 1999 | Dreamcast, Nintendo 64, PS1, Windows.

XGRA: Extreme-G Racing Association | Acclaim | 2003 | GameCube, PS2, Xbox.





Charles Bae.  North American box artist from 1999-2017.

>Box art catalogue

>Box art review

Dishonored

North American artwork. First published by Bethesda in 2012 for the European and North American markets.

Xbox 360 ver. pictured.



Charles’ cover is a great example of modern box art design incorporating the rather prolific and consistant formula of “Hero + Logo = Box Art” (the artist’s words, 2010). It’s conservatism is certainly a product of the time, exposing the lack of risk taking modern publishers are willing to take on AAA products.

Bae and his company at the time Rokkan draw up high-contast black-and-white sketches before handing them over to media company Meduzarts who created the high-resolution final artwork.

>From the left to right - original box art and complete artwork.

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Charles Kibler.  North American box artist from 1981-1984.


Andromeda Conquest | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1981 | Apple II, Atari 8-BIT, Commodore 64, Commodore PET, MS DOS, TRS-80.

Bomber Attack | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1981 | Apple II, Atari 8-BIT, Commodore 64, Commodore PET, VIC.

Dniepner River Line | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1982 | Apple II, Atari ST, Commodore 64, Commodore PET, TRS-80.

Galaxy | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1981 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64, Commodore PET, MS-DOS, TI-99, TRS-80.

Moon Patrol | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1982 | Atari 8-bit.

Panzers East! | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1984 | Atari 8-bit, TRS-80.

Space Station Zulu | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1982 | Apple II, Atari 8-bit.

T.G.I.F | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1983 | Atari 8-bit, Commodore 64.

Tanktics | The Avalon Hill Game Company | 1981 | Atari 8-bit, Apple II, Commodore 64, KIM, TRS-80.  (1)







Charles whose background had been historical illustration and board-game layout would join Avalon’s video game art department in 1981 and support one of the companies long running board-game artists Bob Haynes who’d the previous year begun box art duties.  Charles earliest covers (Bomber Attack, Andromeda Conquest) would follow Bob’s graphic design of the previous year, before covers started to become more individual in 1982.  

The artist’s time would be spent in a number of roles within Avalon including play-testing coordinator, in-game graphic artist and manual/ map designer before he left in 1995. The rest of the 90’s and into the early 2000’s, Charles would take a wide variety of design positions, but none included box art duties.

>Artist profile

>Box art catalogue

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