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.

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Box art index - F

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Fade to Black by Moebius (Jean Giraud).

French artwork. Published by Electronic Arts in 1995 for the European and North American DOS markets.  

Fumito Ueda.  Japanese box artist in 2001.

Ico | Sony Computer Entertainment | 2001 | EU/ JPN ver.  

Final Fantasy (ファイナルファンタジー) by Yoshitaka Amano.

Japanese artwork. Published by Squaresoft in 1987 for the Japanese market and later for the European market.  

Famicom ver. pictured.  Also availble on: MSX, PS1.

>The box art that debuted the enduring Final Fantasy (FF) series , would also be the start of Illustrator Yoshitaka Amano’s career in video games.

Yoshitaka would bring FF’s delicate ukiyo-e woodblock print to life through its wispy lines and vibrant colours, and flavour it with eastern romanticism.  It was a cover art seeped in sorrow and anguish, setting the tone for one of gaming’s epic adventures.

FF’s artistry would speak volumes and be a central part of the game’s - and series’ - success’.  Amano would complement Square’s vision of explaining how video games could emotionally appeal to their audience through story and art, and helped promote the Famicom to enormous levels of success.  

Amano’s style of fine art was interestingly at odds with a great deal of Manga/ anime inspired Japanese box art of the day.  This is especially apparent when you compare the cover art to FF’s main competitor Dragon Quest.

Unfortunately, as with much Japanese artwork from the late 80’s, FF’s cover art would be replaced, deemed too unsuitable for the American market in 1990, and not see a western release until over a decade later.

>Pictures from top - Original box art, sketch and alternative colour version.

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F-Zero (エフゼロ) by Art Nichols (pencils) & Bob Layton (inks).

North American artwork. Published by Nintendo in 1990 for the Japanese Super Famicom market.  

>Off the back of the licened Nintendo of America comics that Art and Bob had produced under VALIANT in the early 90’s, they’d be picked by Nintendo of Japan to design launch title F-Zero’s cover.  It would be quite the feat being picked to do this when taken into account the proud attitude Japan has always had of it’s own comic industry.

Along with writer Jim shooter the trio would additionally produce the pack-in comic book.  The complete package would add a surprising amount of western influence for such a high profile game, but more surprising is that Art and Bob’s cover art was never used outside of Japan where it would have been at home, and instead was replaced with a duller air-brushed effort.

>Pictured from top - Original box art, pack-in comic panel and western cover art.    

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