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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king of fighters 94 big.jpg

King of Fighters ‘94 (KOF '94) by Shinkiro (Toshiaki Mori).

Japanese artwork. Published gloabally by SNK in 1994.

Neo Geo AES ver. pictured. Also available on: Neo Geo CD, Windows.  


Click to enlarge

Kings Quest VII by Marc Hudgins.

North American artwork. Published by Sierra On-Line in 1994 for the European and North American markets.

DOS ver. pictured. Also available on: Mac, Windows.  

Katamari Damacy (塊魂 ) by Takeshi Ugajin.

Japanese artwork. Published by Namco in 2004 for the Japanese and North American PS2 markets.  

>Katamari Damacy in 2004 would defy the usual trends and deliver an experience that was unique and utterly Japanese.

It’s box art by artist Takeshi Ugajin would compliment the game’s carefree weirdness and abstract playfulness perfectly. It was a deliberately simple and humorous cover, with strong design tones over creative artistic ones, whilst sporting an excellent colour palette.

The cover art would be used in both Japanese and American markets, but the games “quirkiness” was deemed too great for Europe who sadly missed out on a release.

Click to enlarge


Katsuya Terada.  Japanese box artist from 1987-present.

The self-proclaimed “Rakuga King” - meaning doodler in Japanese - has built up a following through his copious amounts of sketchings.  He asserts that this attitude to daily sketching is more a philosophy than a style of drawing and has a demand upon the artist requiring constant sketching wherever they may be.  

Favouring pencil drawn art, Katsuya would start his box art career in the late 80’s as the illustrator for the Detective Saburo Jinguji series (1987).  It would showcase a style of character art that he would use throughout his career, whereby people are drawn having a slight ill, grotesque look to them with heavy shading and off-skin colours. The series would be a main stay for the artist who’d provide all the box arts and character art up until the latest episode for the 3DS. This longevity of almost thiry years makes Katsuya duration with the series somewhat unique within the industry.

By the early 1990’s he would be in demand for his characterisation producing classic box arts such as Maten Densetsu: Senritsu no Ooparts (1995), The legend of Bishin (1993) and Prince of Persia (1992) all for the Super Famicom. His highest profile box art of this period though would probably be Sega’s Virtua Fighter Remix in 1995.     

As was common with Japanese box artists he was credited many illustrative novel cover arts.  He also has had a long history working within film and anime, providing costume production and monster design for live action Japanese “Godzilla” monster movies. It would be the anime movie Blood: The Last Vampire (2000), in which Katsuya provided character designs, that would bring mainstream attention to his art in the States, and led him to illustrate Marvel’s Wolverine and Iron Man comics. 

Even though he says his illustrations always start with a basis in Manga, what sets them apart and makes them internationally appealing is the inspiration drawn from foreign artists. As with many Japanese artists of his generation, French illustrator Jean Giraud and his publicised works in comic book: Métal Hurlant had a profound influence, and Katsuya’s style and composition plays heavy homage. The look of Métal Hurlant’s fantastical and dystopian characters can be clearly seen in box arts for The legend of Bishin and Sol Divide (1998) and his later work on the Wizardry series (the latter looking like something UK illustrator Simon Bisley could have drawn).  

This European influence has given his characters a softened western look to them and a distint lack of the effeminate and explosive appearance usually seen in Manga.  He would of course also still find inspiration closer to home, crediting artists such as Raw Lai Range Defined (stable artist for Koei) and Katsuhiro Otomo (Akira). 

With such international artistic appeal in place it is unfortunate that so few of of his box arts have made it overseas, with a couple of Wizardry games and a Jake Hunter from the 00’s being the only examples.  This though has been down to the fact that so few of the games he’s worked on have been published abroad.

Prince of Persia | Masaya | 1992.  

Kazumi Kakizaki.  Japanese box artist in 1989.

Double Dragon II: The Revenge | Technos Japan Corp. | 1989.  

Super Street Fighter II X | Capcom | 1994.  

Super Street Fighter II X: For Matching Service | Capcom | 2000.  

Kinu Nishimura.  Japanese box artist.

Kev Walker.  English box artist from 1993-1997.

Kings Table: The Legend of Ragnarok | Mirage Techologies Ltd | 1993.  

Retribution | Gremlin Interactive Ltd | 1994.

Perfect Assassin | Grolier Interactive Inc. | 1997.