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 - R


Artist index - R

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Roger Dean.  English box artist from 1986-2001.

Born in England in 1944 and studying design between 1961-1968, the artist would begin his career in graphic design and fine art through a commission from British rock trio, The Gun.  The band’s 1968 debut cover art would lead to further commissions from various jazz and rock outfits of the 1970's, with the most notable and influential covers designed for progressive rockers, Yes. 

Dean would start his career in video game box art design by joining Liverpool developer, Psygnosis at the start of the company’s tenure in 1984.  Designing the iconic owl logo and Psygnosis font, Dean would be responsible for the company’s debut box art for Brataccas. It would be a milestone in cover art design and firmly put the studio on the map, not only because of its craftsmanship but also due to the artist’s revered reputation. Follow ups, Deep Space (1986), Barbarian, Terrorpods (both 1987), Chronoquest and Obliterator (both 1988) would all take the imagination of the home computer gamer to fantastical worlds, and help shape the gaming landscape of the 1980's.  

The 1988 port of The Black Onyx for Nintendo's Famicom would be Roger’s first box art to be made available in Japan.  The exclusive cover was quite possibly originally commissioned for the game, due to its creation and the game's logo – now titled The Super Black Onyx - both dating from 1987. It also has the name ‘Freyja's Castle’.   

The following year saw Roger’s highest profile box art, Shadow of the Beast released.  Not only a highlight of the decade but also in box art history, it was framed in a big landscape box, capturing the beauty and gravitas of the metal animal's and baked vista, and shipped with the sought after 'Beast t-shirt'.  It was also Rogers most used box art to date, finding home across a multitude of gaming formats worldwide. Shadow of the Beast II followed in 1990 and started the decade on a lofty high that only a few would reach before cover art duties went to David John Rowe for the final box art in the series. 

The year 1990 saw another logo design for developer Bullet-Proof Software, Henk Roger's company who designed early RPG, The Black Onyx.  Dean would also provide the logo for Henk's follow up company, Blue-Planet Software in 2000. After designing the box art for the Killing Game Show remake, Fatal Frame, for publisher EA (1991), Roger completed his final Psygnosis cover art, Aquaventura, 1992.  

Roger's final box art duties would come at the end of the 1990's when Blue-Planet Software commissioned him in 1999 to rebrand Tetris. It would be Dean's last, thus far, high profile logo design in the industry, and would be seen on many Tetris titles, most notably, Tetris Worlds (2002).    

Roger's box arts could be described as meddling with organic and metallic life. His characters were painted within space and on paths that drew the viewer into the art.  He used strong contrasts of light and dark to add a depth of field, whilst also portraying the shifting of time. Arguably they illustrated a created world in a single picture, a concept that paralleled how Psygnosis designed its games.  

The artist’s favoured medium was acrylic on canvas and today he keeps his art alive through a comprehensive website HERE and printed collections.  


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Rainbow Islands by Bob Wakelin.

English artwork. Published by Ocean Software in 1990 for the European market.

Amiga ver. pictured. Also available on: Atari ST, C64, NES, ZX Spectrum.  

Resistance 3 by Olly Moss.

English artwork. Published by Sony Computer Entertainment globally in 2011 for the PS3.  

>Resistance 3’s cover art would see the talented Olly Moss reinvent the series art direction with a simple and provocative take on the post-apocalyptic genre.  It’s style, in the vain of Saul Bass’ iconic poster work, would initially polarise fans used to the rendered hero and bleak stylisation both prequel box arts depicted, but with time it has grown to become a much loved modern cover.   

It’s colouring would make it further standout amidst and grey and brown hues so popular with post millennium box arts, and it’s stylish art direction would be daring for a clichéd industry.  

The alternative cover art (shown) would be the definitive version, the standard cover missing Joseph, and would bring home the gravity of the Chimera’s occupation and the loneliness of our hero’s mission.  In turn it would emotionally invoke Barry E. Jackson’s excellent Wasteland cover art, combined with tones of The Designers Republic’s work for the WipEout series.

Touted at the time as one of the best box arts of year, it has retrospectively become a claim that still holds true.

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Return of the Jedi by Steinar Lund.

English artwork. Published by Domark in 1988 for the European market.  

Amiga ver. pictured.  Also availble on: Atari ST, C64.

>The original artwork is a larger more panoramic piece that the box art crops.  It is artist Steinar’s favourite cover that he personally designed.  

Steinar would also be responsible for Domark’s Star Wars game, but missed out on doing the cover for The Empire Strikes Back.


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Real Deal, The by John Jinks.

North American artwork. Published by Mindscape in 1995 for the European and North American Windows markets.  

Aquaventura | Psygnosis | 1992.

Barbarian | Psygnosis | 1987.

Brataccas | Psygnosis |1986.

Cronoquest | Psygnosis | 1988.

Deep Space | Psygnosis | 1986.

Fatal Rewind | Psygnosis | 1991.

Next Tetris, The | Bullet-proof Software | 1999.

Obliterator | Psygnosis | 1988.

Shadow of the Beast | Psygnosis | 1989.

Shadow of the Beast II | Psygnosis | 1990.

Super Black Onyx, The | Bullet-proof Software | 1988.

Terrorpods | Psygnosis | 1987.

Tetris Worlds | THQ Inc. | 2001.