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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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 from a variety of angles 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.


Sonic The Hedgehog series box arts (platform games)

1991

>Sonic the Hedgehog (JP) Mega Drive. (NO)

>Sonic the Hedgehog (EU) Mega Drive. (NO)

>Sonic the Hedgehog (NA) Mega Drive. (GW)

>Sonic the Hedgehog (EU/ NA) Master System. (GM)

>Sonic the Hedgehog (JP) Game Gear. (NO)

>Sonic the Hedgehog (EU/ NA) Game Gear. (GM)

1992

>Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (EU/ NA) Game Gear, Master System. (GM)

>Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (JP) Game Gear. (NO)

>Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (EU/ NA) Mega Drive. (GM)

>Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (JP) Mega Drive. (NO)

1993

>Sonic the Hedgehog CD (EU) Mega CD. (KH)

>Sonic the Hedgehog CD (JP) Mega CD. (KH)

>Sonic the Hedgehog CD (NA) Sega CD. (GM)

>Sonic Chaos (EU/ NA) Game Gear. (GM)

>Sonic Chaos (EU/ NA) Master System. (GM)

>Sonic and Tails (JP) Game Gear. (NO)

1994

>Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (JP) Mega Drive. (NO)

>Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (EU) Mega Drive.

>Sonic the Hedgehog 3 (NA) Mega Drive. (GM)

>Sonic and Knuckles (JP) Mega Drive.

>Sonic and Knuckles (EU/ NA) Mega Drive. (GM)

>Sonic the Hedgehog: Triple Trouble (EU/ NA) Game Gear. (GM)

>Sonic and Tails 2 (JP) Game Gear. (NO)

1995

>Knuckles’ Chaotic (EU/ NA) 32X. (GM)

>Chaotix (JP) 32X.

1996

>Sonic Blast (EU/ NA) Game Gear, Master System.

>G Sonic (JP) Game Gear.

>Sonic 3D Blast (NA) Mega Drive.

>Sonic 3D: Flickies Island (EU) Mega Drive, Saturn.

>Sonic 3D Blast (NA) Saturn, Windows.



1998

>Sonic Adventure (worldwide) Dreamcast. (YU)

1999

>Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure (worldwide) Neo Geo Pocket Color.   (YU)

>Sonic 3D: Flickies Island (JP) Saturn. (YU)

2001

>Sonic Advance (worldwide) Game Boy Advance. (YU)

>Sonic Adventure 2 (worldwide) Dreamcast. (YU)

>Sonic Adventure 2 Battle (worldwide) Gamecube. (YU)

2002

>Sonic Advance 2 (worldwide) Game Boy Advance. (YU)

2003

>Sonic Adventure DX (worldwide) Gamecube, Windows. (YU)

>Sonic Heroes (worldwide) Gamecube, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Windows. (YU)

2004

>Sonic Advance 2 (worldwide) Game Boy Advance. (YU)

2005

>Sonic Rush (worldwide) Nintendo DS. (YU)

>Shadow the Hedgehog (worldwide) Gamecube, PlayStation 2, Xbox.

2006

>Sonic the Hedgehog (worldwide) PlayStation 3, Xbox 360. (YU)

2007

>Sonic Rush Adventure (worldwide) Nintendo DS. (YU)

>Sonic and the Secret Rings (worldwide) Wii.

2008

>Sonic Unleashed (worldwide) PlayStation 2/ 3, Xbox 360, Wii.

2009

>Sonic and the Black Knight (worldwide) Wii.

2010

>Sonic Colors (worldwide) Nintendo DS, Wii. (YU)

2013

>Sonic: Lost World (worldwide) 3DS, Wii U.

2014

>Sonic Boom: Rise of the Lyric (worldwide) Wii U.

>Sonic Boom: Shattered Crystal (worldwide) 3DS.

Series box artists

>Greg Martin (GM)

>Greg Wray (GW)

>Kazuyuki Hoshino (KH)



Related BOX=ART pages.




Sources and further reading

>http://nintendoage.com/forum/messageview.cfm?StartRow=1&catid=5&threadid=117907  

>http://www.sega->16.com/2012/01/sega-stars-naoto-oshima/                                                                

>http://segaretro.org/Yuji_Uekawa






>Naoto Ohima (NO)

>Yuji Uekawa (YU)



BOX=ART series

>Sonic the Hedgehog (platform games)

Overview

The character that arguably kick started the mascot boom of the 90’s, Sonic has endured like few others...

Designed by Sega artist Naoto Oshima, Sonic’s character art would be tailored for the American audience that Sega and it’s Mega Drive so keenly sought to pursue in the early 90’s.  His design would be inspired by 20th century North American cartoon characters, using features that made up Felix the Cat and Mickey Mouse.  


The debut Japanese box art would be heavily inspired by late 80-early 90’s American music video design and MTV.  It’s style would be used on the majority of Japanese releases up until the the Dreamcast launch title Sonic Adventure (1998).


When it came to North America’s Genesis box arts, Sonic’s debut box art would be handled by veteran Disney/ Warner artist Greg Wray before duties passed over to Hanna Barbera artist Greg Martin. Both natural choices, the Gregs would take Naoto’s original Sonic concepts and stylistically change little. Sonic’s plume became spikier, he’d have larger ears and a more mischievous look to his eye. The general lack of change was remarkable for the time and an indicator of how successful Naoto’s designs catered for the western market.  


Both would remove the styalised layout of the Japanese box arts and instead place Sonic within the game’s world.  Greg Martin’s art would go on to adorn almost every Genesis/ Mega Drive and Game Gear title released in the States and Europe.  


Sonic Adventure would launch alongside the Dreamcast in late 1998 and housed a box art by in-house artist Yuji Uekawa. It would be the first major redesign of Sonic and also the first cover art in the series to appear across all territories unchanged: a trait that most subsequent box arts followed.


Sonic was now resolutely Japanese in character; bold, slender, styled in heavy cel-shading and, importantly, aesthetically removed from Greg and Naoto’s aging designs. Uekawa’s manga style box arts would litter Sonic games throughout much of the noughties and mainly on Nintendo hardware.  


The unsuccessful re-boot of sorts, Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), would take Uekawa’s original design and employ it as a 3D model for its box art.  The extra power allowed by the PlayStation 3 era consoles would have the Hedgehog looking great compared to previous computer generated efforts and would be the model for all subsequent box art designs until...  


The recent Sonic Boom franchise would see Sonic and co redesigned by a North American team and aimed at western audiences (though the series did make it to Japan with character arts intact). Sonic’s design would jar with fans, with the hedgehog’s art style loosing his Japanese edge while coming across adolesant in look.   



Updated - 15/6/16, by Adam Gidney

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North American artwork, first published by Sega in 1991.

Designed for the worldwide market.  Genesis version pictured.  

Also available on na.


>Debut North American box art.

>Martin’s Sonic would add a slight edginess to Oshima’s original design and place the hedgehog within his world.

>The box art is a classic example of American cartoon art, and when compared to the European and Japanese debuts it exemplifies America’s preference for a more direct cover art over a styalised one.

>It would be the model for all Greg Martin Sonic box arts up until his last, Knuckles Chaotic in 1995.

Sonic the Hedgehog by Greg Wray

Japanese artwork, first published by Sega in 1991.

Designed for the European market.  Mega Drive version pictured.  

Also available on na.


>Debut European box art.

>Sega of Europe would use Oshima’s Sonic character art from  the Japanese original, and then impose it on a styalistically ‘quieter’ background.


Sonic the Hedgehog by Naoto Oshima.

Japanese artwork, first published by iSega in 1992.

Designed for the Japanese market.  Mega Drive version pictured.  

Also available on na.


>Introduced the Tails character.

>The box art would adopt the ‘MTV’ style of art seen on the previous years Japanese debut.

>Europe and North America would go with a Greg Martin design.

Sonic the Hedgehog 2 by Naoto Oshima.

North American artwork, first published by Sega in 1992.

Designed for the EU/ NA markets.  Game Gear version pictured.  

Also available on na.


Sonic the Hedgehog 2 by Greg Martin.

Japanese artwork, first published by Sega in 1993.

Designed for the EU/ JP markets.  Mega CD version pictured.  

Also available on na.


>The European version pictured would crop the Japanese original, making a more intence design.

>The Japanese version would still use the ‘MTV’ style of art seen on the Mega Drive box arts, whilst also including a snazzy gold logo.


Sonic CD by Kazuyuki Hoshino

Japanese artwork, first published by Sega in 1993.

Designed for the Japanese market.  Saturn version pictured.  

Also available on na.


>Final box art in Japan to adopt the original MTV style.


Sonic Jam







Japanese artwork, first published by Sega in 1998.

Designed for the worldwide market.  Dreamcast version pictured.  

Also available on na.


>Dreamcast launch box art.

>First Sonic box art it be used worldwide unchanged.

>Introduced Yuji Uekawa’s new Sonic design that would be used for the best part of a decade.


Sonic Adventure by Yuji Uekawa.


Japanese artwork, first published by Sega in 1999.

Designed for the Japanese market.  Saturn version pictured.  

Also available on na.



Sonic 3D: Flickies’ Island by Yuji Uekawa.


Japanese artwork, first published by Sega in 2006.

Designed for the worldwide market.  PlayStation 3 version pictured.  

Also available on Xbox 360.


>The poorly recieved reboot would see Sonic depicted in a more mature light.  The original Sonic Adventure character design would be successfully redesigned using computer render art and is one of the earliest examples in the series.


Sonic the Hedgehog by Yuji Uekawa.


North American artwork, first published by Sega in 2010.

Designed for the worldwide market.  3DS version pictured.  

Also available on Wii.


>The box art is a good example of a modern Sonic cover art. The Sonic character is dynamic, the background is littered with secondary characters, and the colour palette is explosive.


Sonic Colours by Yuji Uekawa.

American box art page| BOX=ART

Americ as gallery page

90’s gallery page

Notable Sonic the Hedgehog box arts.

Mega Drive box art page| BOX=ART

Mega Drive series page