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.


Series box arts

1985

>Super Mario Bros. (JP) Famicom. (SM)

1986

>Super Mario Bros. 2 (JP) Famicom Disk System. (YK)

1987

>Super Mario Bros. (EU/ NA) NES.

1988

>Super Mario Bros. 2 (EU/ NA) NES. (SM)

>Super Mario Bros. 3 (JP) Famicom. (YK)

1989

>Super Mario Land (worldwide) Game Boy. (YK)

1990

>Super Mario Bros. 3 (EU/ NA) NES. (YK)

>Super Mario World (JP) Super Famicom. (YK)

1991

>Super Mario World (EU/ NA) SNES. (YK)

1992

>Super Mario Land 2 (worldwide) Game Boy. (YK)

>Super Mario USA (JP) Famicom. (YK)

1994

>Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 (worldwide) Game Boy.(YN)

1995

>Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (JP) Super Famicom.

>Super Mario World 2: Yoshi’s Island (EU/ NA) SNES.




1996

>Super Mario 64 (JP) Nintendo 64. (YN)

>Super Mario 64 (EU/ NA) Nintendo 64. (YN)

1999

>Super Mario Bros. Deluxe (EU/ NA) Game Boy Color. (YK)

2002

>Super Mario Sunshine (worldwide) Gamecube.

2004

>Super Mario 64 DS (EU/ NA) Nintendo DS.

>Super Mario 64 DS (JP) Nintendo DS.

2006

>New Super Mario Bros. (worldwide) Nintendo DS.

2007

>Super Mario Galaxy (worldwide) Wii.

2009

>New Super Mario Bros. Wii (worldwide) Wii.

2010

>Super Mario Galaxy 2 (worldwide) Wii.

2011

>Super Mario 3D Land (worldwide) Nintendo 3DS.

2012

>New Super Mario Bros. 2 (worldwide) Nintendo 3DS.

>New Super Mario Bros. U (worldwide) Wii U.

2013

>Super Mario 3D World (worldwide) Wii U.


Sources and further reading

>www.nintendolife.com/

>www.mobygames.com/company/nintendo-co-ltd

>en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nintendo


Series box artists

>Shigeru Miyamoto (SM)

>Yoichi Kotabe (YK)

>Yusuke Nakano (YN)



Related BOX=ART pages.



BOX=ART series

>Super Mario

Overview.

In Nintendo’s portly plumber, video gaming had its first mega star, and the Super Mario series would be home to his most iconic box arts.


Mario’s global endurance can be partly accredited to his strong characterisation designed in the mid-80’s by the legendary Shigeru Miyamoto.  The debut box art, on the Famicom, would almost have Mario’s look pinned down, but it would take the famed animator, Yoichi Kotabe to set it in stone by changing the plumbers colour scheme.  Yoichi’s redesigns for Princess Peach and Bowser would end up being more radical, and have been the template ever since.


No other character of such longevity in gaming has retained his original design like Mario, and it is testiment to the strength of design by Miyamoto in creating such a gloablly appealing and brand- centric character.     


Super Mario’s debut box art in the States - Super Mario Bros. - would use the same pixel design all in-house Nintendo titles were using at the time, and so it would be Super Mario Bros. 2 in 1988 that the West got to see Mario’s Japanese characterisation on a box art for the first time.  It would be a direct lift from the Famicom debut set against a bold background and really expounded the difference between American (direct, clear, larger than life) and Japanese (chaotic, cluttered, character heavy) cover art design at the time.  


Box arts since Super Mario 64 (1996) have all been designed around the in-games use of 3D (or not).  Cover arts for full 3D games such as Super Mario 64 and Super Mario Galaxy depict a depth of field that isn’t there in box arts for 2D games such as the New Super Mario Bros. Series and Super Mario Bros. Deluxe.  In between the two are the 2.5D games Super Mario 3D Land and World, both with a slight isometric view to their respective cover arts.  


The clean, simple design of Mario, and most of his contempories, would carry well when series box arts made the jump to computer rendered art with Super Mario 64.  Other than Super Mario Bros. Deluxe, in 1999, all box arts post 64 have been computer generated.

Notable Super Mario box arts.

Updated - 31/8/15, by Adam Gidney

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Japanese artwork, first published by Nintendo of Japan in 1985.

Designed for the Japanese Famicom market.

Also available on na.


>Debut box art.

>The only series box art to designed by the legendary, Shigeru Miyamoto.

>Introduced stable series characters, Toad, Bowser, Koopers, Goombas and Peach.

>The cluttered art design would be replicated for both Famicom sequals and would influence the handheld covers.  Further influencing can be found in Rock Man’s Famicom box arts.

Super Mario Bros. by Shigeru Miyamoto

Japanese artwork, first published by Nintendo of Japan in 1989.

Designed for the worldwide Game Boy market.  

Also available on na.


>The first handheld Mario box art would carry on the character heavy look that the Japanese had now become accustomed to.

>It would be the first box art in the series to be used worldwide with no changes made to the art design.


>

Super Mario Land by Yoichi Kotabe







Japanese artwork, first published by Nintendo of America in 1990.

Designed for the EU/ NA NES markets.

Also available on na.


>This iconic and highly recognisable box art would styalistically carry on in the vain of predecesor Super Mario Bros. 2, giving clear emphisis to Mario fixed on a bright background with a bold title.

>The Mario characterisation would be directly cut from the Japanese version.

>

>

Super Mario Bros 3. by Yoichi Kotabe/ NOA

Japanese artwork, first published by Nintendo of Japan in 1991.

Designed for the Japanese Famicom market.

Also available on na.


>The artwork would orgininally be designed for the game, Yume Kōjō: Doki Doki Panic sans Mario characters.  This original was also a Kotabe artwork.

>BOX=ART review HERE.

Super Mario Bros. USA by Yoichi Kotabe

Japanese artwork, first published by Nintendo of Japan in 1996.

Designed for the worldwide Nintendo 64 market.  

Also available on na.


>Debut series box art by Yusuke Nakano.

>The first cover art to be designed using computer art.



Super Mario 64 by Yusuke Nakano

Japanese artwork, first published by Nintendo of America in 1999.

Designed for the worldwide Game Boy Color market.

Also available on na.


>Possibly the final series box art by Yoichi Kotabe.

>The game would not see a physical release in Japan making it the only game in the series to miss out on a Japanese box art.

>Final box art to date to be designed without the use of computer renders.

Super Mario Bros. Deluxe by Yoichi Kotabe

Japanese artwork, first published by Nintendo of Japan in 2007.

Designed for the worldwide Wii market.   

Also available on na.



Super Mario Galaxy

Japanese artwork, first published by Nintendo of Japan in 2012.

Designed for the worldwide 3DS market.  

Also available on na.



New Super Mario Bros. 2

Box art from publisher Nintendo page| BOX=ART

Ninten do publish er page

90’s gallery page

North American artwork, first published by Nintendo of America in 1987.

Designed for the EU/ NA NES markets.  

Also available on Game Boy Advance.


>Debut western box art.

>The iconic design would in it’s simplicity be a reaction to the overly complicated and misleding cover arts of the period pre-video game crash of 1983.

>More information available HERE.

Super Mario Bros. by NOA











Super Mario USA box art review page| BOX=ART

Super Mario USA review page