The Art of the Box
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"Celebrating a more innocent time when purchasing decisions were often influenced by the quality of a game's cover, The Art Of The Box shines a long-overdue light on the talents of legends such as Bob Wakelin, Tom DuBois and Susumu Matsushita, and is a must-have for any self-respecting retro gamer" 9/10, Nintendo Life.
Before the days of brand awareness campaigns and digital marketing, a game’s only source of advertising was often limited to the box artwork you’d see on high street shelves. With early game graphics offering little visual interest, it fell to the packaging to conjure up engaging images of deep space battles, medieval knights and wizards, explosive military operations, and monstrous alien creatures. And every cover had to be hand-crafted by an artist using traditional media – often with a short deadline and the vaguest of briefs.
The Art Of The Box features 26 biographies of those artists who, at some point in their careers, found themselves illustrating video game packaging, including Bob Wakelin, Steve Hendricks, Ken Macklin, Tom DuBois, Steinar Lund, Marc Ericksen, Julie Bell and Susumu Matsushita among many others. With information drawn from live interviews wherever possible, we discuss their beginnings as an artist, their inspirations and influences, the games they illustrated, and where their artistic careers have taken them.
Some artists created just a handful of covers over a short period; others were instrumental in developing the look and feel of video game brands, such as Ocean Software, Konami and Capcom. But all have their left an indelible mark on the industry, with sumptuous pieces of original art, many of which now command high prices on the collectors’ market.
With artists from the UK, Europe, North American and Japan, The Art Of The Box encompasses the full gamut of game packaging illustration, from the early days of Atari’s iconic VCS box art, to modern-day collaborations between designers, CG artists and game developers for the latest AAA games. Each biography is accompanied by lavish, full-colour box artwork, supplied by the artists themselves, and each piece is presented without the usual logos and retail elements, so you see each piece as the artist intended.
As the gaming world moves irrevocably toward digital downloads and gaming subscription services, traditional box art will one day become a thing of the past. But a small selection of these vivid flights of the imagination will be forever celebrated in The Art Of The Box.
This substantial and exhaustively researched book is 564 pages in length, with over 100,000 words and more than 350 full colour images. The Art Of The Box is produced to Bitmap Books’ usual high standards, available in hardback format with heavy, gloss paper, incredible print quality and including a ribbon bookmark.
564 pages. 210mm × 297mm. Edge-to-edge high quality lithographic print. Gloss laminated hardback. Sewn binding for enduring quality and the ability to lay flat for ideal double-page image viewing. Bookmark ribbon. Shrink wrapped. Volumetric weight: 2.5kg.