Video Game Cover Art Gets Classy

Video Game Cover Art Gets Classy

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The deviants over at the Something Awful forums are showing that with a little dash of retro graphic design and some clever visual puns, game covers can be downright classy.

Taking their inspiration from artist Olly Moss' re-imaginings of game covers in the mold of 1960s Penguin Classics book designs, the goons over in the internet cesspool that is the GBS forum of Something Awful have Photoshopped up dozens of stylish game covers, for every game from Mirror's Edge to Deus Ex. "Video game box art sucks," user Wonderpants writes in the original post. "The images on the covers aren't chosen for aesthetics; they're there to make the game look badass (or, for Barbie Horse Adventures, uh... cuteass.) So let's make some video game covers that actually look good!"

Some of them look good. A lot of them look fantastic. Though Moss' work sticks strictly to the model of the old Penguin designs, the Something Awful designs seem to draw on everything from classic movie posters and Criterion Collection DVD box arts.

Just a few highlights: MS Pain's minimalistic Doom cover, Cmd Will Riker's stylish Earthbound art, One Year Later's simple but bold GTA4 design, and Pipes! take on Superman 64, which distills everything horrible about that game into a single evocative image. My personal favorite, though, has to be Sub-Actuality's Dwarf Fortress cover, with its rampaging bloodthirsty elephant ready to chomp down on some unsuspecting dwarf miners.

You can look through all of them here. Of course if you're not a SA member, you're also going to have to browse through a ton of ads and pictures of people's grandmas. But it's worth it.

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Wow...These are great.

Especially the GTA 3 one

I've been looking through the thread on Something Awful and damn, some of these are downright sexy. If The Escapist is thinking of having another photoshop-esque contest soon a contest line this may be the way to go.

I really liked Brain Wood's work. He always does good covers for comics and games.

I've been inspired

Ok, its a bit simple, but still...

Liking those a lot. And the portal one, SomeBritishDude :D

they are good and here i was coming in thinking i'd see some pics of san diego

cleverlymadeup:
they are good and here i was coming in thinking i'd see some pics of san diego

I have many...leather bound books. My house smells of rich mahogany.

Vanguard1219:
I've been looking through the thread on Something Awful and damn, some of these are downright sexy. If The Escapist is thinking of having another photoshop-esque contest soon a contest line this may be the way to go.

And what about those of us who don't have photoshop?

Indigo_Dingo:

Vanguard1219:
I've been looking through the thread on Something Awful and damn, some of these are downright sexy. If The Escapist is thinking of having another photoshop-esque contest soon a contest line this may be the way to go.

And what about those of us who don't have photoshop?

Behold, GIMP.

SomeBritishDude:
I've been inspired

Ok, its a bit simple, but still...

Awesome.

On topic...

It would be good to see people like that making actual video game box art/game art.

SomeBritishDude:
I've been inspired

Ok, its a bit simple, but still...

Hey, awesome work, dude. I wish I could do some stuff but am sadly not exactly handy with image editing.

It's really too bad that the box art for games these days is usually a doctored screenshot with the title plastered above in big letters.

These only go to show that with a little thinking, one can make box art that evokes the feeling of the game, rather than a simple "game is about shooting people" message.

you should see the Xblades cover art

hmmmm... am i the only one here who doesn't think those are all that great? i mean, yeah, they're ok i suppose, but i honestly don't see anything wrong with the original box art for most of those games....

i'm detecting the fetid odor of elitism.........

Oh man, that Goldeneye cover was absolutely perfect! Its crazy how you remember such details about a game.

Yog Sothoth:
hmmmm... am i the only one here who doesn't think those are all that great? i mean, yeah, they're ok i suppose, but i honestly don't see anything wrong with the original box art for most of those games....

i'm detecting the fetid odor of elitism.........

To quote someone above me, all box art nowadays is either a doctored screenshot, or just a picture of a main character. There is a reason its called box ART. Some people think that box ART should be ARTy.

All that work put into a game and they make the box art so boring that pissing on it would make it more interesting.

As someone else said, its not really about giving you information about the game, its about evoking a cetrain theme or emotion associated with the game.

I don't think all box art is bad by any stretch of the imagination. Some of it's horrible (NTSC Ico, NTSC Ikaruga), most of it is just mediocre, though, and as matrix3509 puts it, doesn't put the "art" in box art at all. It's all functional, but it's rarely stimulating or even interesting.

There are exceptions, obviously like, uh, God Hand is the first thing I can think of.

matrix3509:

Yog Sothoth:
hmmmm... am i the only one here who doesn't think those are all that great? i mean, yeah, they're ok i suppose, but i honestly don't see anything wrong with the original box art for most of those games....

i'm detecting the fetid odor of elitism.........

To quote someone above me, all box art nowadays is either a doctored screenshot, or just a picture of a main character. There is a reason its called box ART. Some people think that box ART should be ARTy.

All that work put into a game and they make the box art so boring that pissing on it would make it more interesting.

As someone else said, its not really about giving you information about the game, its about evoking a cetrain theme or emotion associated with the game.

I agree, looking through that forum thread, so many people made covers that summed up the game perfectly without complicating things. A lot of them used something small that makes the game memorable and uses it as an artistic focus point.

I love them, Im saving a few and will give it a shot myself on a rainy day.

It's a photoshop thread. It wasn't exactly call to replace current boxart, the guys were just doing something creative with the thread's theme.

I do think it's an interesting issue though. Box art is rather samey nowadays. Sure, it's a divide between the people who aren't trying (pictures of the main characters + title) and those who are (highly stylized, often the game's logo). Nothing much is different beyond that though.

This video is about movie posters, but it's the same issue really:Nostalgia Critic about Drew Struzan

the one for Goldeneye is little more than a visual gag & inside joke... i don't know that i would've ever purchased that title if that's the box art it had shipped with....

Loved the Dwarf Fortress one. I should really start playing that game again.

Yog Sothoth:
hmmmm... am i the only one here who doesn't think those are all that great? i mean, yeah, they're ok i suppose, but i honestly don't see anything wrong with the original box art for most of those games....

i'm detecting the fetid odor of elitism.........

No you're not, I don't see the big deal here either.
I'll just leave it at "they're ok."

Yog Sothoth:
hmmmm... am i the only one here who doesn't think those are all that great? i mean, yeah, they're ok i suppose, but i honestly don't see anything wrong with the original box art for most of those games....

i'm detecting the fetid odor of elitism.........

While I agree with the sentiment that boxart is normally lacking in art I also agree with you that many of these are just stupid.

I like the Goldeneye, Dwarf Fortress, and Mirror's Edge ones (among others) because those actually describe what's in the game and aren't just some colored shapes approximating characters or random guns.

It's just a bit of fun for the most part, but there are a few there that would be an improvement on some of the less imaginitive boxes that are around. It's interesting to see the regional differences, the US is often left with the worst examples of unappealing box art.

Simplicity (queue Minimalism) is OK a lot of the time but if it isn't used to present an extremely good idea it can come across as lazy or pretentious. I think none of these boxarts are more classy than what we usually get. They may look OK design-wise, I mean everything is in place, but that's about it.

Some of these are really good, mainly Moss' and the ones you linked to, but most are just random stuff photoshopped together in no real artistic or meaningful way. Still, it's an interesting idea.

To see the best of them without all the forum stuff as well go here: http://www.somethingawful.com/d/photoshop-phriday/classy-video-games.php

wow, the superman 64 one was absolutely hilarious to me. Some great work there.

Way too simple, it looks like something I could do in Paint in about 10 minutes. I was expecting more.

thenumberthirteen:
To see the best of them without all the forum stuff as well go here: http://www.somethingawful.com/d/photoshop-phriday/classy-video-games.php

Thanks so much for this link.
I already have the Penguin Classics as art in my study so I am loving some of these. Killer 7 and Left for Dead are particularly good.

I have also been inspired and will as soon as my design is realised be uploading for all to see...

MrGFunk:

thenumberthirteen:
To see the best of them without all the forum stuff as well go here: http://www.somethingawful.com/d/photoshop-phriday/classy-video-games.php

Thanks so much for this link.
I already have the Penguin Classics as art in my study so I am loving some of these. Killer 7 and Left for Dead are particularly good.

I have also been inspired and will as soon as my design is realised be uploading for all to see...

Always happy to help. Also how did you come across a thread 8 months old?

That's cool. Some of these are improvements, I would definately be more obliged to buy KOTOR if it looked like that.

Those are really well done. I especially like the Earthbound one.

thenumberthirteen:

MrGFunk:

thenumberthirteen:
To see the best of them without all the forum stuff as well go here: http://www.somethingawful.com/d/photoshop-phriday/classy-video-games.php

Thanks so much for this link.
I already have the Penguin Classics as art in my study so I am loving some of these. Killer 7 and Left for Dead are particularly good.

I have also been inspired and will as soon as my design is realised be uploading for all to see...

Always happy to help. Also how did you come across a thread 8 months old?

Pre-thread Search in full effect - I know some guys who will love it...

I'm right now getting my wife to help me make my design.

 

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