Bitmap Books launches “The Art of the Box”, celebrating four decades of video game box art

Bitmap Books - The Art of the Box (2023) - Cover

Bitmap Books latest, massive 500-plus page book, The Art Of The Box is now available for pre-order, featuring 26 artist biographies and more than 350 pieces of cover art from across four decades of video gaming.

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 the late, missed, Bob Wakelin, Steve Hendricks, Ken Macklin, Tom DuBois, Steinar Lund, Marc Ericksen, Julie Bell and Susumu Matsushita, among others.

  • Bitmap Books - The Art of the Box (2023) - Sample Pages
  • Bitmap Books - The Art of the Box (2023) - Sample Pages
  • Bitmap Books - The Art of the Box (2023) - Sample Pages
  • Bitmap Books - The Art of the Box (2023) - Sample Pages
  • Bitmap Books - The Art of the Box (2023) - Sample Pages
  • Bitmap Books - The Art of the Box (2023) - Sample Pages
  • Bitmap Books - The Art of the Box (2023) - Sample Pages

With information drawn from live interviews wherever possible, The Art Of The Box discusses 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, often 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.

Bitmap Books was established in 2014, its founder Sam Dyer with a vision that was as ambitious as it was straightforward. He wanted to create and publish the highest quality, most visually splendid gaming books ever produced.

Since then, Bitmap’s team of global collaborators have produced numerous award-winning titles that celebrate the software, hardware, developers, and code shops that laid down the foundations for the billion-dollar game industry we all know and love today.

Many of their books are proudly unofficial, while in other cases they have partnered with influential outfits such as SEGA, SNK and Atari to create officially-licensed books that come complete with enhanced access and exclusive assets.

Order your copy of The Art of the Box here

Featured artists:
Charles Bae, Julie Bell, Gerald Brom, Frank Cirocco, Grzegorz Domaradzki, Tom DuBois, Marc Ericksen, Oliver Frey, Steve Hendricks, Paul Kidby, Michael Koelsch, Denis Loubet, Steinar Lund, Ken Macklin, Lee MacLeod, Susumu Matsushita, Rodney Matthews, Roger Motzkus, Shinkiro and Eisuke Ogura, Stephen Peringer, Dermot Power, David Rowe, Junior Tomlin, Dudu Torres, Bob Wakelin and Mike Winterbauer.

Shipments are being fulfilled in the order they were placed, starting on Monday 21st August 2023

With thanks to Dean Simons

Categories: Art and Illustration, Books, downthetubes News, Games, Other Worlds

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