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Cover Art Research Essay

2271 words - 10 pages

Compared to traditional art forms that have been around for millennia, other forms of art have produced millions of objects, and images by almost as many artists. Graphics arts, a relative new comer to the world of art is still in its infancy. With a history stretching back only 25 years, this paper begin with a brief history of this art form. In the First paragraph the paper expands on the history and highlights the advancements this style of art has seen over the last two decades. Cover art has made prominent contributions within three main styles transitioning among them over the years. Hand drawn images, film photography art, and digital art.
The very first video game was founded in ...view middle of the document...

The idea behind cover art and its styles was to enhance the visual of the game, making it more interesting to the consumer to want to buy.
That being the case hand drawn art was the first style to appear on the cover of games and promotional art. Covers were drawn and colored making a visually sound cover that would grab the attention of its consumers with its reliance on vibrant colors. Bright Colors like Red, yellow, and orange made images of this era pop, and come to life making the presentation of the games stick out. Hand drawn art was often colored to match many of the representation of the 1980’s and 1990’s; these vibrant images and colors were meant to a target an audience which was comprised of youth and adolescents. This style relied heavily on the contrast of colors to set the mood and tone of the game, and the technique of the artist to make a visually sound cover that would increase sales from consumers. Notable franchises whose covers relied on this style were Super Mario Bros, Street Fighter, Sonic the Hedgehog and Contra just to name a few. Hand drawn art was extremely flexible as it could be used for E rated games, creating a positive environment and background on the covers for children. Yet it could also be used for more graphic games such as Resident Evil, and Silent Hill. Horror games such as Resident Evil, and Silent Hill called for darker colors to recreate the image of horror and suspense. A stiff contract to the vibrant colors hand drawn art was accustom to applying, but even in this it managed to rise to the occasion and create a solid cover. Versatile as the style had proven to be it was not without its flaws; artist could only use and apply one color at a time to create different gradients and hues of that color. Trial and error was inevitable to find the perfect blend of colors to apply to an image if they wanted to use secondary or triadic colors. This process led to both game/promotional covers to miss

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deadlines that soon affected the release of the games to the public. This dilemma along with the rise of graphic art led to its discontinuation during the late 1990s, in favor of two other styles on the rise.
Identically during the same time period where hand drawn seemingly prospered another style was beginning to make its mark on cover art as well. This style was called film photography art, which was centered around pictures of actual people, placing them on the covers to endorse and represent the game. This style mostly uses images of celebrities, and sports stars to endorse games, as the audience was more likely to purchase a game if they saw their favorite athletes or celebrities on the cover. It began in the late 1980’s, making its debut on Mike Tysons Super Punch Out. Mike Tyson was featured on the cover as a way to endorse the game to get more consumers to also buy into it. Photography art flourished with the idea that game developers knew artist would struggle attempting to draw real...

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