What’s the secret to great video game box art?

Video game box art; game box art framed on a wall
(Image credit: Getty Images / JackF / SEAN GLADWELL / Preto_perola)

What’s the secret to good video game box art? I think it can be boiled down into a few key ingredients: memorability, readability and beauty. Naturally video games have an innate emotional factor too; can you really dissasociate a love of a game from its box art?

It almost goes without saying that a good cover should stand out. If you want someone to pick up your game in a shop – or more likely these days, click on your game in an online store – then it has to look a little bit different to everything else. So it has to be novel, but that’s not enough – you need people to remember it weeks or months later, the gap between, say, a game’s announcement and the time it finally goes on sale.

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Lewis Packwood
Video games journalist

Lewis Packwood has been writing about video games professionally since 2013, and his work has appeared in The Guardian, Retro Gamer, EDGE, Eurogamer, Wireframe, Rock Paper Shotgun, Kotaku, PC Gamer and Time Extension, among others. He is also the author of Curious Video Game Machines: A Compendium of Rare and Unusual Consoles, Computers and Coin-Ops (White Owl, 2023).

With contributions from