A few weeks ago, I did a feature on a company that's responsible for game logos and box art. Today, then, I thought we'd look at something similar: a company that does box art and marketing material.
The artwork you'll see in this post is the work of British firm Head First, an agency that specialises in advertising & design for both publishers and developers. This means they design stuff like box art, the back of a game's box, websites, posters, packaging, collector's edition packaging, and even the cardboard standees you see cluttering the aisles at your local GameStop.
Dom Conlon, from Head First, reckons this kind of design work is far more crucial to a game's success than most people would give it credit for. "It's estimated that 40% of purchases are impulse", he says. "That's a pretty big chunk of people deciding right there and then to buy a game."
"They could be gamers who have a vague idea of the sort of game they are looking for, or they could be Ma and Pa, looking to buy a game because little Johnny has eaten his peas. Now that's a pretty diverse audience right there, but let's assume they have all missed your advertising campaign, or at least that it's not the influencing factor."
"It's the back of pack that is interesting because that can make a real difference here. Ma and Pa may well be looking for cover art that resembles what they've seen before so they will be drawn to "that sort of thing". That means they will be picking up the box and taking a closer look. They need to be impressed and convinced that the game will be right."
Head First has worked with many of the industry's biggest names on some of the biggest games. In this gallery, you'll find examples of some of their more well-known work, including pieces designed for Call of Duty, Splinter Cell, Resident Evil and Red Faction (and even Onechanbara!). Interesting stuff! To read more, Head First run a blog, with regular updates on the challenges and inspirations to be found working in this oft-overlooked area of the industry.