Tapping the Spine of Video Game Cover Art

Illustration for article titled Tapping the Spine of Video Game Cover Art

Big splashy box art is all fine and good, but the spine of the game case is what gets the most exposure. In today's Speak Up on Kotaku commenter Mindsale ponders spine art perfection.


Y'know what doesn't get enough attention? Spine art.

Most games just use a high-contrast "white text against a black background," which is such a lazy, missed opportunity to display what you will mostly see if you alphabetize or categorize your library. Bioshock, Dark Souls, Dead Space 2, Portal 2 - all dropped the ball. This is your chance to shine, game! I see the spine far more than I see the box art.


Looking at my PS3 library right now, I can tell you that the prettiest spines are without a doubt Demon's Souls, Arkham City, Valkyria Chronicles, God of War III, Ico / Shadow of the Colossus Collection (with its seafoam spine), and prettiest of all is newcomer Uncharted 3. It looks especially nice alphabetically next to Valkyria Chronicles - its pink / purple sky next to Chronicles' baby blue. It's very pleasing.

Which game spines tickle your fancy?

About Speak Up on Kotaku: Our readers have a lot to say, and sometimes what they have to say has nothing to do with the stories we run. That's why we have a forum on Kotaku called Speak Up. That's the place to post anecdotes, photos, game tips and hints, and anything you want to share with Kotaku at large. Every weekday we'll pull one of the best Speak Up posts we can find and highlight it here.

(XxSwitchxX's Video Game Collection | Deviant Art)

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What's always bugged me is inconsistencies both with movies and games and their spines. Toy Story 1 & 2 blu ray look the same, but then Toy Story 3 hits blu ray and they don't even try to make them match up. Jak & Daxter on PS2 had the logo for the first game, a serif font for Jak II (Trajan?), and then the logo for Jak 3. The Uncharted series changed when they decided to have a big number on the side for 2 and 3, throwing the subtitle underneath it at all times (Uncharted one had the subtitle of Drake's Fortune placed alongside the title on the spine. Then, they go and make the Uncharted 3 logo not even the same size as Uncharted 2 so they could at least visually match up when stacked together. Those are a few examples off the top of my head.

It always boils me though, because, if these are supposed to be "families" of games (trilogies, or what ever else have you), why can't everything about the packaging match up. Uncharted 3 also didn't feature the same grungy edges framing the main picture that one and two did. It's like "here's a picture we've shown you for ever, but now the logo's bigger and we put a large "3D" logo on the front.