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Thread: How was video game packaging designed prior to Photoshop?

  1. #16
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-Training eukara's Avatar
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    Everybody go learn some PostScript and TeX and you'll experience some 80s publishing goodness.

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    Japanese Sonic CD FTW!!! Master of Shinobi Ecco's Avatar
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    I think what OP might be getting at, are those labels that seem to have been designed on a computer. Like the label of Super Mario Bros. 1. on NES, for example, it looks like a better version of the actual game graphics. But it doesn't seem hand-drawn at all... So I'd imagine it was made in some software program, and that's probably what the real question is.

    The examples of handmade artwork (like Boris Vallejo) are pretty obvious that it was essentially just made with photos of drawings / paintings...

  3. #18
    Master of Shinobi WarmSignal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ecco View Post
    I think what OP might be getting at, are those labels that seem to have been designed on a computer. Like the label of Super Mario Bros. 1. on NES, for example, it looks like a better version of the actual game graphics. But it doesn't seem hand-drawn at all... So I'd imagine it was made in some software program, and that's probably what the real question is.

    The examples of handmade artwork (like Boris Vallejo) are pretty obvious that it was essentially just made with photos of drawings / paintings...
    Well I did figure a lot of those drawings were done by hand, but I was referring more to the process of compiling art, logos, text, etc to printed on the package template. As I wouldn't imagine that advanced enough computer software would have existed way back in the day to prepare all of that for printing. Especially considering much of it was done at a laser sharp high resolution that hogs a lot of processing power, even by today's standards (the equivalent of 1200 dpi multi-layered images. I don't think your average Mac could do anything like that back in the day.

  4. #19
    Raging in the Streets xelement5x's Avatar
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    Man, I read an article about this years ago but it was the same for all packaging and books, and incredibly labor intensive at that. It basically boils down to having to make everything perfectly typed and aligned, then they'd take a large photograph of it and use it to split it into the colors required for printing.

    I can't remember the article but it was amazing to read. It may have been in the Art of Atari book because they talked a lot about the traditional processes used in that book. It was a really interesting read.

    One of the other things they talked about back in the day was that when you got married, you'd have a plate made for doing invitations or thank yous. It would say "Mr. and Mrs. Jonathan Smith" or the like, since writing that over and over would be a pain in the butt.
    Quote Originally Posted by StarMist View Post
    A spine card is the hymen of a new game assuring its first owner that he is truly her one and only, and of a used game assuring its new owner that whilst she has been played with in the past that play has never been too careless or thorough.

  5. #20
    Raging in the Streets Blades's Avatar
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    By the 80s desktop publishing on Macs was in full swing. That is what they used. Probably Pagemaker or later Quark.

    Before this, phototypesetting was the established method and had a distinct look compared to early DTP.

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