Samurai is one title whose cover I've been meaning to get to. It's a favorite game of mine as it plays quick and is really a beautiful game. The design is a very simple, elegant thing. For such a tight design, I have created a simple, elegant box.
Samurai is really an abstract that has been created on a grid map of Japan. The lovely glossy black bits are like no other and really capture asian black lacquered arts. This thematic detail has a huge emotive impact in the game and is the inspiration for the box. Here, we have a smooth, black surface which cooly features the bits. "Japanesey" type is the play here. Mostly unreadable, its message can be understood over time. Like the FedEx mark whose embedded arrow quietly sits between the E and x, the fun of the mark comes in time to the observant... and that is a delight. More than anything, though, it really feels Japanese. Typeset type also supports the name and is composed to support the asian theme.
The cover's austerity is contrasted by the sides, which are filled with life. Bright colors and wild shapes formed by the tightly cropped paintings swirl about in the cramped space of the narrow box. I further worked to scuff and rough up the paintings in order to meld them together into a unit. The tension formed between these two opposites – the cover and the sides – is fantastic. It is a powerful force that invites the viewer to pick it up and turn it around to observe the effects. The simple cover has the design qualities of both Japanese design and the core values of the game – which is of simplicy and abstracted detail, while the sides add spirit and life to the program.
I very much enjoy the modernity of this box and the manner in which traditional imagery works its way into the design.
©2007 Mike Doyle