Monday, July 15, 2013

Publisher Themed Labels on Classic NES Games, Part 2

Today is the thrilling conclusion to uniform label designs on NES games!  We're going to be looking at the actual art on the front of the labels today, which opens up a whole new selection of designs.

Last week we looked at the end labels of games from 21 different companies which had similar designs.  I felt as though some of them weren't readily apparent unless you had them organized by publisher.  Some I included just for completeness sake, and this feature is no exception.

Today we're going to look at collages from 24 different publishers.  Brace yourselves for an extremely image heavy feature!  As always, click the images to see larger versions.

1:  Acclaim
Black bar at the bottom with the Acclaim logo.

White bar at the bottom with the Acclaim logo.

2:  American Sammy
Note the width of the border around the image.

3:  American Softworks
ASC logo in the bottom left corner, plus the size of the colored border!

4:  Bandai
The logo is at an angle and the background image is tilted to the left.

5:  Brøderbund
The Brøderbund logo is in a tab in the bottom right of the image.

6:  Capcom
Futuristic angled grid patterns!

Purple.  Probably what you think of when you think NES Capcom games.

7:  Culture Brain
White with the Culture Brain logo in the bottom left.

8:  Data East
Solid color border with the Data East logo centered at the bottom.

9:  FCI, Inc.
Solid color border, art aligned near the bottom, FCI logo at the top.

10:  Hudson Soft
Hard to see on Adventure Island, but more futuristic grids!

11:  Jaleco
White Jaleco labels with a blue Jaleco logo at the top.

12:  JVC
Like the end label, JVC carts have a sandy brown coloring.

13:  Kemco Seika
Note that the art is in a triangle.

14:  Konami
Konami carts with their popular silver labels!

15:  LJN, Ltd.
LJN, Ltd.. carts with their right angled art window.

LJN, Ltd. carts with their boring Acclaim-ish bottom white bar.

16:  Milton Bradley
All silver with the art aligned in the bottom left corner.

17:  Mindscape, Inc.
Predominately white labels with a square art window at the top.

18: Nintendo
You already know about these.  Just here for completeness sake.

19:  SNK
SNK carts with colored stripes flanking the center art.

20:  Sunsoft
Blue bar at the top, but also note the left tilted rectangle the art is in.

Also, vertical logo going down the left side.

21:  Taxan
Taxan games with the art aligned to the left with a colored border.

22:  Tecmo
Tilted logo with characters floating in a Tecmo void.

23:  Tengen
Look at those red lines intersecting in the bottom left!

24:  Ultra Games
Ultra games with a stripe of art going diagonally down across the label.

A few of these designs are very well known, but I think a few of them are more subtle, for example the Hudson Soft, Kemco Seika, and Sunsoft art.  In any case, I think it's a really cool thing these publishers did back in the day.  I never see or hear people mention the consistency of these designs when they're talking about NES games, so I don't know if they never noticed them before or they just don't care.  I think it's a neat thing that I think more people should be aware of.

I hope you enjoyed the article!


  1. Once again, another great post. I really like the trip down nostalgia lane. I never owned an NES myself (had a C64), but all my friends had an NES ;)

    By the way, how are you getting such clean crisp photos of these games? Did you find them online or did you photograph them yourself? If you did them yourself, how did you get them so high quality and so 'straight' ?

    1. Thank you for reading!

      I scan every game I buy, so the images you're seeing are scans of the games I own. The pictures of the top labels from part 1 were photographs I took, though.