- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment (October 25, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1524101036
- ISBN-13: 978-1524101039
- Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1.2 x 11.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (102 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,318 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Art of Atari Hardcover – October 25, 2016
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About the Author
Tim Lapetino has been a fan of Atari art since childhood. An award-winning Creative Director and graphic designer, his design and branding work has been published in more than a dozen books and magazines. He co-authored the design inspiration book Damn Good: Top Designers Discuss Their All-Time Favorite Projects, and has written for HOW, Geek Monthly, RETRO, and other publications. He is the founder and Executive Director of the Museum of Video Game Art (MOVA), and is dedicated to chronicling the intersection of design and pop culture. He resides in Chicago with his wife and two kids.
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Top Customer Reviews
Oh, Also there is also small bios on the artist and a quick history of the Atari consoles with some industrial design art of the models.
This is how you do a Art of book! Major props to Tim Lapetino on putting this together.
After making a recent pilgrimage to the American Classic Arcade Museum, I’ve had a renewed interest in arcade and vintage console machines. People forget just how ground-breaking and influential Atari’s game and industrial design was over a generation of kids. This was a company unrestrained by finance, precedent, or expectations. At Atari, everything was on the table, and the misfires are as intriguing as the successes.
In an era where most homes didn’t have or hadn’t even heard of a “personal computer,” where Neuromancer and The Matrix were years or decades away, computers and video games had a magical lure about them. These were The Mysteries of the 21st century. This was the time of Tron, pre-internet, pre-Pixar, pre-cell phone, pre-Warcraft, when new digital technology was materializing almost faster than we could figure out what it meant or how to use it.
Atari games (and their contemporaries) were a social and imagination-firing activity – the world of the game was only partly on the screen. The genius of the appeal was how these games kept firing your imagination long after you unplugged and were engaged in a completely different activity. The skill of Atari’s art and design personnel made this magic happen.
Art of Atari captures these memories perfectly, treating them respect, framing them, curating them. This book is a trove of information from the era, containing not just well-known stuff like the E.T. debacle (debunked, by the way in these pages), but going into interesting trivia even 80’s junkies like me only have a passing knowledge of.
Graphic art? Fine Art? Industrial design? Even fonts (yes – the freakin’ box fonts!) are all represented here, in spades. This book is a boon of pre-Illustrator, pre-Photoshop, old-school analog art and methods. It’s invaluable as a time capsule, educational resource, and nostalgia device.
My only quibble – if it can be called one – is the underrepresentation of Atari’s vast number of arcade machines. By covering all things Atari, this book admirably covers a breadth of detail, but it does so by sacrificing scrutiny of Atari’s design and social influence outside the home. Perhaps for another book..? A similar treatment of the “arcade era” is long overdue.
But all in all – Well worth the wait. The reign of Atari is long past, but I hope this renews an interest in the art itself – many of these iconic cover pieces (Asteroids, Vanguard, Star Raiders, Missile Command, I could go on and on) deserve reproduction release.
And what artwork it is!
Let me say right off the bat this book DELIVERS. It’s big, well-made, and stuffed with not only amazing art but unused concepts, artist profiles, and the backstory to some of the most famous gaming artwork ever made. I was very impressed with the sections devoted to individual artists, as that’s something we rarely get in a video fame art book outside of a few famous names. Most of the these creators are probably next to unknown to the general public, but they had a hand in generating some of the best known and loved gaming artwork in the industry. From Centipede to Missile Command, you get to see not only the publicly released and known images but the process that led to them. I’m also a big fan of seeing the production materials, such as print ads or shirts, and there is plenty of that to be found here. Even the physical design of the consoles is covered!
All in all, this is an essential volume for anyone who enjoys video game art, and even more so because it’s such a deep look into some of the definitive works of the era. This is among the best of the video game art books out there, worth every penny.