Three Different Kinds of Art You’ll See in Video Games

While video game developers get most of the glory for the playable masterpieces that they work on, the artists behind them are often overlooked, read on.

Video games give us a way to escape from reality into an incredible world that we can directly influence, making them more personal than movies or TV shows.

Creating a video game is hard work, and it takes a team of talented people to make something fun, original, and with character. Beyond just the developers who create the code and the publishers who deal with the marketing, there is a category of workers in the game industry that doesn’t see much glory: the artists.

A video game wouldn’t be complete without game art production, and in this guide, we’re going to explore three distinct kinds of artwork that are created for them.

Concept Art

The most common type of art that is created for video games is concept art, which is meant to give the developers an idea of what the finished world will look like. Concept art is used in fields ranging from animation to comic books, and it has been in use since at least the 1930s.

Concept artists can either be employed directly by a studio, or they can work freelance, but most established game developers will have in-house concept artists at their disposal. Concept art will often come included in a game’s extras, or it may even be sold separately in a hardcover art book.

In-Game Art

Another common form of art that is needed for video games is art that will be seen by the player in the game world. This art will be created from an in-universe standpoint, and it will help contribute to the game’s lore, creating a more immersive world, so it will require a degree of creativity.

In-game art can range from covers on books to posters. The artist will typically create a work of art, and then the development team will take it an turn it into a texture that can be implemented into the game world. While this process may diminish the quality, texture resolution is rapidly improving with enhanced graphics hardware.

Loading Screen and Menu Art

Finally, video game artists can also create pieces to be used in the game’s menus and loading screens. The artwork in the UI can help spice things up and give the game a bit more character, even when it isn’t being played. Keep in mind that smaller studios may not have the budget to fully decorate the menus, so this kind of art is usually present in triple-A releases.

Some developers will sprinkle some of the concept of art across the menus, saving money on original artwork.


Art plays a crucial role in video games, as in any other visual medium, and the efforts of these artists should be recognized, as many of our favorite series wouldn’t be the same without them. We hope that this guide has provided you with all of the relevant details about each of these different kinds of art.

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