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  • Jerrol Richardson (1928–1991)


    Adapted from BOX=ART

    Jerrol “Jerr” Richardson is an American artist responsible for box art illustrations for many of Mattel’s first-party releases for the Intellivision. Jerr’s art and design would play an outsized role in defining the console’s brading.

    As a staff employee at Mattel Toys, Jerr illustrated catalog and packaging artwork for Barbie and other children’s toys throughout the 1970s. The work would position him for an influential design role as Mattel Toys' subsidiary Mattel Electronics devised a home console, the Intellivision, to compete with the runaway success of the Atari VCS (later rebranded to Atari 2600).

    Jerr would be responsible for the layout and design of the Intellivision’s game boxes, helping give Mattel’s console distinct branding. Beyond box colors early on that were used to signal to consumers the genres of the games themselves, the art on those boxes—Jerr’s art—adopted a recognizable layout scheme. Each painted box art would feature multiple scenes, usually without a repetition of characters; these scenes were often structured using circular windows of varying sizes to offset a primary image from supplemental action shots.

    While the aesthetic of Jerr’s box art may well have been inspired by early art from Atari artist Cliff Spohn, as much of Intellivision’s box art was done in-house, Mattel’s box art had a reputation for being accurate to the games, depicting characters, enemies, or features all actually within the games.

    The Intellivision peaked in popularity and sales in 1981. Mattel Toys and Electronics would split that year, but Electronics—without a dedicated visual arts department—still farmed out packaging duties to Mattel Toys and Jerr until 1983. The U.S. video game industry would crash in 1983, leading Mattel Electronics to lay off most of its staff; it would close the following year.  

    Considering this timeline, Jerr’s final box art may have been Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Treasure of Tarmin (1983). From 1983 onward, most Intellivision releases were from third party publishers, at which point Jerr was unlikely to be involved. 

    Little more is known about Jerr at present other than that he was born in 1928 and died in 1991 at age 63. Given his year of birth, it is probable that his illustration career began well before the 1970s. Based on the style of his art, he may have been involved in book cover art design.

    OVGA has included below Jerrol Richardson's full known box art:

    1. ABPA Backgammon (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1979)
    2. Armour Battle (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1979)
    3. Auto Racing (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1979)
    4. Checkers  (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1979)
    5. NASL Soccer (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1979)
    6. NFL Football (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1979)
    7. Golf (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1980)
    8. Las Vegas Poker and Blackjack (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1980)
    9. Las Vegas Roulette (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1980)
    10. Major League Baseball (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1980)
    11. NBA Basketball (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1980)
    12. Sea Battle (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1980)
    13. Skiing (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1980)
    14. Space Battle (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1980)
    15. Tennis (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1980)
    16. Astrosmash (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1981)
    17. Boxing (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1981)
    18. Space Armada (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1981)
    19. Space Hawk (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1981)
    20. Star Strike (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1981)
    21. Utopia (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1981)
    22. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1982)
    23. Frog Bog (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1982)
    24. Night Stalker (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1982)
    25. Reversi (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1982)
    26. Royal Dealer (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1982)
    27. Shark! Shark! (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1982)
    28. Sharp Shot (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1982)
    29. Sub Hunt (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1982)
    30. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Treasure of Tarmin (Mattel Electronics | Intellivision | 1983)

    Jerrol Richardson

    Born: 1928
    Died: 1991
    Nationality: American
    Known For : Intellivision box art
    Years Active: 1979–1983

    Additional Images

    Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (1982)
    ABPA Backgammon (1979)
    Golf (1980)

    Most Popular Jerrol Richardson (1928–1991) Artwork

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