The role of art in board games

The role of art in board games

Beyond visual pleasure


A key element in the composition of a board game, art is celebrated through its illustrations, both on its cover and its pieces. A significant contributor to its uniqueness and sense of belonging, art supports the theme for an immersive experience in the game's story.


The composition of a board game

A board game presents a problem to solve. To achieve this, one or more methods (mechanics) are presented to us using game pieces (components). As an example, let's break down ART•ZY FAM•LY.



ART•ZY FAM•LY - A game of modern families.


The families are mixed up, and we need to bring them together.



The player with the largest collection of families will win. To achieve this, we ask an opponent to give us a specific member of a family for which we already have a similar one. Listening is the key element to our success, as other players' questions allow us to deduce the composition of their hands. Our memory is greatly engaged to optimize our turn in the game.



ART•ZY FAM•LY consists of 42 cards divided into 7 families of 6. To distinguish them, each family has its own artistic style (for example, retro or tattoo) and its iconography.


Uniqueness and Sense of Belonging

With so many games on the market, many of them start to look alike. To escape the sense of déjà vu, the chosen illustrations set it apart from others far beyond mere marketing to catch the eye. Indeed, regardless of the creative process, they all stem from a concept, a common thread, or a connecting story. The same applies to the various components of the game. Thus, the collection of works (games) by an artist (publisher) forms a family to which enthusiasts (players) develop a sense of belonging.

 Toutes les cartes de la famille des Tatoués ont été peint à la main par Julie L'Écuyer ! All the famly members of the inked famly were painted by had by the amazing Julie L'Ecuyer

Photo : Julie L'Ecuyer


Just like illustrations in a fairy tale book, those in a board game immerse us in its story. Art plays a pivotal role in the creation of a board game by setting the tone, creating the atmosphere, and allowing us to grasp a character's temperament. As a result, our understanding of the strategic actions required to achieve our goal is enhanced.

Art and the game elicit colorful emotions, immerse us in a story, and help us appreciate the present moment.


Board Game, a Form of Artwork?

I can confidently say that many games in my collection are true works of art due to their illustrations and the quality of the game components. Ranging from metal coins to acrylic crystals, they are thoughtfully displayed in my game library. Moreover, with the artist's approval, board game covers are proudly showcased in my office.



Collaboratrice du blogue Lalita's Art Shop - Spécialiste du jeu Catherine Watts Cowan 

Catherine Watts Cowan

Passionate about games

Lalita’s Art Shop



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