Let me say this upfront, I am not a graphic designer, nor did I study any courses on graphic design. But I do have some design sensibilities that other people seem to agree with. As far as the hobby goes, this is mainly manifested with my regular/semi-regular “Box Art Extravaganza” posts where I overanalyze packaging design and attempt to correlate them to the themes of the series they come from.

For this round, our extravaganza is more special as the first kits from the High Grade THE WITCH FROM MERCURY line is finally dropping, and their box arts have been revealed. But before going further, let’s check out the packaging design from the last mainline Gundam series, the High Grade IRON-BLOODED ORPHANS line.

For the first season, they went with this brushed effect where the illustration fades into the left border with brush strokes. It does match with the rough and unpolished feel (aesthetically) of the series. I just don’t like the need to insert some generic-colored line art of the pilot whose illustration doesn’t match the art on its right.

For the second season and beyond, they went with this embossed border effect that really feels cheap to me. I get that in contrast to the rugged look for the first season, which might represent how Tekkadan is still disorganized and all, the borders on the second season packaging appear more polished and refined. And I think that’s what they’re going for with the reflection of the Barbatos Lupus. But it really doesn’t work for me as embossed borders often look cheap when not done right. This is especially true with the way they inserted the illustration of the pilot, on what appears to be some embossed shard or something.

I guess I’m just not a fan of embossed borders.

Let’s then take a look at the High Grade THE WITCH FROM MERCURY packaging design.

HG 1/144 Gundam Lfrith
August 6, 2022 / ¥1,600
Order via HobbyLink Japan

HG 1/144 Beguir-Beu
August 6, 2022 / ¥1,600
Order via HobbyLink Japan

First, I totally like the minimalist approach to the design. It gives off this clean and futuristic vibe the series is going for. It also matches the high science-fiction and industrial theme, just like how Apple designs its packaging. Second, and I’m glad they decided to restrain themselves, is how they didn’t include some illustration of the pilot in the box, which would’ve looked jarring, especially with how the mobile suits were drawn.

Lastly, they just went with basic shapes, angles, and negative spaces with the borders. I’m also a fan of the flat aesthetic so having zero embossed elements is really much appreciated.

Now, for all intents and purposes, we are just talking about the packaging, and this doesn’t dictate the quality of the kits inside. But if what they’re showing in the solicitations is true, then it appears that the kits themselves look very promising as well.


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