Good Morning Magic Talks Key Art From Time Spiral Remastered

Learn why the box art for Time Spiral Remastered wasn’t used on the card for Tarmogoyf.

Tarmogoyf, illustrated by Justin Murray

Gavin Verhey used today’s episode of Good Morning Magic to explain why the art of Tarmogoyf from the packaging of Time Spiral Remastered wasn’t used on the card in the set.

The large piece of art used on booster boxes and other marketing material is called the key art for a set. It is commissioned and planned long before sets are designed and often before a single card is finalized. The art is created for the purpose of showing up on packaging from boxes to boosters packs.

Key art has been used as far back as Rise of the Eldrazi. A key reason it isn’t used in the set itself is because the art doesn’t typically translate well to the art on a card. The scale and focus of the art doesn’t work well in a smaller square frame and similarly, card art doesn’t work well scaled up to a box. The goals for the art are different as well. Card art is meant to communicate the mechanics and function of the specific card, while key art is meant to tell the theme of the set and give a general feel for the world.

The key art of Tarmogoyf says nostalgia to viewers and lets players know that older cards are in the set. Because the design team knew they wanted the original art for Tarmogoyf on the card, they knew it wouldn’t work well on a box.