Sometimes a picture tells a thousand words, and Ken Sugimori is a man who has made his name by doing exactly that. Famed for his iconic and long standing work on the Pokemon franchise, Sugimori not only designed all 151 of the original Pokémon himself, but has even created many of the subsequent Pokémon, alongside illustrating the trading cards, and developing conceptual artwork for the anime and movies. He has also been in charge of the art direction for every game in the series, guiding the creation of all subsequent Pokémon alongside the worlds they inhabit.
He first became involved with Game Freak in the 1980s, when he joined Pokémon creator Satoshi Tajiri on working on the gaming fanzine titled Game Freak. This magazine would go on to become the name of the company behind Pokémon, and whilst Sugimori has been involved in many of their projects, he has become entirely synonymous with Pokémon, beginning with the games that started the craze Pokémon Red, Green & Blue. Whilst his art style may have evolved over the years, in true retro fashion and in the spirit of letting the pictures do the talking, let me present to you some of the original concept art for one of gaming’s most iconic franchises, Pokémon.
So there you have it. Satoshi Tajiri created the much loved franchise, but much of what we know would certainly not have been possible without the designs of Ken Sugimori. From Pikachu to Charizard, anyone who loves Pokémon has a lot to thank both of these men for. We hope you enjoyed seeing some of this rare original Pokémon artwork from a true master of design.