Standing Sega Pengo Marquee

Since 2005, there has been a vector file version of the standing Sega Pengo marquee on Arcade Art Library (localarcade.com). The author is “rockworm”, and I don’t recognize that name on any other forum. Right away, I question the accuracy of the file. “Rockworm” hasn’t added another file over the last two years, so it is hard to know if he just printed out a copy on an inkjet and therefore the Pengo artwork didn’t have to be exact, or what the final use was. So before I assumed I could use the artwork in my Pengo reproductions, I decided that I should do some close up comparisons of the Pengo artwork to the original marquee scan. Here is what I found;

Standing Sega Pengo Marquee Artwork DetailStanding Sega Pengo Marquee Scan Detail

You can see some differences in the line shapes in the Pengo marquee vector drawing detail (first image) vs. the Pengo marquee scan. Some lines have been smoothed out and some angles aren’t the same. And let’s not forget, the most important idea is the attention to detail. If you look closely, there is a piece missing completely. What else is wrong with this vector Pengo marquee file? It is hard to trust the integrity when there are pieces of the Pengo artwork missing. The accuracy is close, don’t get me wrong, but it isn’t perfect.

So, at the very least, I have already redrawn the standing Pengo character on this marquee. I will check the lettering for accuracy, maybe I can reuse that artwork. I will post progress hopefully in the next day or two since the Pengo bezel is complete.

Back to the shapes of the original lines. When I think about restoring this old artwork, I try to think about the original process the art director at Sega would have gone through. To make this artwork into a screen to print onto different materials he would have had to have drawn it, and then transferred it to film. In my mind, the original Pengo artwork shouldn’t have the most crisp lines, there would be some variances in line thickness because it was a hand drawn line, not computer generated. So, when looking at a small zoomed in portion of the original Arcade Art Library artwork;

Standing Sega Pengo Marquee Artwork Edge Detail

I see the vector lines resolved and reduced. The accuracy of the original Pengo shapes is off, and even though the details will be so small when printed only a true expert would know the difference, I like to detail it out here because these Pengo reproductions are for everyone, not just me. Not to mention, some portions look like they could have been run through an auto trace function because of how sharp some of the edges are.

Here is that same portion that I redrew. Note that the detail here is the side of the ice block Pengo is resting on, and in my drawing the side is a darker blue just like the original artwork. The file on AAL doesn’t have this.

Standing Sega Pengo Marquee Artwork Detail

When looking at the original artwork, I don’t trace every jagged edge, I make a judgement call. If the Pengo artwork seems like it should have a smooth line, then I add it in, but sometimes, the bumpiness of the line is what makes the artwork more authentic in my mind.

Agree? Know a little bit more about the original game manufacturer’s art making process? Know who “rockworm” is? Leave a comment and give us your insights.

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This is looking great. I agree that the original look of the lines should be maintained. Pac-Man sideart is another good example of this. Some of the lines look intentionally bumpy and wouldn’t look as good if they were perfectly straight.

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