Multiple Sonic & Sega 2016 Style Guides Discovered

In the last few years there has been a small explosion in Sonic Style guides hitting the internet, if you don’t know what a style guide is, give this article a read.

Sometimes we get lucky and a full guide lands in our laps, but this is a very rare event, however we do sometimes get the odd one or two scans of style guides which give us an insight into not only how Sega see’s Sonic and would like retailers, manufacturers and designers to see Sonic, but also how they see us as fans.

For example, did you know that apparently older Sonic Boom fans are more likely to find 2D graphical representation of Boom appealing over 3D? Well you do now because that’s what’s in one of the newly discovered Sonic Boom style guides.

Another fun bit of information, remember so called ‘pixel Sonic’? Looks like it originated from one of these style guides.

The problem is that these style guides are often hard to come by, locked behind expensive license fees, most of the time fans don’t know their contents, let alone as to if they exist. Previously, we’ve been under the impression that there were only a small handful of style guides which fall under the following areas.

  • Classic Sonic.
  • Modern Sonic.
  • Sonic Boom.
  • Sega Retro.

But following a discovery today, Sonic has multiple style guides for different marketing purposes, it’s no longer one style guide dedicated to different interpretations of Sonic, but different style guides per media, for example, there are at least 2 style guides for fashion themed products, a style guide for seasonal interpretations of Sonic (so Christmas & Halloween themed, Summer and Winter sports as well as country specific sports).

Based on information discovered today, saw the creation and publication of the following Sonic themed Style Guides

  • Boys Fast Fashion (multiple versions may exist).
  • Girls and Ladies Fast Fashion (multiple versions may exist).
  • Classic Sonic Seasonal (multiple versions may exist).
  • Classic Sonic Core Guide (You can read this in full here).
  • Sonic 25th Anniversary Style Guide.
  • Sonic Boom 2D & 3D art (version 1).
  • Sonic Boom 2D & 3D art (version 2).
  • Sonic Boom Global Vector Style Guide
  • Sega MegaDrive, Master System & Game Gear Style Guide (A huge 400+ page long book!)
  • Sega Brand Licensing Book (general Sega information book, contains some Sonic information).

The information was discovered on the website of Sega’s former head of creative Licensing for the EMEA and the Americas, along with samples of each of the style guides she had worked on.

Interestingly, it was also mentioned that at least 20 different style guides had been produced since mid 2015 across all of Sega’s franchises, however with the discovery of multiple guides for Sonic, odds are there are multiple guides out there for the same franchises.

Check out all the images in our gallery below.

Source: StaceyBatesMccue


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  1. Love Boom.

    Looks cool, not too keen on so much classic, would like a nice balance of classic modern and boom.

    But over all very nice to see ??

  2. Sonic boom is ok…better than most western sonic attempts as posted above.

    Sonic underground and SaTM. I simply cannot watch….I just dont see how it fits in with the game stories presented in the old manuals. And Sonic the Comic “cartooning” their Eggman / Robotnik to tie in with Adventures of Sonic was just….well wrong. Especially as the Sonic 3 saga was given focus on their pages and eggman didnt match game eggman.

    Anyway….i see boom like Star Trek (2009) a reboot thsts familiar yet pretty different. And scarf Sonic is a bit like Shatner and Pine…both are great Kirk’s in their own way…though both dont appeal to all!!

    1. Mmm… I think Sonic Satam/Underground fits in with the tone/atmosphere/plot of Sonic CD more-so than anything else in the 90’s so there is ONE title it matches. But it really doesn’t fit much with the rest of the games in that timeline.

      I think it was a Captain Planet kind of thing they were going for as that was hot stuff back in the day.

  3. I don’t want to be that Negative Nancy… but…

    I can’t wait until we get out of this Classic Sonic phase. I miss when I could genuinely feel like the current-day, Modern Sonic was the main character still. The fact that I “need” to be enticed with 90’s nostalgia has just gotten to be a bit much when it’s already been done plenty before. I barely saw any Modern Sonic in this showcase here, because as with other merchandise this year, it’s all been Classic! (And sometimes Boom.) I get it, it’s the anniversary, I don’t hate it by any means, but it REALLY looks as if SEGA just wants to say “Oh no, lol, Modern Sonic is just that weird phase we were in when we tried to make 3D games! Don’t worry! Your pure, old, 2D Sonic is still here! See?” I wouldn’t feel this way if it were done in more moderation, but we’ve been having Classic Sonic and other nostalgic throwbacks overtake the main series for quite some time now. Classic merchandise and the nods to older games are perfectly fine, but I wish it didn’t come at the cost of the series’ evolution.

    As for Sonic Boom, I will say that despite my support for it, it does kind of bug me when they portray it as “the next evolution for Sonic.” It’s not only confusing, but it’s misleading. Classic and Modern Sonic are the same character… well, they’re SUPPOSED to be, anyway. Boom Sonic is not. I will say, though, I DO like the 2D Boom artwork quite a bit more than 3D renders.

    1. Well, you are not alone man! I feel the same way, nowdays whenever they show new merchandise, art or anything Sonic related I have to cross my fingers wishing some of it is Modern Sonic related, not that I hate Classic Sonic, I like it, I don’t like Sonic Boom but it has its fans and I accept it will exist along the main series, just hope Modern Sonic goes back to being the focus after all this “anniversary celebration” is over.

      1. I know some would argue that Project Sonic 2017 is not an anniversary game… as it will come out after Sonic turns 26, and if that’s the case… I seriously need to ask what purpose Classic Sonic serves in the game? I really hope Modern Sonic can come back into focus soon, because it really feels like for the last five years it’s been nothing but Classic Sonic and Sonic Boom. I’m fine with Sonic Boom, as it’s a side series that is not meant to affect the main series. The act of using Classic Sonic, however, has led the main series to feel uninspired and desperate as of late. It hasn’t exactly been done in moderation if you ask me. I hope that if these new games succeed (which I have faith they will), SEGA will then proceed to move on from this era of wallowing in the past.

    2. I don’t see the problem. It’s no different than DC and Marvel juggling all the art styles and versions of Superman, Batman, Spiderman, etc. due to there insistent need the reimage/reboot/remake there super-heroes every five years or so.

      Classic Sonic is no more a “phase” than Modern or Boom. Some people just genuinely prefer the original designs for being simpler, cuter, and just having that early 90s anime-western cartoon fusion charm the Adventure onwards designs lack.

      “but I wish it didn’t come at the cost of the series’ evolution.”
      A lot of people think the series went in the wrong direction after Sonic 3 and Knuckles and want to see and alternate version where things didn’t go sour. That’s why Sonic Mania is getting the reaction it is. Maybe it can be the start of an alternate era of where the series could’ve gone if the Saturn era wasn’t such a disaster for Sega.

      Sonic isn’t the only franchise doing this either. Look at the anticipation for Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild. A lot of people want to see the series return to its open-world, exploration-heavy roots instead of the increasingly linear, puzzle-heavy path the series started down with Ocarina of Time. It’s like Nintendo finally started to realize “maybe OoT is just the best 3D Zelda game we could’ve produced at the time with the technology available and isn’t the right path for the series to continue down”. Which why they’re making “NES Zelda in 3D” instead of “Ocarina of Time 6”.

      1. @Andrew Tuell

        Just because some fans didnt like how things turned out after the Genesis era doesn’t mean most fans feel that way, some loud and bitter voices on the internet don’t speak for every fan out there that may never visit these kind of sites.

        Regardless of that for every kind of fan that likes Classic Sonic there is Sonic Mania coming up, that and Sonic Generations is why Classic Sonic in Project 2017 feels so redundant to some, and if Marvel and DC do that kind of thing it doesn’t mean is ok, its a shameless gimmick to get a boost on comics sales, I fear that’s the only reason Sega is doing it again tbh.

      2. I totally get that a lot of people are bigger fans of the Classic Era Sonic. But it’s gotten to the point where Classic Sonic has outright become intrusive to fans of Modern Sonic. Things that fans of the 3D games have been asking for (not even referring to Sonic Adventure 3) have been pushed aside for 5 years for more nostalgic, 2D setpieces… without a proper balance.

        Sonic Mania looks awesome, and for the most part, Project Sonic 2017 does too… but if we’re going about making two games for two crowds like this, I would hope that Modern Sonic gets an equal amount of love as Classic Sonic. It doesn’t really feel that way. And besides, they’re supposed to be the same character, so seeing the past self of said character all the time really throws off the sense of story and progression I’d get from Sonic. This is not like Classic Mega Man and Mega Man X… or many different versions of Spider-Man.

        Besides, back when the series became “Modern”, SEGA did try to please fans of the older games with 2D games on handhelds. Sonic may have grown a bit, but so did most other video game icons at the time.

        1. “And besides, they’re supposed to be the same character, so seeing the past self of said character all the time really throws off the sense of story and progression I’d get from Sonic. This is not like Classic Mega Man and Mega Man X… or many different versions of Spider-Man.”

          I know they’re supposed to be the same character, but between Generations, Project 2017, Mania, and all the new graphics and art pieces above, I think Sega’s trying to pull a JJ Abrams Star Trek by creating a new timeline for Mania and any sequels it spawns if it sells well. Maybe if they’re successful, the ‘normal’ series and ‘neo-classic’ series can go their separate ways without one having to intrude on the other again.

          “Besides, back when the series became “Modern”, SEGA did try to please fans of the older games with 2D games on handhelds.”

          Only Advance 1 was good, the rest were terrible.

          “Sonic may have grown a bit, but so did most other video game icons at the time.”

          But how many of those other video game icons grew into the laughingstocks and whipping-boys of the gaming industry. The vitriol reviewers still give Sonic wasn’t unearned.

          1. I would welcome a full series split if it meant pleasing the fans of Classic Sonic. If they’re actually gonna do that, though, I wish they would be a bit more clear about it.

        2. It’s at this moment I realize that no one remembers Sonic Lost World. But it’s not because it wasn’t good, but it was not what y’all wanted. It was still Modern Sonic, but it relied heavily on classic sonic elements and the success of the wisps in Sonic Colors. People kept saying that sega should go back to their roots and do what worked, and that’s what theyre doing. But now it seems to the fandom that the theyre overdoing it. Now you guys want Modern Sonic back. And I think it has to do with Boom too. Now that you’ve found something “worse” than Modern Sonic and how Classic Sonic is getting most spotlight now, You want Modern Sonic back. Its suddenly not the worst thing ever. But you want Modern Sonic in a certain way. You got it with Lost World, but you felt unsatisfied. I think when people say they want Modern Sonic, they think the boost formula. It’s seems to work the best out of all of the gimmicks and stuff Sega has tried. The thing is, a lot of people say it’ll get boring after doing it for a while. Well, look at Mario. It found a formula that works and Nintendo stuck with it. They’ve had commercial success for years. Why can’t Sega do the same? Well they could in theory, but the question is…will the fandom let them? A lot of this series problems lie within the fans. Y’all complain too much, they don’t know what to give y’all because y’all change your opinions too often. I’m glad they have someone like Aaron Webber to get into the nitty gritty parts of the fandom because after that, what else can they do.

    3. The fact that people are mad that modern Sonic is seemingly pushed aside is kinda funny to me since Sega’s been focusing entirely on modern Sonic for 12 years already from 1999 to when classic Sonic came back in Sonic Generations in 2011 and the moment classic Sonic comes back people are mad even tho it feels like Sega has spent at least half of the franchises history focusing on modern Sonic. Although I do feel that project 2017 should’ve just been modern Sonic only tho.

      1. Pretty much sums up my thoughts as well. For over a decade, the version of the franchise that began with Sonic Adventure received all the spotlight, and all the focus and attention from Sega. Now that the original version of Sonic that actually made the franchise popular and successful is making a comeback, and now that there’s a third oddball experimental niche part of the franchise in the form of Boom, the fans of Adventure/Modern era feel threatened just because their Sonic has to share the spotlight a little bit.

        I also agree with Project 2017 being Modern only. That’s probably where all the fear is coming from.

      2. 1. Back in the day, Modern Sonic and Classic Sonic were the same thing. It was simply… Sonic. The character had progressed, and SEGA was moving past 2D. Sonic Adventure was not a reboot, nor spin-off. It was the next step forward with the series, and the characters grew older. And again, as stated above, 2D games were still being produced. (I won’t go and say any of them surpassed Sonic 3 & Knuckles, but regardless of quality, they were still made to keep the original spirit alive.) Under your logic, Mario’s character design getting taller, slimmer, and losing his red overalls entails it being a different branch of the series, rather than an evolution. (Not to mention that Super Mario 64 is quite different from Super Mario World.) They didn’t “abandon” Classic Sonic, as it was always just one, single entity that evolved. Again, plenty of other video game heroes change their designs and game mechanics, especially come the jump to 3D.

        2. Classic Sonic coming back in Sonic Generations was not a problem at all. In Project Sonic 2017, however, it’s very redundant. Not only do we have Sonic Mania, but previous main series games post Sonic Generations (4.2, Sonic Lost World) have still been carrying over the whole Genesis nostalgia aesthetic. It’s been done to death, and it’s gone further than just giving a portion of the fans what they want. I do not have a problem with Modern Sonic sharing the spotlight (since clearly people want the Classic Sonic back, and Modern 2D games won’t do), but I do have a problem with Modern Sonic nigh losing his role in the spotlight for about 5 years now. The character design was sported in Sonic 4 and Sonic Lost World, but again, those games still relied on 90’s throwbacks and setpieces.

        1. Very true my friend,preach ! I really wish we could go back to that line of thinking that Classic sonic and Modern sonic are the same character ! Really,I never was found of the idea of people viewing Classic Sonic as “younger” then Modern Sonic.I could have sworn even when he had his little design that he was supposed to be a 15 year old ! But as was said already I like the Classic/Genesis aesthetic/era,I do.It’s cool it’s cool and retro,and gives you a fun feeling of seeing Sonic and Sega in their peak so to speak.But as was said,it’s like Sega is trying to phase out Modern Sonic,like you said just as if it was a total failure (and we get it Sonic team,Sonic 06’s reviews kind of scared you from doing ANYTHING with the rest of the characters but c’mon).And for what I would is assume is most of Sonic’s fan base we Modern Sonic back,and the doggone Adventure spirit.But this stagnation is setting in badly.But then I understand that Sonic team and etc want Sonic to be a household name and highly revered in the “public” eye again.So I get that,and with the Mania announcement,it definitely spiked the public’s interest in Sonic again.But it’s just seems like Sega thinks that the only way to do that is put classic in the forefront and almost forego Modern stuff.Like Classic has to be the cool guy,and Modern Sonic is the laughing stock ! But then again,Project 2017 could be the crap,so we’ll see !

          1. And in response to my own comment,reviews shouldn’t make or break everything you do.So Sonic 06 was a rushed flawed game, but it still had a certain edge and personality that I and many fans still like.And I’ll take that spirit or feel over the almost soulless feel of Sonic Generations.It’s like that game has nothing going on just a weird spaciness, with Sonic music playing in the background.And I’ll be darned if we don’t do something about the doggone boost game play,it’s like I’m driving a car instead of controlling a character c’mon,and didn’t even Yuji Naka say a while ago that Sonic games are too easy nowadays…he’s absolutely right it’s no connection to the character anymore,like I said Sonic mine as well should be a car in these games because that’s how he plays ! And again I get it,Sonic team was trying to find a way to deliver a higher quality product or experience to their customers.And in Unleashed,I kind of liked how Sonic controlled,he was like a powerful car that you had to learn to tame to control ! But at the end of the day,I just want to have fun playing Sonic again,and ever since Unleashed brought in the new linear shift in game play…I haven’t been having fun with the games as I used to.And to further my point,when Aaron Webber and co. held the Sonic 24 hour thing,they played some of the adventure games and 06 and then they played generations later on.And 06 and the adventure games actually felt like a ” platform-adventure type game” with a world a story,motivation to do things.Not a random boring plot,with Burnout racing game play.

          2. Exactly. I feel like SEGA has taken the few horribly received Modern Sonic games and has blown it out of proportion, to the point where they remove EVERYTHING that was actually GOOD about them. As such, newer games have just tried way too hard to be “Retro”, because all SEGA’s ever told my critics is that every game sucked past 1994. This obviously isn’t true (especially with how well SA2 used to be received), so it just kind of bothers me.

  4. This website used to be fun. Now it’s just full of the same sadsacks that nitpick about the series and get mocked soundly for it by normies like every other Sonic community.

  5. So….this stuff is simply mock up ideas or stuff that will see release? I’d love that jacket with yellow arms.

  6. Your opinion, Hogfather, YOUR opinion.

    My opinion is, Sonic Boom is bullshit.

    Hell it’s not even part of the mainstream. And if they’re gong to put Boom Sonic in the style timeline (big as day, no less (what an eyesoar)), they might as well lump in SatAM Sonic, Saturn Sonic (Championship, Jam, R, etc.), OVA Sonic, and Sonic X.

    1. My opinion of Boom is not what this article is about. I have not stated my opinion about Boom at all in the article or in the comments.

      But thanks for once again proving that some people really need to get a life and get over Boom instead of constantly moaning about it in articles which have nothing to do with the quality of it or barely mention it at all.

      Seriously, you people are complaining because Boom Sonic is standing in a Sonic design timeline.

    2. You’re over-thinking it. Classic, Modern, and Boom are just the three main design styles used in products and promotional material. Satam’s been dead for 20+ years and is barely worth a footnote in Sonic’s history, Saturn and OVA Sonic are just Classic Sonic, and Sonic X is just the Adventure onwards Sonic poorly drawn.

      And stop calling it “Sonic Championship”, it’s Sonic the Fighters. Nobody calls it “championship”.

    1. This from a guy whose username is only used by people blinded by nostalgia for the Western half of Classic Sonic.

      And memberberries, really? The worst plotline of one of the worst seasons of South Park?

  7. I see the Sonic Mania art here does that mean the pose is just something they drew years ago and it’s only being used now? Does the guide credit the artist or say when these were made?

    One last question: If so much merchandise is 2D why dont they use 2D art for game promotion anymore?

  8. In all honesty, these guides would be neat to have, but my interest in them ends when I see Sonic Boom in them. It’s like making a nice sandwich with stuff you like, but you find a foot-print on the bread and realize the sandwich has fallen on the floor.

    Some people like Sonic Boom….good for them, I suppose. They’re the lucky ones, because hey…they’re getting it.

    Me personally….I wouldn’t waste my time or money.

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