Syd Mead: Happy Birthday to Our Favorite Visual Futurist

Posted by Michael Pinto on Jul 18, 2009 in Cinema, Design |

Syd Mead got his start working working for the auto industry in the 60s.

On this day in 1933 visual futurist Syd Mead was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota. He started his career in 1959 working for Ford Motor Company, but for us fanboys our love affair with his work really starts 70s when he started to make the jump from slick looking industrial design to science fiction. His early film work in Hollywood includes credits on the film Star Trek: The Motion Picture, 2010, Tron, Aliens and even the comedy Short Circuit (yes that was his robot design!). However his triumph for me was his preproduction work on Blade Runner:

Syd Mead really defined the look of Blade Runner with his amazing preproduction paintings

Over the years Mead’s work hasn’t been limited to Hollywood, he’s done for concept work on the anime series Mobile Suit Gundam and Space Cruiser Yamato — and even worked on a videogame or two. On the surface it would be easy to say that Syd Mead has a knack for industrial design, but that would overlook his other devastating skills like dramatic layout, delicious draftsmanship and his powerful use of color on the page:

Syd Mead

Syd Mead

Syd Mead

Syd Mead

Syd Mead

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