Sunday, February 25, 2007

Syd Mead

As a robot designer for Short Circuit, concept artist for Tron, a production illustrator for the first Star Trek movie and a "visual futurist" for Blade Runner, Syd Mead has contributed to the paleo-future through some amazing movies.

Flickrtarian Michael Heilemann recently posted a set of Syd Mead concept art. Be sure to check out the Paleo-Future Flickr group started by trixiebedlam.


KingSizeMong said...

Always loved the Mead look. A shiny, big future.

And look here for something he seems to have been totally correct about -

The compression of the English language to rid itself of redundant vowels that we seem to be getting with more widespread the intarwub and text messages on phones.

Scott Haley said...

The top picture on this page is quite suggestive of a Segway scooter. How long ago did he draw that one?

Scott Conner said...

I just sent an email containing amongst other things, a link to Mead's website. Looks like someone already beat me to it ;-)

He has one piece of art that shows the direct design influence of the legs/feet of the Star Wars AT-AT's as well.

Anonymous said...

Allow me to gush for a moment about the living legend that is Syd Mead. Syd's influence in the entertainment design area reaches far and wide, and his visual language influences nearly all creative design fields today, whether he personally worked on them or not.

He's been the singular greatest influence in my artistic career. I can't get enough of his old-school future-optimism. And he's a really nice guy who I've met and chatted with a few times. He even answered his own phone when I called to order some books from his company a few years ago. He kindly personalized my copies with a wonderful greeting: "To Richard - The Future *is* Fabulous!" They are my most prized art books.

Scott - the personal gyro transport is a pretty old piece. There's no specific date on the image in Sentinel II, but it says that his interest in gyros was at its peak in the mid 60s. It's part of his US Steel series, which dates to the early 60s, so this was probably done around then. And yes, it is confirmed that his snow-walker design was essentially ripped-off for Empire. Syd's image dates from 1976, 4 years before Empire opened.

Anonymous said...

artbod erroneously said: "Syd's image dates from 1976, 4 years before Empire opened."

Actually, Mead's snow walker was painted before '76. Syd also answered his own phone and sent me a copy of his U.S. Steel book in '72 with that image in it, four years before '76.

But that's right: Syd Mead is our generation's greatest futuristic artist and visionary.