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Studio Image 2 by Syd Mead


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Inspirational to virtually everyone in the fields of automotive design, film concept design, and industrial design, Syd Mead was a concept artist/visual futurist. He is widely regarded as the most creative industrial designer in history.

Mead began his art career in 1959 at Ford Motor Company's Advanced Styling Studio. After two years, he left the studio and began illustrating books and catalogues for large corporations, such as US Steel, Celanese, Allis Chalmers, and Atlas Cement. In 1970, he launched Syd Mead, Inc. with Philips Electronics as his most notable client.

Mead later became involved with film design and illustration, becoming best known for establishing the high bar set for concept design for science-fiction films. Some of the films he has worked on include Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Blade Runner, Tron, 2010, Short Circuit, Aliens, Timecop, Johnny Mnemonic, and Mission: Impossible III.

Mead also provided architectural renderings for many clients, including Intercontinental Hotels, 3D International, Harwood Taylor & Associates, Don Ghia, and Gresham & Smith. He has worked with many Japanese corporate clients, as well, including Sony, Minolta, Dentsu, Dyflex, Tiger Corporation, Seibu, Mitsukoshi, Bandai, NHK, and Honda. Additional clients include Disney, Carnegie Mellon University, Purdue, Pratt University, and the Society of Illustrators.

In addition, Mead exhibited his work around the world through one-man shows and has contributed design work to video games.


His was an expansive world, with technology that was both more advanced and more fantastical than our own; vehicles that were both more stylish and more luxurious; buildings that were both more graceful and geometric; and cities that were simultaneously brighter and darker in tone. His photographs of extraterrestrial life broadened our perspective and encouraged us to look to the stars.
His mental landscapes were futuristic, but they still had a flair for drama and pageantry. There lived among them people who were more handsome, beautiful, muscular, and graceful than we were. In the simplest of situations, they appeared to be performing heroic deeds. - Jesse J., Soldat

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