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Syd Mead death: Legendary concept artist and futurist dies at 86

Visual futurist Syn Mead
Legendary concept artist Syd Mead dies at 86. Pic credit: Car Design News/YouTube

Syd Mead, the legendary conceptual artist and sci-fi futurist known as the designer behind iconic cinematic images from sci-fi films such as Blade Runner and Star Trek: The Motion Picture,  passed away on December 30 at the age of 86.

Mead’s death was first announced on Facebook by Autoline’s John McElroy, who interviewed Mead on his podcast.

“He was one of the greatest designers and futurists of our times. Syd Mead passed away this morning. His work and influence will outlive him forever.”

He was one of the greatest designers and futurists of of our times. Syd Mead passed away this morning. His work and influence will outlive him forever.

Posted by John McElroy on Monday, December 30, 2019

The Syd Mead Official Fan Club on Facebook also announced his death. The cause of death was not revealed.

Since McElroy broke the news of Mead’s passing, people have been paying tribute on Twitter and sharing examples of his work.

Mead’s death comes after the Art Directors Guild (ADG) announced last month that the legendary concept artist would be honored with the William Cameron Menzies Award during the Guild’s 24th Annual Awards on February 1, 2020, in Los Angeles.

Syd Mead bio

Synd Mead was born on July 18, 1933, in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

He went to high school in Colorado Springs and served in the U.S. Army for three years. He graduated from the Art Center School in Los Angeles (currently Art Center College of Design, Pasadena).

He is known as the concept artist behind several major film projects, such as Blade Runner, Aliens, Tron, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Elysium, and Tomorrowland, according to his IMDb page.

He designed the cityscapes in Blade Runner and the future Las Vegas in Blade Runner 2049. The spaceship Leonov and its interiors from the movie 2010, and robot Johnny 5 from Short Circuit, were also his contributions to the films.

He worked as a designer for Ford, Philips Electronics, and U.S. Steel. He also worked on visualizing products for Sony and Chrysler.

He was also widely regarded as a pioneer of cyberpunk.


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