Legendary Sci-Fi Concept Artist Syd Mead Has Passed Away

Responsible for orchestrating the worlds of ‘Blade Runner,’ ‘TRON,’ ‘Aliens,’ & many more.

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Legendary futurist and concept artist Syd Mead has passed away at 86 years old.

The illustrator was most famous for his work on movies like Blade Runner, Blade Runner 2049, TRON, Aliens, Star Trek, and Elysium, amongst others, even gracing his unique approach to sci-fi imagery on Japanese anime series Yamato 2520 and Gundam. In addition to films and TV series, Mead worked for corporate companies like Ford, Honda, Volvo, Philips, and United States Steel, providing bold illustrations of the future that transported onlookers to a new dimension.

His influence has echoed throughout cyberpunk and science fiction genres. So much so that even video games like Mass Effect and various parts of Star Wars owe much to his pioneering, with many present-day artists incorporating his design methodology and style into vehicles, architecture, and more.

When New York Times asked him in 2008 about how he believed sci-fi would turn into real-world designs, he simply shared “I’ve called science fiction ‘reality ahead of schedule.’”

Mead passed away last night due to complications associated with lymphoma, with the news announced by Autoline’s John McElroy, who recently interviewed Mead for the publication.

Syd Mead was a world builder the likes of which cinema had never seen, and probably won’t see again. Such a pleasure to interview him for my BLADE RUNNER and ALIENS docs, and I’ll forever be inspired by his visionary art. Condolences to Roger, Syd’s family, friends and many fans. https://t.co/YNZOSxL2xJ

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