Syd Mead Has Died

Syd Mead Has Died

Legendary concept artist and futurist Syd Mead, famous for his work on movies like Blade Runner and Tron, has died. He was 86 years old.

Mead had only announced his retirement in September. His career as a concept artist saw him work on projects like the aforementioned Blade Runner (and its sequel, Blade Runner 2049) and Tron, along with Star Trek, Aliens and Elysium. He even helped out on Gundam.

While popularly known for his work as a concept artist, Mead also left a mark as a futurist and corporate artist, working for companies like Ford, Philips and United States Steel, most often providing illustrations of his bold, clean visions of the future.

Mead’s influence on video games, from vehicles to architecture, is almost too great to summarise, but it can be seen in projects he worked on directly (like the CyberRace series) and indirectly (the Mass Effect series’ visual style owes a lot to Mead).

Mead passed away last night from complications associated with lymphoma, with the news announced by Autoline’s John McElroy (who has interviewed Mead previously).


  • Considering we are neck deep in Star Wars hype you might want to add his influence on Star Wars. Especially the Imperial Walkers. ????

  • What a true legend. Such a badass imagination plus endless attention to detail. My godfather introduced me to MacQuarrie’s art because of my love of Star Wars then a few years later drip fed me Sid Mead’s works (which I’d get lost in for hours), then Bladerunner then finally William Gibson and Robert Heinlein novels, a bit of this, a dash of that, topped off with an almost unhealthy love for H.R.Giger! It had a profound effect on me as child just hitting double digits. When i returned the favour by turning him on to Akira, he nearly wept he was so blown away. But it’s Sid’s work I always seem to come back to. I see it’s influence in just about everything that’s cool! While my godfather (love ya Uncle Neil!) is now long gone, his taste in style are permanently on board with me. That Sid has now passed on it’s almost like a sad deja vu. I’m not too proud to admit I cried a bit while reading this. Thanks, Sid. For everything you dreamed of and so much more.

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