On December 30, news outlets reported that influential industrial designer and neofuturistic concept artist Syd Mead passed away. He was 86.
The news was first reported by journalist John McElroy, and was confirmed by his spouse Roger Servick.
Mead was born in Saint Paul, Minnesota on July 18, 1933. Mead was the son of a Baptist Minister, who read the boy stories from pulp serials like Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers, which sparked an interest in science fiction that would last a lifetime.
Later in life, Mead served a three-year term in the military, before entering the Art Center School in Los Angeles. He graduated in June 1959, after which he was recruited by the Ford Motor Company as an illustrator and industrial designer. He would go on to work with numerous major organizations, such as Sony, Dentsu, Minolta, Bandai, and NHK.
In show business, Mead contributed designs to numerous prominent projects, including Blade Runner, Alien, Tron, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and Short Circuit. In the anime world, he provided mechanical designs for Turn-A-Gundam and the unreleased Yamato 2520 feature film.
In September, Mead announced that he would officially retire. He was slated to receive the Art Directors Guild’s William Cameron Award in February.