The artist is best known for his concept art for sci-fi movies Tron, , Johnny Mnemonic, Mission Impossible 3, and . In the ’90s, Mead also supplied designs for Japanese anime series,Yamato 2520 and Turn A Gundam., , ,
Mead’s designs for both film and TV defined how sci-fi could eventually lead to real-world designs. “I’ve called science fiction ‘reality ahead of schedule,'” Mead said in a New York Times interview in 2008.
In May, CNET’s Roadshow featured of futuristic-looking Volvo trucks. Mead worked as a designer for a time at Volvo Trucks, though his version of the vehicles never saw production.
Liam Keating/Syd Mead/Volvo Trucks
Fans flooded Twitter with tributes to the beloved concept artist.
“A legend has left us today,” one user tweeted. “His vision changed our culture, our collective perception of what is possible, and inspired so many of us today.” Tweeted another fan: “Without him, the visual language of science fiction wouldn’t have been the same.”
And another wrote, “Few have had the impact on how we visualize the future that he did; cyberpunk as a genre to a large extent has a look codified by him. Was always a joy to watch something with his touch — most recently for me Yamato 2520, where his designs stood out.”
A legend has left us today.
His vision changed our culture, our collective perception of what is possible, and inspired so many of us today.
With a heavy and saddened heart, I say, R.I.P Syd Mead. pic.twitter.com/MnDT8ZuFia
— Karla Ortiz (@kortizart) December 30, 2019
The Great Syd Mead passed away.
Without him, the visual language of science fiction wouldn’t have been the same. Here, his vision for the streets of Blade Runner. pic.twitter.com/sDENt67w8z
— Tim Soret (@timsoret) December 30, 2019
Syd Mead thrived on complexity.
Every piece of his work is masterclass of perspective, detailed shape language, complex lighting & difficult reflective surfaces. pic.twitter.com/HG8pu7ZVh3
— Tim Soret (@timsoret) December 30, 2019
Syd Mead as a titan. Few have had the impact on how we visualise the future that he did; cyberpunk as a genre to a large extent has a look codified by him. Was always a joy to watch something with his touch – most recently for me Yamato 2520, where his designs stood out. RIP. pic.twitter.com/yIaaCoOqIL
— Valondar (@VK_HM) December 30, 2019
RIP concept artist Syd Mead (1933-2019)
Star Trek The Motion Picture
Mission Impossible 3
Blade Runner 2049 pic.twitter.com/RqKbukmPDn
— Jesse Hamm (@jesse_hamm) December 30, 2019
RIP Syd Mead. The first time an artist’s work really took me to another world. Every inch of his paintings gave me something to think about. A true master of his craft whose impact will never be forgotten. pic.twitter.com/GrzaVi7awl
— 🔸Quintin Puebla🔸 (@QuintinPuebla) December 30, 2019
Rest in peace Syd Mead.
I met Syd back at THU 2014 for the first time and it changed my life for the better. He encouraged me to pursue my dreams and I never stopped doing it since. It breaks my heart to see him go, but his work will live on forever.
— Christina Kraus 🌱🐺 (@ElbenherzArt) December 30, 2019
I had the pleasure of meeting Syd Mead twice. Once when he visited ILM, and later sitting with him and his partner Roger Servick at an Academy of Art advisory board dinner. We talked about European travel, art…and the joys of adding hip people and cool animals to his paintings. pic.twitter.com/1d06RIPq56
— Tad Leckman (@tadleckman) December 30, 2019
#RIP Syd Mead, the concept artist & illustrator who played a pivotal role in designing the look of films like BLADE RUNNER, ALIENS, TRON, STAR TREK: THE MOTION PICTURE, TOMORROWLAND and SHORT CIRCUIT, has died at 86. He was to be honored by the Art Directors Guild next February. pic.twitter.com/JLYcAHsD4Y
— cartoonbrew.com (@cartoonbrew) December 30, 2019
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
— Charles de Lauzirika (@Lauzirika) December 30, 2019