Yesterday 30th of December 2019 Syd Mead passed away.
It is difficult to find the right words to describe the man, the artist, the designer, the visionary talent he has been and how much he inspired all of us and still will continue to do for next generations to come.
Syd Mead was born in Minnesota on the 18th of July in 1933, he was a student of Art Center in Los Angeles (later renamed Art Center College of Design in Pasadena) where I graduated in 1959. Car designer first and visionary designer later he is most known and remembered as probably the most visionary designer whom inspired the Science Fiction movie industry in USA during the 80’s. Star Trek and Blade Runner just to name a couple of films that made us dream of a future life really different from the real one we were living at that time.
Syd Mead, since his Design Company creation in 1970, worked also for some European firms as industrial designer and visionary designer, he also gave a strong contribution to some important Japanese brands like Sony or Minolta, he contributed to some video games productions.
I met him when he came to visit our school (ACCD) during my 7th semester, he came to give a speech with many visuals and we were all completely struck by his words and images, definitively an inspiring person. After his speech he came down stage to talk to us closer and we discovered a very nice person, too. Warm, smiling and enthusiast to share his experience.
When I started to teach car design often, I would say to students: please search for this name “Syd Mead” you will find the right inspiration!
We all love his illustrations and his gouache technique, we all tried to copy it mixing the indigo blue the black the white the orange and violet for the sunset reflections, the glass reflections and the magic rule for the Warm light and Cool light, the dramatic perspective for a dynamic composition on paper. I could continue, we all learned from him to be better and more complete designers (in any field).
Syd Mead was someone with an extraordinary talent, one of a kind. He worked motivated by his strong passion for designing the unknown and he never really stopped. He inspired tons of people and still will because he is unforgettable!
We will miss you!