An artist striking out on his own can be a risky proposition, but Syd Mead had built a nationwide reputation and his talent quickly opened the door on new opportunities. From the beginning, Syd Mead, Inc. was successful and early assignments included collaborations with Raymond Loewy. In 1975, he left the Motor City and moved to Capistrano Beach, California.
Soon after moving to California, Syd began branching out. Sentinel, a book published by Roger and Martyn Dean, was followed by work in the movie industry. Beginning with Star Trek: The Movie, Syd found his talents in demand by directors and producers.
At the same time, Syd's work was becoming increasingly popular in Japan. In 1983, he had his first one-man show in Tokyo, followed by a second show two years later. In 1985, Syd formed Oblagon, Inc. to market his work. The first product of the new company was a new book, entitled Oblagon. In its first 35 days on the market, Japanese consumers bought 25,000 copies.
In 1987, Syd ventured into yet another field when he designed the battleship Yamato for a Japanese animÃ© feature. More animÃ© work followed. Most recently, Syd designed all the robot characters for the Turn-X generation of Sunrise-Bandai's Mobile Suit Gundam series.
I asked Syd which was his favorite field, industrial design, film or animÃ©.
"Wrong question, Bill," was the reply. "The field is creative design. That is my favorite field. Whatever the problem is, that is the task... the field part stays the same. I have applied my particular methodology to wide bodied aircraft interior design, super yacht design, both exterior and interior, cruise ship design, a variety of 'marine' designs including air cushion vehicles and SES (surface effect ship) designs, both exterior and interior. I have completed presentation (for funding) master plans for five theme parks and lots and lots of corporate graphics, product designs and promotional designs only intended to 'get things started.'"