Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Browse by Decade



Amazon Fun

« Future "Brotherhood" (1976) | Main | Movie Theater of the Future (1930) »

Syd Mead Art for U.S. Steel (1960s)

Professor Michael Stoll has posted an amazing collection of promotional art Syd Mead did for U.S. Steel.

Prof. Stoll posted the Syd Mead images to the (Boing Boing Gadgets/Paleo-Future Blog) Flickr Group, In the Year 2000. The entire set of images can be found in the Portfolio of Probabilities photoset.

One thing that is interestingly absent from the illustrations is any clear indication of a flying car.

Brian Horrigan, co-author of Yesterday's Tomorrows was kind enough to recently lend me a 1961 U.S. Steel book titled Innovations, which contains similar work by Syd Mead. Stay tuned for more on that.

See also:
The Future World of Transportation
Syd Mead
Rhapsody of Steel (1959)
Rhapsody of Steel Film (1959)

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

References (10)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.

Reader Comments (28)

Matt, I'm ripping my hair out trying to find some illustrations of futuristic cities that were done in the late 1970s either for Smithsonian magazine, or for National Geographic.

They had buildings with lots of blue-green curved glass and also large expanses of curved white surfaces. Sort of like aviator glasses and pith helmets.

Did you see those ever?

February 25, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

The fourth painting from the top, look carefully at the feet, those are similar to the ATAT from 'The EMpire strikes back' no ?

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous


1) Syd Mead could PAINT! There has never been a futurist illustrator like him before or since

2) in the camping image, I love the lake's guardrails...

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterArkonbey

Yeah the lake edging in the "wilderness" is great. Also nice to see that cutoff jeans shorts will make a comeback in the future.

These illustrations definitely must have influenced some sci-fi creators; not only is the winter scene strikingly similar to "Star Wars" walkers, but the urban vehicles are similar to the "Ark II" TV show of the 70s.

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWutzke

Mead's work goes far beyond "influencing some sci-fi creators". He was often hired by them to articulate their visions (Blade Runner, Tron, Short Circuit, Star Trek, to name a few) and can rightfully be considered the single greatest sci-fi design talent of the last 30 years. The man is a national design treasure. I have the honor of having attended the same college as Mead, and even had a couple of the same teachers (though my work is nowhere near the quality or volume of his).

Still, I like a guy who answers his own phone. Once, I ordered some books from his publishing company and Syd himself took my order. We had a nice chat and he personalized my books for me. One said, "To Richard - The Future IS Fabulous!" And so it has been.

February 26, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterartbot

Artbot: You got to talk to the man himself; how cool is that?

February 27, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterArkonbey

Yes! The first thing I thought of was AT-ATs on Hoth!

March 18, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMs. Bizarro

I have a childhood memory of a National Geographic magazine that depicted a futuristic city/airport with cars on a highway going to and from them. It may or may not have been Syd Mead.

The magazine would have to be 1960s or early 1970s at the very latest, and probably not even the latter.

Have not been able to find that art since and would really love to.

Does anyone know/remember what I am talking about and what issue that art might have been in?


September 11, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I remember those old times where me and my brother have looked at the ng magazine and have dreamed a lot. Unfortunately I can't see that in my son. :( time changes.

Thank you for bringing those illustrations.
Jeremy from Lake Tahoe Hotel Reservations

November 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy

Thanks for sharing nice information with us. i like your post and all you share with us is uptodate and quite informative, i would like to bookmark the page so i can come here again to read you, as you have done a wonderful job.

May 20, 2010 | Unregistered Commentergrow taller secrets

These illustrations definitely must have influenced some sci-fi creators; not only is the winter scene strikingly similar to "Star Wars" walkers, but the urban vehicles are similar to the "Ark II" TV show of the mid 70s.
nikon ds3

July 23, 2010 | Unregistered Commenternikon ds3

And you thought SUVs were big.

July 30, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterpsCargile

It's cool to see how people imagine future, I'm remeber whem i'm young people says in 2000 all car wil fly. We are in 2010 and it's hard to have full electricity car ;)

September 13, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLibertin

Wonderful job done by you. Thanks for sharing nice information and get people views about their future......
Physical Therapy Richmond Va

September 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDatabooker

Very good interesting article.

October 7, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbanff

Great images, i will reference this article for my report. Thanks!


January 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDoug

The design is very rare and odd, maybe both. So, are these the future cars? The one with many tires also looks like a train and looking at those men the tires are way too huge. Expense ratio

April 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDavis

I love the beautiful photography.
Nice collection of pictures and beautiful design.These need to be the part of printing industry.

April 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterprinters london

Really beautiful graphics .
Graphics designer did a great job.Hats off.

May 29, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteramalfi coast

Your blog has given me innovative thinking about flying car . do you think the cars will fly in future.?

second from the bottom looks like a huge machinery.what is it showing?

August 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterimakerz

A flying car will be a great technology.

August 12, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterVolleyball Videos

Its really amazing .
These look fine to me when you going to produce such nice articraft with U.S tell.

August 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSydney Birthday Party

Good effort . hopefully new technology will introduce soon.

September 12, 2011 | Unregistered Commentertrivia companies Melbourne

It will be very amazing if cars start flying. but i think it is tough to follow the traffic rules in air.

October 13, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKaren Leibovici

This is the nice way to famous the steel. Its design is also so good. These are powerful machines which work very hard.

October 28, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteradamcarl101

some of those devices...ey one of those look like a AT AT from starwars episode V empire strike back, but is a good idea to explore places like jungles and deserts, you know inclusive you use a vehicle like this to promote Generic Viagra or other products, because the gas for that thing is something really expensive jajajaja.

November 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephen Heller

It is a very good info. Thanks for sharing your post with us.

spil spil online

November 4, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterspil spil online

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>