Syd Mead, the “visual futurist” and concept artist known for his design contributions to science-fiction films such as Star-Trek: The Motion Picture, Aliens, and Blade Runner, has been named the recipient of the William Cameron Menzies Award from the Art Directors Guild (ADG, IATSE Local 800) at the 24th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards. The award recognizes his innovative neo-futuristic concept artwork on numerous legendary movies. The 2020 Awards will be held Saturday, February 1, 2020, at the InterContinental Los Angeles Downtown. The announcement was made today by ADG President Nelson Coates, ADG, and Awards Producer Scott Moses, ADG. 

“Syd Mead has played a pivotal role in shaping cinema with his unique ability to visualize the future. His visions and illustrations of future technological worlds remain as a testament to his vast imagination. Mead is one of the most influential concept artists and industrial designers of our time. To honor Syd Mead with the coveted ADG William Cameron Menzies Award is such a great privilege,” said Coates. 

Mead’s career boasts an incredible array of projects, from designing cars to drafting architectural renderings, but he is most famous for his work as a concept artist on some of the most visually impressive films in the history of cinema. In addition to working with Robert Wise on Star Trek: The Motion Picture in 1978 as a production illustrator, Mead has worked with Ridley Scott on Blade Runner, with Steven Lisberger on his striking designs for the light cycles in Tron, and with James Cameron on his creative concepts for the U.S.S. Sulaco in Aliens. His iconic work contributed to additional blockbuster features including Blade Runner 2049, 2010: The Year We Make Contact, Short Circuit, Aliens, Time Cop, Tomorrowland, Mission: Impossible lll, Mission to Mars, and Elysium. He supplied designs for two Japanese anime icons, Yamato 2520 and Turn A.  

Before turning to work on movies and video games, Mead visualized technology and products for companies like Ford Motor Company, U.S. Steel, Philips Electronics, Sony, Minolta, Dentsu, Dyflex, Tiger, Seibu, Mitsukoshi, Honda, Chrysler, Mechanix Illustrated, and Playboy.  In 2018, Mead published his autobiography A FUTURE REMEMBERED, which joined THE MOVIE ART OF SYD MEAD: VISUAL FUTURIST and SENTURY II as currently available publications about him and his work. He continues to have an active schedule of one-man exhibitions and presentations.  His studio is in Pasadena, California, where he is involved in a variety of design projects.

As previously announced, the ADG Lifetime Achievement Awards will be presented to outstanding individuals in each of the guild’s four crafts. Joe Alves will receive the ADG Lifetime Achievement Award from the Art Directors Council (AD), Denis Olsen from the Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists Council (STG) Stephen Myles Berger from the Set Designers and Model Makers (SDMM) Council, and Jack Johnson from the Illustrators and Matte Artists (IMA) Council.

The producer of this year's ADG Awards (#ADGawards) is Production Designer Scott Moses, ADG. Online nomination voting will be held through December 6, 2019. Nominations will be announced December 9, 2019. Online balloting will be held December 18, 2019 – January 30, 2020 and winners will be announced at the dinner ceremony on Saturday, February 1, 2020.  ADG Awards are open only to productions when made within the U.S. by producer’s signatory to the IATSE agreement. Foreign entries are acceptable without restrictions. 

Additional honorees for Cinematic Imagery and new inductees into the Guild's Hall of Fame will be announced at a later date. Inquiries regarding the ADG Awards may be directed to Debbie Patton, ADG Awards & Events Director.

Media sponsors are The Hollywood Reporter, Variety and SHOOT Magazine/ SHOOTonline

Established in 1937, the Art Directors Guild (IATSE Local 800) represents 2,700 members who work throughout the world in film, television and theater as Production Designers and Art Directors; Scenic, Title and Graphic Artists; Set Designers and Model Makers; and Illustrators and Matte Artists. The ADG’s ongoing activities include a Film Society screening series, annual “Excellence in Production Design Awards” gala, bimonthly craft magazine (PERSPECTIVE), figure drawing and other creative workshops, extensive technology and craft training programs and year-round Gallery 800 art exhibitions. For the Guild’s online directory and website resources, go to