Micropost: Syd Mead’s 1977 Artwork for Yokohama

DTW has considered the work of Fitz and Van. Now it’s time to compare it to Syd Mead’s artwork.

1977 Yokohama advert by Syd Mead: Motor Trend, May 1977.
1977 Yokohama advert by Syd Mead: Motor Trend, May 1977.

Whereas Fitz and Van tended to offer a rosy picture of today, Syd Mead looked forward. In this image we are invited to imagine that the pilot of the advanced military (?) plane in the background has driven in a very futuristic sports car to get to work. It’s the future so he is wearing a silvery jump suit.

Unlike Fitz and Van, the work is not layered. It is all built up on a single sheet. The foreground is sharp with strong contrasts. In the background, the saturation is lower. You don’t get the impression of two planes but of depth. On the other hand it’s hardly romantic and Mead didn’t capture the effect of light on polished paint as Fitz and Van did. What’s the driver doing? He’s looking for his Winstons, I expect.

Author: richard herriott

I like anchovies. I dislike post-war town planning.

9 thoughts on “Micropost: Syd Mead’s 1977 Artwork for Yokohama”

    1. Chris. I think the reason no-one does that any more is (to play cheaply on the common language that divides us and US) nowadays nearly everyone tires of tomorrow.

    2. People need to see what tomorrow looks like, so that they can aspire towards it. What’s the alternative? You can’t sell stuff to people stuck in the past, except for the odd barrow full of wattle and daub.

    3. I’m all for looking towards tomorrow, personally, but generally people don’t have that certainty that’s it’s going to be as wonderful as Syd obviously thought it would be.

    4. People only had certainty because it was sold to them. There is a directionlessness to political and commercial discourse nowadays that I find dispiriting. There is no overarching agenda apart from money-grubbing and lurching from one self imposed disaster to the next. Advertising is as guilty of that as our political parties.

    5. The happy families in an idealistic landscape or the ‘man of tomorrow’- of Syd Enever’s illustration look amusing and naive today, but they had an optimism to them that I can only envy on one level.

    6. I envy it outright. The postwar consensus had largely boiled away by the time I was born. I find the profit-before-all mindset that replaced it cynical and complacent. Everything has a value but nothing is valuable. Nobody looks ahead and thinks, you know what, it could be better.

    7. I fear I may be wading into deeper, darker waters than would perhaps be suggested by a small article about tyre advertising. Thanks, Richard. THANKS.

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