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3.0 out of 5 stars Yesterday's tomorrows, 28 Sep 2007
Robin Benson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Syd Mead's Sentury (Paperback)
Continuing the themes flowing from two previous Mead books, Sentinel and Sentinel 2, Sentury showcases concepts from the Nineties and I thought it was a real mixed bag of ideas. The reason I love his work is basically for the stunning rendering style, a mixture of curves and angles finished off with bits of typography (using variations of Microgramma and Zurich typeface, both of which originated in the fifties)

I think it is the product concepts that visually work best. On page eighty-one is a beautiful rendering of a playback deck for recording brain waves as used in the movie Strange Days. For a non-existing product it just looks so convincing. On page ninety-nine is a typical beautiful Mead rendering, from the movie Belittled, of a military looking tracked vehicle, with convincing bits of technology included in the windscreen area.

Much of the book though is taken up with large illustrations of commercial vistas depicting contemporary futures where a tightness of rendering style is not so essential and it is these illustrations where his style is very changeable with several colour ones which I thought rather casual. Another thing I noticed is that where people are shown in social situations the fashions and hairstyles rather date the work. In his earlier Sentinel book males and females wear a mixture of Greek/Roman mythological chic with Sixties couture.

The book is almost square and the large size is the ideal format for presenting detailed art but as another reviewer has commented editorially it is rather weak. Particularly the text on each page, which is always one long paragraph rather than several it should have been for ease of reading. There is also a bit too much white space and very generous wide margins and for a change of pace some of the images rally should have been enlarged to run off the edge of the page.

Sentury has some wonderful concepts rendered in Mead's unique style and despite a rather flawed editorial format if you like his work you'll enjoy the book. It is worth searching around the net for copies, I did and got the book at a very reasonable price.
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Syd Mead's Sentury
Syd Mead's Sentury by Syd Mead (Paperback - 25 July 2001)
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