Flip Through Prod. Designer Syd Mead’s 'Blade Runner' Sketchbook

December 30, 2011

Blade Runner Sketchbook

The final version of any futuristic sci-fi film is a wonder to behold when settings of entire cities are designed to look like they were crafted decades or even centuries in the future. However, those of us who like to look beyond the big screen usually find themselves fascinated with the production art that went into designing that world. In the case of Blade Runner, production designer Syd Mead and director Ridley Scott released a sketch book full of concept and production art from the film, but if you want the actual book it'll cost you a pretty penny somewhere online. But now the images have been posted online for your enjoyment.

Here are the Blade Runner concept art images courtesy of Comics Alliance (via The Playlist):

Blade Runner Concept Art - Los Angeles 1

Blade Runner Concept Art - Los Angeles 2

Blade Runner Concept Art - Vehicle

Blade Runner Concept Art - Sidewalk Diner

And here's the flipbook for you to see all the images (click to fill your screen):

Originally published in 1982, the book features sketches and conceptual designs by Syd Mead, Mentor Huebner, Charles Knode, Michael Kaplan and of course Ridley Scott. You'll also notice there's some artwork in there for sequences and devices that never even went in front of the camera. This is truly a treasure for Blade Runner and sci-fi fans alike, especially thinking about whether or not Los Angeles will actually feature any of these aesthetics in just seven short years since 2019 was the futuristic setting for Ridley Scott's sci-fi classic. I'm really glad a gem like this doesn't stay hidden from fans without some extra cash. Cool?

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  • Lando
    hahahahaha... I bought this on ebay in the early 90's and spent a pretty penny alright. I keep my copy sealed and found a pdf of it online a few years back. This is an excellent scan of the book..minus the yellow pages!  THANKS ETHAN!!!  I hope you keep putting up more design work for movies (even the books I have as they allow me to keep them stored) Im a big fan of production design books even for movies I never liked, its great to see all the work that goes into a movie..
  • PeteyPostelthwaitey
    A client bought this for me as payment for little movie I worked on...I love receiving things like this, and also the original print Raiders of the Lost Ark can't treasure the true golden age of cinema enough!
  • Max Renn
    Seeing all this again (and watching the Final Cut over Xmas) makes me want to see a Blade Runner prequel or sequel.
  • Roy
    I bought this about 20 years ago and it still amazes me that there is yet a definitive book(s) on the art of Bladerunner. 
  • Mike RN Delroney
    All news on the original Blade Runner and the sequel/prequel are welcome :)
  • "We invented the future, yesterday". Can never get enough Mead!
  • Scotty97
    Wow, I would love to have poster-sized prints of some of these. Just beautiful.
  • Gthomasf1
    Great stuff! His large paintings of his own are a sight to behold as well!
  • Gthomasf1
    Somewhere I have the production designs book for 2010. I believe he did those too...
  • lando
    Mead's done a ton of films...from well known films like Blade Runner to background design in crappy films like Johnny Pneumonic and Judge Dread... ANY of his work is appreciated! 
  • David L. Snyder
    Yes, Syd Mead is a genius, a friend and colleague. Please note that while Syd provided all his astonishing designs and concepts as the Visual Futurist on "Blade Runner", it was Lawrence G. Paull, the films Production Designer who had the task of realizing these designs for which he was nominated for an Academy Award© for Best Art Direction and won the British BAFTA© Award for Best Production Design. David L. Snyder, Art Director, "Blade Runner" Academy Award© nominee (shared) Best Art Direction, "Blade Runner" 1982
    • Thanks for the insight, David! Really appreciate you setting the record straight. And of course, thanks for reading!
      • Hi Ethan. FYI Blade Runner 30th Anniversary @ Comic-Con, Friday, 7/13/12, 7:00p.m. - 8:00p.m., Room: 6BCF 
  • Peter
    I have the original, but I'm a fan, not a collector. It's sad to see value go down, but only if you have the intention of selling. However, I hope they can burry the books with me :p
    • I used to have  Syd Mead catalogue from a Japanese exhibition, it was pretty beautiful. Unfortunately the building it was housed in burned to the ground, along with 4 years of my work, it's one thing I still get a little annoyed about now and again. Like you, not because of the monetary resell value, but because I loved the images.




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