Introduction to "Mead Gundam", 300+ page Turn A Gundam art book featuring concept sketched drawings by mechanical designer Syd Mead.
TL/edit: Mia U./Feez
This documentary text follows the world renowned visual futurist Syd Mead’s process, as he designed the characters (mobile suits) of the anime TV series “Turn A Gundam”. It will feature over 400 designs and sketches, sorted by its respective mobile suit, in chronological order, from draft to finished product.
When Syd Mead accepted the request to design for “Turn A Gundam”, the first thing Sunrise Studios did was to send him the Japanese designers’ concept plans, ideas and sketches of mobile suits from the “Turn A Gundam” universe. Thus began Mead’s collaboration - as is illustrated in this volume. For each mobile suit, there is a background story, meshed with the Japanese designers’ detailed suggestions. He practiced heavily on the theories of industrial design, by respecting the original ideas and remodeling them. Each mobile suit was designed as seen, because Mead found their purposes. From rough drawings of mobile suits, he continued to work on them until he was fulfilled, so that a 3D render could be made, and the colors added in the end. This was the first phase of the creative process. The mobile suits Dianna Counter, Flat, Sumo, and Bandit were completed in phase one. On top of that, each mobile suit from Turn A Gundam and Turn X Gundam had personalities and even more details, such as the weapons and accessories adorned by each, the re-drafting and redrawing of their heads (to be more like portraits). This process was the second phase. The third phase was drawing posters, illustrations and advertisements based on the mobile suit designs that were approved.
The creative process can be lumped into these three phases. Throughout the entire project, trans-pacific communication was possible due to faxes between the director Yoshiyuki Tomino, the Japanese production crew and Syd Mead. This documentary also includes copies of some of these faxes, including notes and comments. The Sunrise Studio’s representative liaison was Shigeru Horiguchi, while Syd mead’s artist liaison was Mieko Ichikawa. Shigeru Morita was the director of “Turn A Gundam”’s SF planning, and Katsumi Kawaguchi from Bandai managed franchising the plastic-model kits and figurines of the “Turn A Gundam” mobile suits. Readers will surely become more and more interested, when reading each design comment.