Hugh Syme

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This article is about the Canadian graphic artist. For the Australian recipient of the George Cross, see Hugh Syme (GC).
Hugh Syme
Nationality Canadian
Known for Graphic artist
Notable work(s) Rush art direction
Iron Maiden - The X Factor
Dream Theater Self-Titled
Website
hughsyme.com

Hugh Syme is a Canadian Juno Award-winning graphic artist who is best known for his artwork and cover concepts for rock and metal bands. He is also a musician and has appeared in some Rush songs as a keyboard player. Syme is notably responsible for all of Rush's album cover art since 1975's Caress of Steel as well as creating Rush's famous Starman logo. In 1983 he told Jeffrey Morgan that he never imagined the band would use it as their main logo.[1] Syme also plays piano on the album Thrilling Women, which Morgan recorded with Dean Motter.[2]

His client base includes major record companies like Geffen Records, EMI Records, Mercury Records, RCA Records, Capitol Records, Sony Music, Atlantic Records, Warner Bros. Records and A&M Records.[3]

Iron Maiden fans remember him best as the designer of The X Factor cover, which shows the band's mascot Eddie the Head dissected. It is remembered for its gritty realism. Whereas all previous Maiden albums were oil paintings, the X Factor Eddie was a puppet with some digital touch-ups to enhance its look. In some countries the cover was considered so gruesome that a less gory alternative was offered (the alternative cover is actually the back of the original CD booklet).[citation needed]

Def Leppard's Retro Active album cover, which he co-designed with Nels Israelson, shows a lady sitting at a dressing table, looking in a mirror. From another perspective, it takes the form of a skull (a type of vanitas art), the woman's head forming the left eye socket, and her reflected head in the mirror forming the right eye socket. The mirror itself forms the shape of the skull and the accessories on the dressing table form the nose, nostrils and teeth. It was inspired by Charles Allan Gilbert's most famous work, All Is Vanity (1892).

Other bands Syme has done artwork for include: Megadeth, Saga, Styx, Altered State, Fates Warning, Whitesnake, Queensrÿche, Aerosmith, and Dream Theater.

Syme has three daughters ‒ Hadley, Maggie, and Abbey ‒ all of whom reside in New Castle, Indiana.

Album cover art[edit]

Chronological list of Hugh Syme's album cover art (including studio, live, compilation and extended play LP's).

Year Artist Album Role
1975 Rush Caress of Steel[4] Graphics
1975 Ian Thomas Band Delights [5] Graphics with John Fraser
1976 Ian Thomas Band Calabash [5] Graphics
1976 Rush 2112[6] Graphics and Starman Logo
1976 Rush All the World's a Stage[7] Graphics
1977 Rush A Farewell to Kings[8] Art direction and graphics
1977 Max Webster High Class in Borrowed Shoes Art direction and graphics
1978 Rush Hemispheres[9] Art direction with Bob King and graphics
1978 Rush Archives[10] Design with Bob King and graphics
1978 Klaatu Sir Army Suit Cover art
1978 Max Webster Mutiny Up My Sleeve Art direction and design
1979 Ian Thomas Band Glider [5] Graphics and design with Bob King
1979 Max Webster Live Magnetic Air Art direction and graphics
1980 Rush Permanent Waves[3] Art direction and graphics. Cover concept created with Neil Peart.
1980 Toronto Lookin' for Trouble Graphics and design with Michael Gray.
1981 Rush Moving Pictures[11] Art direction and graphics. Cover concept created with Deborah Samuel.
1981 Rush Exit...Stage Left[12] Art direction, graphics and cover concept
1982 Rush Signals[13] Art direction, graphics and cover concept
1982 Saga In Transit[14] Art direction and design
1982 Gowan Gowan Art direction, graphics and cover concept
1982 Harlequin One False Move Cover design
1983 Red Rider Neruda Art direction and cover design
1984 Rush Grace Under Pressure[3] Art direction and cover painting
1984 Ian Thomas Band Riders on Dark Horses [5] Art direction and design
1984 The Parachute Club At the Feet of the Moon Art direction and graphics with Deborah Samuel
1985 Rush Power Windows[3] Art direction, graphics and cover painting
1985 Virgin Steele Noble Savage Art direction and design
1985 Kick Axe Welcome to the Club Art direction and cover art
1985 Robotman and Friends Straight from the Heart Cover painting
1986 Eyes Eyes Art direction and design
1986 Lee Aaron Call of the Wild Cover design
1986 Quiet Riot QR III Art direction, design, cover art
1986 Kim Mitchell Shakin' Like a Human Being Art direction and design
1986 Outlaws Soldiers of Fortune Art direction, design, cover painting
1987 Whitesnake Whitesnake Cover art and Whitesnake emblem
1987 Billy Thorpe Children of the Sun... Revisited Art direction and design
1987 Y & T Contagious Art direction
1987 McAuley Schenker Group Perfect Timing Art direction and design
1987 Rush Hold Your Fire[3] Art direction
1988 Colortone Colortone Art direction and design
1988 Rhythm Corps Common Ground Art direction and design
1988 Kingdom Come Kingdom Come Art direction and design
1988 Lillian Axe Lillian Axe Art direction and design
1988 Night Ranger Man in Motion Art direction
1988 Brighton Rock Take a Deep Breath Art direction and design
1988 Dream Patrol Phoning the Czar Art direction and design
1988 Quiet Riot QR Art direction and design
1988 Survivor Too Hot to Sleep Art direction and design
1988 Black 'n Blue In Heat Art direction and design
1988 Bon Jovi New Jersey Art direction with Jon Bon Jovi and design
1988 Ian Thomas Band Levity [5] Art direction and design
1988 Prophet Cycle of the Moon Art direction and design
1989 Rush Presto[15] Art direction
1989 Rush A Show of Hands[16] Art direction and design
1989 Kingdom Come In Your Face Design
1989 Bad English Bad English Art direction and design
1989 Fates Warning Perfect Symmetry[3] Cover concept, art direction and design
1989 Whitesnake Slip of the Tongue Cover art
1989 Kim Mitchell Rockland Art direction and design
1989 World Trade World Trade[3] Cover art and design
1989 Bonfire Point Blank Art direction and design
1989 Babylon A.D. Babylon A.D. Art direction and design
1990 Magnum Goodnight L.A.[3] Cover art
1990 Rush Chronicles[17] Art direction
1990 Slaughter Stick It to Ya Cover design with Glen Wexler
1990 Styx Edge of the Century Art direction and design
1990 Warrant Cherry Pie[3] Art direction and design
1990 Hurricane Slave to the Thrill Art direction and design
1990 Celine Dion Unison Art direction and design
1990 The Northern Pikes Snow in June Art direction and design
1990 Mae Moore Oceanview Motel Art direction and design
1991 Dan Hill Dance of Love Art direction and design
1991 Steve Plunkett My Attitude Art direction and design
1991 Rush Roll the Bones[3] Art direction and design
1991 Great White Hooked Art direction and design
1991 The Boomers YYZ What We Do Art direction and design
1991 Kik Tracee No Rules Art direction and design
1991 Fates Warning Parallels Art direction and design
1991 Kix Hot Wire Art direction and design
1991 Bad English Backlash Art direction and design
1991 Contraband Contraband Art direction with Frenchy Gauthier and design
1991 The Storm The Storm[3] Art direction and design
1992 McAuley Schenker Group M.S.G. Art direction and design
1992 House of Lords Demons Down Design with Glen Wexler
1992 54•40 Dear Dear[3] Art direction and design
1992 Kiss Revenge Art direction
1992 Skew Siskin Skew Siskin Art direction and design
1992 The Jeff Healey Band Feel This Art direction and design with Tom Stephen
1992 Me Phi Me One Art direction
1992 Steelheart Tangled in Reins Art direction and design
1992 21 Guns Salute Art direction and design
1992 Megadeth Countdown to Extinction[3] Art direction and design
1992 Unruly Child Unruly Child[3] Art direction and design
1992 Sister Whiskey Sister Whiskey (Liquor & Poker) Cover art
1992 Impellitteri Grin and Bear It Prop design
1993 Aerosmith Get a Grip[3] Cover design
1993 Altered State Dos Art direction, design
1993 Def Leppard Retro Active[3] Art direction, design and digital illustration with Nels Israelson
1993 Coverdale/Page Coverdale/Page Art direction and design
1993 Helix It's a Business Doing Pleasure Cover art and design
1993 Damn the Machine Damn the Machine Art direction and design
1993 Every Mother's Nightmare Wake Up Screaming Art direction and design
1993 Rush Counterparts[18] Art direction, illustrations and design
1993 BulletBoys Za-Za Lettering, letter design
1993 The Boomers The Art of Living Art direction, illustrations and design
1993 The Band Jericho Cover art, art direction and design
1994 Stray Cats Choo Choo Hot Fish Art direction and design
1994 Roger Clinton Nothing Good Comes Easy Artwork and design
1994 Dave Edmunds Plugged In Art direction and design
1994 Whitesnake Greatest Hits Art direction and design
1994 Megadeth Youthanasia[3] Design and digital illustration. Art direction with Tommy Steele.
1994 Queensrÿche Promised Land Art direction, design and digital illustration
1994 Tesla Bust a Nut[3] Artwork, art direction, design
1994 Fates Warning Inside Out Artwork and design
1994 Various artists Burning for Buddy: A Tribute to the Music of Buddy Rich Art direction and design
1995 Iron Maiden The X Factor[3] Art direction, design, illustrations, digital illustrations
1996 Celine Dion Live à Paris[3] Art direction, graphic concept
1996 Rush Test for Echo[3] Art direction, design and digital illustration
1996 The Band High on the Hog Art direction and design
1996 The Boomers 25 Thousand Days Art direction, illustrations and design
1996 Earth, Wind & Fire Greatest Hits Live Art direction and design
1996 Pod Headed for the Zeros Art direction, illustrations and design
1997 Alice Cooper A Fistful of Alice[3] Cover design
1997 Queensrÿche Hear in the Now Frontier[3] Art direction, artwork and design with Dimo Safari
1997 Supertramp Some Things Never Change[3] Art direction and design
1997 Megadeth Cryptic Writings Art Direction, design and illustrations
1997 Rush Retrospective I[19] Art direction and design
1997 Rush Retrospective II[19] Art direction, design and cover painting
1997 Whitesnake Restless Heart[3] Art direction, emblem design and cover concept with Dimo Safari and David Coverdale
1997 Earth, Wind and Fire In the Name of Love Art direction, design and digital illustration
1997 Various artists Burning for Buddy: A Tribute to the Music of Buddy Rich, Vol. 2 Art direction and design
1998 Arena The Visitor[3] Art direction and design
1998 Rush Different Stages[20] Art direction, illustration and design
1998 Uriah Heep Classic Heep: An Anthology Art direction and design
1999 The Kings The Kings Are Here..and More Design
1999 Tiles Presents of Mind Cover concept, artwork and design
1999 Henry Lee Summer Smoke and Mirrors Art direction and design
1999 Charlotte Church Charlotte Church Art direction, design and photography
2000 Arena Immortal?[3] Art direction and design
2000 Queensrÿche Greatest Hits Art direction and design
2000 Carrie Newcomer Age of Possibility Art direction and design
2001 Jennie Devoe Does She Walk on Water Art direction and design
2001 Megadeth The World Needs a Hero Art direction, design and illustrations
2001 Deep Blue Something Deep Blue Something Art direction and design
2001 The Bacon Brothers Can't Complain Art direction, design and illustrations
2001 Deana Carter Father Christmas Design
2002 Rush Vapor Trails[21] Art direction, paintings and portraits
2002 Heather Myles Sweet Talk and Good Lies Art direction and design
2002 Styx At the River's Edge: Live in St. Louis Logo design
2002 Carrie Newcomer The Gathering of Spirits Art direction and design
2002 The Boomers Midway Art direction, illustrations and design
2003 The Allman Brothers Band Hittin' the Note Art direction, illustrations
2003 Extol Synergy[22] Cover art
2003 Rush Rush in Rio[23] Art direction, illustrations and design
2003 Rush The Spirit of Radio: Greatest Hits 1974–1987[24] Art direction and design
2003 The Wayfaring Strangers This Train Art direction
2003 QuillTolhurst So Rudely Interrupted Cover art and graphics
2004 Travis Larson Burn Season Art direction
2004 Billy Jonas Get Real Art direction, illustrations and design
2004 Carrie Newcomer Betty's Diner: The Best of Carrie Newcomer Art direction and design
2004 Tiles Window Dressing Artwork, photography and design
2004 Rush Feedback[25] Art direction, illustrations and design
2005 Various artists Subdivisions: A Tribute to Rush Art direction and design
2005 Dream Theater Octavarium Art direction, illustrations and design
2005 Nevermore This Godless Endeavor Cover art
2005 Bad Moon Rising Full Moon Collection Design
2005 Carrie Newcomer Regulars and Refugees Art direction and design
2005 Rush R30: 30th Anniversary World Tour Art direction, illustrations and design
2006 Oneside Oneside Art direction, illustrations and design
2006 Rush Gold[26] Art direction and design
2006 Rush Rush Replay X 3 Art direction and design
2006 Stone Sour Come What(ever) May Art direction, illustrations and design
2007 Dream Theater Systematic Chaos Art direction, illustrations and design
2007 Rush Snakes & Arrows[27] Art direction, illustrations and design
2007 Queensrÿche Sign of the Times: The Best of Queensrÿche Art direction, illustrations and design
2007 Byron Nemeth Group The Force Within Art direction, illustrations and design
2007 Krista Detor Cover Their Eyes Art direction and design
2007 Charlotte Church The Charlotte Church Show Art direction, photography and design
2008 Oneside First, to Last Art direction and design
2008 Tiles Fly Paper Artwork, design, photography, and illustrations
2008 Dream Theater Greatest Hit (...And 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs) Art direction, design, photography, and illustrations
2008 Dream Theater Chaos in Motion 2007–2008 Artwork and design
2008 Rush Snakes & Arrows Live[28] Art direction, illustrations and design
2008 Bob Mover It Amazes Me Art direction, photography and design
2009 Queensrÿche American Soldier Art direction, illustrations and design
2009 Rush Retrospective 3[29] Art direction and design
2009 Rush Grace Under Pressure Tour Art direction and design
2009 Dream Theater Black Clouds and Silver Linings[30] Art direction, illustrations and design
2009 Flying Machines Flying Machines Art direction, illustrations and design
2010 Carrie Newcomer Before & After Art direction and design
2010 Krista Detor Chocolate Paper Suites Art direction, illustrations and design
2010 Rush Icon Cover art
2011 Rush Icon 2 Cover art
2011 3 Doors Down Time of My Life Cover concept, art direction, illustrations and design
2011 Dream Theater A Dramatic Turn of Events Art direction and design
2011 Rush Time Machine 2011: Live in Cleveland Art direction and design
2012 Betrayer Betrayer Art direction, artwork and design
2012 Rush Clockwork Angels Cover art
2012 Rush 2112 5.1 Art direction and design
2013 Dream Theater Dream Theater Cover and album design
2014 Carrie Newcomer A Permeable Life
2014 Flying Colors Second Nature[31]

Musician[edit]

He has contributed as a musician with Ian Thomas Band,[32] Rush and Tiles.

with Ian Thomas Band

  • Delights - piano, Fender Rhodes, Mellotron and background vocals
  • Calabash - keyboards, background vocals and creative companionship
  • Still Here - keyboards and background vocals
  • Glider - keyboards and all songs arranged with Ian Thomas
  • The Runner - keyboards and background vocals

with Rush

with Tiles

  • Window Dressing - keyboards on "Slippers in the Snow"
  • Fly Paper - keyboards on "Crowded Emptiness"

Awards[edit]

Juno Awards: 5 wins and 18 nominations.[34]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Morgan, Jeffrey. CREEM Magazine, 1983.
  2. ^ Thrilling Women: The Lost Air Pirates Sessions - Toronto: 1978 - 1980
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z aa "Hugh Syme". Hugh Syme. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  4. ^ [1][dead link]
  5. ^ a b c d e [2][dead link]
  6. ^ a b [3][dead link]
  7. ^ [4][dead link]
  8. ^ [5][dead link]
  9. ^ [6][dead link]
  10. ^ [7][dead link]
  11. ^ a b [8][dead link]
  12. ^ [9][dead link]
  13. ^ [10][dead link]
  14. ^ "SAGA: In transit ::". Saga-denmark.com. 1982-02-05. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  15. ^ [11][dead link]
  16. ^ [12][dead link]
  17. ^ [13][dead link]
  18. ^ [14][dead link]
  19. ^ a b [15][dead link]
  20. ^ [16][dead link]
  21. ^ [17][dead link]
  22. ^ "Extol cover". Ecx.images-amazon.com. Retrieved 2014-07-23. 
  23. ^ [18][dead link]
  24. ^ [19][dead link]
  25. ^ [20][dead link]
  26. ^ [21][dead link]
  27. ^ [22][dead link]
  28. ^ [23][dead link]
  29. ^ [24][dead link]
  30. ^ "Mike Portnoy on Eddie Trunk Show". FileFront.com. 2009-03-17. Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  31. ^ "Radiant Records. Flying Colors - Second Nature". radiantrecords.com. Retrieved 2014-08-09. 
  32. ^ "Official Site of Ian Thomas Band". 
  33. ^ [25][dead link]
  34. ^ "Juno Awards site". 

External links[edit]