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Hugh Syme (view site)
Art Director, Illustrator and Graphic Designer, M17

Hugh SymeHugh Syme is a graphic artist best known as the man responsible for all but the first 2 of Rush's album cover art. He also created Rush's famous starman logo, though he never imagined the band would use it, nor that it would gain such international recognizably as their main logo. He collaborated with Ian Thomas as both keyboardist and songwriter from 1973 to 1980, eventually leading to his alliance with Rush, as they were both then managed by SRO/Anthem at that time. Other musicians he has designed and created artwork for include Iron Maiden, Bon Jovi, Whitesnake, Aerosmith, Def Leppard, Celine Dion, Scorpions, Meatloaf, Megadeth, Stone Sour, Styx, Queensrÿche, Fates Warning, Stray Cats, Asia, Roger Clinton, The Band “High On The Hog” and “Jerico”, Dave Edmunds, Joe Walsh, Earth Wind and Fire and Dream Theater - and hundreds more.

Being a fellow musician, he has also contributed piano and keyboards on 4 Rush albums.

Syme first started working with Spencer Proffer in the 80’s on Proffer’s Pasha/CBS Records company related artwork. As resident Art Director for Pasha, Hugh and Spencer collaborated on more than 23 album cover projects as well as national ad campaigns during a 10 year spanbefore Hugh was hired to be Geffen Records' Art Director. Hugh has designed the M17 graphic look, including logo, many Huqua/Padaro book covers and graphic materials and will be doing all the album cover and graphic design for M17 projects including Hendrix Unplugged, various CD, film and television enterprises.

Hugh Syme is as versatile as his art. In 1996, he designed the cover for Neil Peart’s travel book, The “Masked Rider”, and has continued to design covers for Neil (“The Ghost Rider”, “Traveling Music”, “Roadshow”) and he has photography and design credit on Celine Dion's 1990 album, "Unison." In addition, Syme designed all the covers for the albums recorded by Max Webster - a group of fellow Canadians. In addition, he has completed designs for the following covers: Megadeth’s "Cryptic Writings"; 1992’s "Countdown to Extinction”, 1994’s "Youthanasia" and 2001’s “The World Need A Hero”; Whitesnake’s 1987 debut album “Serpens Albus”, "Slip of the Tongue" and “Restless Heart”; David Coverdale and Jimmy Page’s album “Merge”; and Queensryche's 1997 album, "Hear In The Now Frontier" and is currently working on their soon-to-be-released new project.

He has also worked with such jazz notables as Chick Corea, Bob Mover and Steve Kovan.

Hugh Syme's art education came from the Toronto New School of Art in Toronto and York University in York, England. In addition to the album covers for which he is now internationally-renowned, Syme has worked on advertisements such companies as Accenture, Denon, Xerox, AT&T, The David Geffen Company, The Washington Post, Virgin, Bausch & Lomb, Universal Studios, Miramax, Forbes, Panasonic, Paramount, MGM Grand, Microsoft, Sony, Alpine Audio, Disney, Time Warner, numerous international advertising agencies; he has contributed his vision and artistic style to a wide range of video and packaging designs. He is also an accomplished portrait artist.

He lives and works between Toronto and Indiana, where he lives with his 3 daughters, Hadley, Maggie and Abbey.


music, media and branding