Iron Man 3 (2011) - Iron Man Mk XVII concept design

Credit for the design of this suit belongs to the incomparable Ryan Meinerding. Marvel was looking for a design that would stand out among the classic red/gold suits we had done to date, and Ryan came up with reversing the color palette for a truly distinctive look. He also broke up the panels in a more angular and complex fashion than we had done to date, justifying the multiple flying components of the suit-up sequence.

Overwhelmed with all his other tasks on the show, he enlisted me to complete the design, having me do a pass at unifying the graphic language of the panel breakups, adding some form development to the arms and legs in particular, and designing the helmet and back view. He then took the design and added back in some of the idiosyncratic graphic elements in the legs that I had oversimplified. Once again, an example of the kind of great collaborations you can have on a project like this when you have a lot of trust and respect between colleagues.

Phil saunders immk42 web

Back and Front views. I tried to bring some of the edginess he introduced in the chest into the arms and legs.

Phil saunders immk42 phil ryan web

Ryan's original design to the left, mine on the right. The front view I repainted matching Ryan's original pose and lighting, and learned a lot in the process. It was like doing a master copy! I'm still not convinced I improved on the original.

Phil saunders mk42 elevations web

Elevations as sent to Legacy Studios. One thing Ryan did brilliantly in his original design was to keep the forms simple to allow for more complexity in the graphical breakup.