Hugh Syme is a CanadianJuno Award-winning graphic artist and member of the Premier Artists Collection (PAC) who is best known for his artwork and cover concepts for rock and metal bands. He is also a musician and has appeared on 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. Syme also plays piano on the album Thrilling Women, which Morgan recorded with Dean Motter.
Iron Maiden fans remember him best as the designer of The X Factor cover, which shows the band's mascot Eddie 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).
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).