Remembering Storm Thorgerson

Storm Thorgerson

Album cover design is not enslaved to product and therefore doesn’t need to show the record itself but can instead illustrate the emotions and themes explored in the music. Apart from a certain spiritual cleanliness that this affords, it most particularly allows a great variety of design and imagery.

The great graphic designer Storm Thorgerson died recently aged 69. He will live on through the designs he created for some of the most iconic album covers of all time.

Between working as an individual, and as part of the design collective Hipgnosis, he produced around 300 covers.

He was perhaps best know for the 15 covers he created for Pink Floyd. These works include such surreal imagery as a pig flying over Battersea Power Station (Animals, 1977), a burning businessman making a deal (Wish You Were Here, 1975), and the prism image which has become one of the most memorable visuals in music history (The Dark Side of the Moon, 1973 – illustrated by Hipgnosis partner George Hardie).

Thorgerson worked with many other bands and artists over the years, including Black Sabbath, Peter Gabriel, Ian Dury and the Blockheads, Led Zeppelin, Muse, 10cc, The Cranberries and Audioslave to name a few.

Pink Floyd: Dark Side of the Moon (1973)

Storm Thorgerson Dark Side of the Moon


Led Zeppelin: Houses of the Holy (1973)

Storm Thorgerson Led Zeppelin


Pink Floyd: Wish You Were Here (1975)

Storm Thorgerson wish you were here


Black Sabbath: Technical Ecstasy (1976)

Storm Thorgerson Black Sabbath


Pink Floyd: Animals (1977)

Storm Thorgerson Animals


Peter Gabriel: Peter Gabriel (1977)

Storm Thorgerson Peter 1977


Peter Gabriel: Peter Gabriel 3 Aka Melt (1979)

Storm Thorgerson Peter Gabriel


Led Zeppelin: In Through the Out Door (1979)

Storm Thorgerson In Through the Out Door


Pink Floyd: The Division Bell (1994)

Storm Thorgerson The Division Bell


Ween: The Mollusk (1997)

Storm Thorgerson Ween Mollusk


Cranberries: Bury the Hatchet (1999)

Storm Thorgerson Cranberries


Megadeth: Rude Awakening (2002)

Storm Thorgerson Megadeth


Audioslave: Audioslave (2002)

Storm Thorgerson Audioslave


Muse: Absolution (2003)

Storm Thorgerson Muse Absolution


The Mars Volta: Frances The Mute (2005)

Storm Thorgerson Frances The Mute


Europe: Secret Society (2006)

Storm Thorgerson Europe Secret Society


Pendulum: The Island (2010)

Storm Thorgerson Pendulum The Island


Goose: Synrise (2011)

Storm Thorgerson Goose Synrise


Biffy Clyro: Opposites (2013)

Storm Thorgerson Biffy Clyro Opposites




Further Reading

Storm Thorgerson obituary (Guardian)

Storm Thorgerson Website

Hipgnosis (tribute to the design company)

George Hardie Interview (Eye Magazine)