Design Forages

Random pickings from the design world

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)