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.