Storm Thorgerson, the name behind the collaborative which became Stormstudios, and before that, Hipgnosis, has been designing album cover art for over 35 years. The studios have designed many of the most famous album covers in history, including Pink Floyd’s instantly recognisable Dark Side of the Moon. Many of Thorgerson’s classic album covers have become masterpieces in their own right. Thorgerson’s designs are noticeable for their surreal elements. He often places objects out of their traditional contexts, setting them in vast spaces that give them an awkward appearance whilst highlighting their beauty.
‘Since I cannot draw for toffee, I work with photography. But just because I can’t draw, it doesn’t mean I can’t take the flight of the imagination. I like photography because it is a reality medium, unlike drawing, which is unreal. I like to mess with reality. Some of my work asks the question: is it real or not?”
Thorgerson’s surrealist work raised the bar for album cover designs, changing the way the world looked at the music of everyone from Peter Gabriel to Black Sabbath. From the burning businessman on the cover of Wish You Were Here to the giant flying pig over Battersea Power Station for Animals, Thorgerson went on to design almost every Pink Floyd album sleeve. His most iconic work was for 1973’s Darkside of the Moon. Thorgerson has worked with many bands over the years, including Ian Dury and the Blockheads, Led Zeppelin, Muse, 10cc, Syd Barrett, Offspring and The Cranberries to name a few.