Storm Thorgerson

Storm Thorgerson

‘Graphic designer, film maker and tennis fiend’, as he dubbed himself on his website, Storm Thorgerson was perhaps best known for the surreal humour of his Pink Floyd album covers. But his portfolio stretches far beyond burning men in suits and rainbow prisms. Read more

Born in Potters Barn, Cheshire, in 1944, Thorgerson's career took off in 1968 when he formed the design group Hipgnosis, specializing in creative photography mainly for album covers, and working in the dark rooms of the Royal College of Art (he and his associates were still students at the time). His designs include hugely well-known album covers for the likes of Pink Floyd (the Dark Side of the Moondesign was named as one of the greatest album covers of all time), Led Zeppelin, Genesis, 10CC, Yes, Peter Gabriel, Black Sabbath, The Cranberries and, most recently, the cover for Pendulum’s no. 1 Drum n’ Bass album ‘Immersion’—about which, despite its success, Thorgerson publicly griped.

Thorgerson’s signature style was all the more distinctive in the Digital age: he assembled real scenes and photographed them, shunning corner-cutting computer technology with which it would be far easier to bring together disparate objects. As he said of his own work: ‘I like to mess with reality... to bend reality. Some of my works beg the question of is it real or not. I use real elements in unreal ways. Is the man really on fire? Why would he just be standing there? Who put the beds on the beach? Why? Why is there a cow on the cover? It doesn't have anything to do with the album, or does it?’

Thorgerson described what he did as performance art that resonates with the work of the musicians he aspires to represent. His work is typically surreal, often featuring objects removed from their normal contexts and placing them in vast landscapes, this dislocation highlighting the beauty. Once these temporary installations have been caught on camera they are gone, leaving behind the photograph as the only evidence of their occurrence.




Fans of Pink Floyd will be pleased to hear the band is releasing their first album in 20 years. 'The Endless River' is schedualed for release later this year. Will Thorgerson be producing artwork for the album? We hope so!