To celebrate the launch of a brand new book about cult design company Hipgnosis, the Guardian is running a picture gallery of some of their album covers.
Their work includes some of the most influential cover designs ever, for a whole range of bands and musicians from the 1970s including Yes, Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel, 10cc, and of course, Pink Floyd. In fact, it’s thanks to Pink Floyd that Hipgnosis existed at all, after they asked two college friends, Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell, to design a cover for their album ‘A Saucerful of Secrets’. Thorgerson and Powell went on to found Hipgnosis together, with the addition of Peter Christopher, and became highly sought-after, particularly in the prog-rock community where their ideas chimed with the themes of the time.
Sadly, album covers became more restrained from the late 70s onwards and work gradually dried up for Hipgnosis, but they are still remembered fondly by fans around the world, in particular for their most iconic work, Pink Floyd’s ‘Dark Side of the Moon’. Unlike some of their other work this is simple, uncluttered and abstract, but strong enough to have survived as a classic, and one of the most-recognised album covers even today.
The book, ‘Vinyl. Album. Cover. Art: The Complete Hipgnosis Catalogue’ by Aubrey Powell himself, is available from Thames & Hudson. I might just treat myself to a copy.