Storm Thorgerson’s Most Iconic Album Cover Designs

We were sad to hear of the death of British designer and artist Storm Thorgerson earlier this week. Thorgerson was a hugely influential and distinctive designer of album covers — he’s best known for his work with Pink Floyd, but he designed sleeves for all sorts of bands over the years. His style was instantly recognizable — heavily influenced by surrealism, and heavy on visual non-sequiturs that were both memorable and somehow disconcerting, presented with neither context nor explanation, apparently laden with meaning but defying simple interpretation. We’ve collected some of his most memorable designs here as a celebration of his life and work.


Pink Floyd — Wish You Were Here

You could choose plenty of Floyd’s sleeves here, but it’s hard to go past this one — two men, shaking hands on an empty street… and one of them is on fire. Unlike some of Thorgerson’s more inscrutable sleeves, the symbolism here is writ large — the album contained two tracks (“Have a Cigar” and “Welcome to the Machine”) cataloguing the band’s unease about the music industry, and the image has a definite implication of shaking hands with the devil.