Hipgnosis was a London design agency consisting primarily of Aubrey Powell and Storm Thorgerson who specialised in cover art design for twenty years from 1963-1983. Peter Christopherson (of Throbbing Gristle fame) joined in 1974 and became a full partner in 1978.
All different and amazingly talented designers, they exerted – and still exert – a massive influence on vinyl art cover design, as did the bands who asked them to design their album covers. Groups like:
- Bad Company
- Def Leppard
- Peter Gabriel
- Led Zeppelin
- Pink Floyd
- Al Stewart
- Paul McCartney & Wings
- The Alan Parsons Project
- The Pretty Things
- T. Rex
My Top three Hipgnosis vinyl cover art picks – which one is your favourite and why?
Arguably the most well known Hipgnosis vinyl cover art design:
Hipgnosis – the name
Aubrey Powell’s website describes Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett scrawling the name on a doorframe in the South Kensington flat the group shared with him:
“He is to thank for linking ‘hip’ (pertaining to a cool subculture) with ‘gnostic’ (esoteric knowledge of spiritual matters ) and the noun ‘hypnosis’ (an artificially induced trance state resembling sleep characterised by heightened susceptibility to suggestion).”
Hipgnosis _ the team
Their design taste in recruitment was as exacting as their actual cover art design process: assistants and artists who worked with them over the years included George Hardie, Neville Brody, Richard Evans, Bush Hollyhead, Geoff Halpin and Humphrey Ocean.
You can watch a short documentary video about the studio here, called Taken by Storm: a film about Storm Thorgerson and Hipgnosis by director Roddy Bagawa, from Piecemeal films/Fallen cinema, 2010.
So which Hipgnosis vinyl cover art is your favourite and why? Don’t limit yourself to the ones I’ve chosen above, there are so many other amazing Hipgnosis covers out there!!! Post comments below.
Hope you enjoy! As per usual, My Vinyl Revolution have tried to include multiple sources of information and correct as known at the date of posting. If you can add more info please post below and we will update once confirmed – muchas gracias!
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