Chances are that if you don’t recognise the name Storm Thorgerson, you will definitely remember his work. Storm Thorgerson was an English graphic designer who has worked with some of the world’s most famous musicians.
Arguably, Storm Thorgerson’s most famous work is the iconic cover of Pink Floyd’s album Dark Side of the Moon. The cover for Dark Side of the Moon is widely regarded as being one of the greatest album covers of all time and has earned Storm Thorgerson international acclaim. The meaning and symbolism of the album cover has been fiercely debated, ranging from some factions stating that the single white line represents the listeners thoughts before listening to the album, the triangle the album, and the spectrum that emerges on the other side represents the listeners altered thoughts and mindset after listening to the record, enabling the listener to see the world for it’s true colours. To other groups which claim that the album cover was simply intended to promote the band’s highly technical stage performance which involved a myriad of lighting and visual effects.
Storm’s career spanned a period of 40 years, and during that time was commissioned by musicians and bands of international acclaim. Besides for Pink Floyd, Storm’s work also appears on the covers of albums from Led Zeppelin, Dream Theatre, Biffy Clyro and The Mars Volta.
Storm was born in Middlesex, England in 1944. He attended primary school in the area where he met and befriended the Pink Floyd founders Syd Barrett, who was a year younger than him, and Roger Waters who was one year older. This childhood bond remained strong well into the future, with Storm designing numerous surrealistic covers for the band including the covers of The Division Bell(1994), Atom Heart Mother (1970) and Animals (1977).
Storm also worked with more modern rock groups, most notably Muse when he designed the cover for the 2006 album Black Holes and Revelations. The album art represents the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, with each of the different coloured horses on the table representing a different aspect of the apocalypse. The horses are smaller than their riders to symbolize that the ills and shortcomings of the riders are now larger than those of the horses. There has also been speculation that the cover is meant to represent a time in the future, as debate has raged over whether the scene is set on Earth or on Mars due to a planet-like object which is seen to be in front of the Moon.
Storm Thorgerson sadly passed away on the 18th of April, 2013, after a long battle with an undisclosed form of cancer. A statement on the Pink Floyd website reads “We are saddened by the news that long-time Pink Floyd graphic genius, friend and collaborator, Storm Thorgerson, has died. Our thoughts are with his family and many friends.”