The death of Graphic designer and illustrator Storm Thorgerson last week was sad news indeed. Instantly recognisable his graphic art and photo collage on album covers throughout the 60’s and 70’s may have been before my time but seems to take up a lot of my music collection. As a teenager and into my early twenties I would buy albums (back when people actually bought albums) based almost purely on the art on the sleeve – sometimes knowing nothing and having little interest in the actual music itself. Thorgerson’s artwork is often on display on London’s Southbank and I regularly pop in just to take a look at some of his inspiring creations.
As a designer Thorgerson’s work was groundbreaking. He instigated a major shift from the obvious opening up a whole world of possibilities in terms of how to promote a band or person. No longer did the focus need to be solely on the artist (or product), he showed that a strong and creative image could become as synonymous with the music as a picture of the artist itself.
Thorgerson will leave an amazing legacy of creativity and imagination. Up there with the best of the surrealists he will also stand as a symbol of change in the design world for many years to come. Rest in Peace.