Storm Thorgerson, designer of rock album covers, dies at 69

Yui Mok/AP - This July 2008 file photo shows English graphic designer Storm Thorgerson standing next to his album cover artwork for Pink Floyd's "The Dark Side of the Moon." He died Thursday at age 69.

Storm Thorgerson, a British graphic designer whose eye-popping album art for Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin encapsulated the spirit of 1970s psychedelia, died April 18. He was 69.

A family statement provided few details, but Mr. Thorgerson had been in poor health since suffering a stroke in 2003.

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Even those who not familiar with Mr. Thorgerson’s name have seen his work gracing vinyl collections and CD racks. He was best known for his surreal Pink Floyd covers, which guitarist David Gilmour said had long been “an inseparable part of our work.”

Some of Mr. Thorgerson’s covers — the disturbing image of a burning man in a business suit featured on Pink Floyd’s “Wish You Were Here” or the stark prism on the band’s “Dark Side of the Moon” — have become visual icons in their own right.

Mr. Thorgerson also designed covers for Led Zeppelin, Peter Gabriel, Phish, Styx and Muse. His art tended toward the unsettling or the bizarre. One particularly weird CD cover — for the Cranberries’ “Bury the Hatchet” — featured a monstrous, disembodied eye staring at a crouching, naked figure in a desert.

Mr. Thorgerson described his work as a kind of fantasy job — in both senses of the word.

“People pay me for my thoughts and my dreams,” he told the BBC in 2010. “I think in that sense I’m very fortunate.”

— Associated Press