• Ana Lešković

THE NAMELESS - WHY HIPGNOSIS AVOIDED PUTTING THE ARTISTS' NAMES ON THEIR COVERS

Hipgnosis was a London-based art design group that specialized in the creation of cover art for leading acts of the era, such as Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Peter Gabriel. They pioneered what is called the “heyday of the album cover”, when artists and designers started gaining enough creative freedom to express themselves as they wished.




Prior to that, record cover deisgn was seen merely as a branding tool, with accent put heavily on the musician's faces and names as a selling point. Hipgnosis changed that with their experimental approach to photography and conceptual thinking. They started designing covers that attracted listeners through their powerful and often thought-provoking visuals (e.g. "Atom Heart Mother" by Pink Floyd, seen below).



Seen that their strength lied in photography, Hipgnosis is not a studio that is interesting typographically. However, there is a reason that Hipgnosis avoided typography, the names, the words. That reason is the fact that they wanted to get as far away as possible from using the fame of particular bands to promote the music - they wanted the visual to speak for itself.


Hipgnosis worked for clientele that included Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and Peter Gabriel, the names that are worth mentioning if you want people to buy a record. However, the studio avoided using the names as the selling point, much to the disagreement of record companies. They relied on the strength of the visuals themselves (as seen on the examples below).


Seen that the music behind their covers sold hundreds of millions copies, they definitely suceeded in their nameless approach.


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