The Story Behind Pink Floyd’s album, “The Dark Side of the Moon”

Album covers serve the purpose of advertising music created by a band or singer, but there are some iconic designs that stood out among other albums.  One of them is Pink Floyd’s album, “The Dark Side of the Moon” designed by Storm Thorgerson, which was released in March 1, 1973.

Image result for the dark side of the moon

Storm Thorgerson was a significant figure in the graphic design industry, mainly for his album covers. He was one of the first to consider album art as a concept. Rather than having the band or singer as part of the cover, he wanted to “encapsulate in art what bands were trying to say in their music” (Chilton). Thorgerson himself even questioned, “If you were trying to present an emotion, or a feeling, or an idea, or a theme, or an obsession, or a perversion, or a preoccupation, when would it have four guys in it?” With the power of photography, he was able to include surrealistic elements into his work, bringing uniqueness to each design. This style was suitable during the classical rock era and many bands were “keen on overblown and fantastical album covers” created by him (Chilton).

Pink Floyd was one of the bands who had the privilege of working with Thorgerson a couple of times. When given the task to create the album cover for “The Dark Side of the Moon,” he was only instructed to create something “clean, elegant and graphic.”  Thorgerson showed seven different concepts and immediately, the band was drawn to the design with a prismatic triangle. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Thorgerson said that the idea was mostly related to Pink Floyd’s light shows: “They hadn’t really celebrated their light show. That was one thing. The other thing was the triangle. I think the triangle, which is a symbol of thought and ambition, was very much a subject of Roger’s lyrics. So the triangle was a very useful – as we know, obviously – was a very useful icon to deploy and making it into the prism” (Rolling Stone).

Because of its unique and simple concept, it is regarded as one of the famous album covers in history. To this day, it is known as an icon of classical rock as well as modern commercial art.


Works Cited

Chilton, Martin. “Cover Story: A History Of Album Artwork.” UDiscover Music, 14 Oct. 2019, www.udiscovermusic.com/in-depth-features/history-album-artwork/.

Rolling Stone. “Storm Thorgerson: How I Designed the Cover of ‘Dark Side of the Moon’.” Rolling Stone, 25 June 2018, www.rollingstone.com/music/music-news/storm-thorgerson-how-i-designed-the-cover-of-dark-side-of-the-moon-99919/.

Nast, Condé. “Storm Thorgerson and the End of Album Art.” The New Yorker, The New Yorker, 18 June 2017, www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/storm-thorgerson-and-the-end-of-album-art.

 

 

 

 

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