[[caption-width-right:350:The cover of the retrospective book ''For the Love of Vinyl''. The image was originally created for Riff Raff's 1981 album ''[[http://hipgnosiscovers.com/riffraff.html Vinyl Futures]]''.]]

[[caption-width-right:350:Left to right: [[Music/ThrobbingGristle Peter]] [[Music/{{Coil}} Christopherson]], Aubrey Powell and Storm Thorgerson in TheSeventies.]]

->''"This is a RECORD COVER. This writing is the DESIGN upon the album cover. The DESIGN is to help SELL the record... A good cover DESIGN is one that attracts more buyers and gives more pleasure. This writing is trying to pull you in much like an eye-catching picture. It is designed to get you to READ IT. This is called luring the VICTIM, and you are the VICTIM. But if you have a free mind you should STOP READING NOW! because all we are attempting to do is to get you to read on. Yet this is a DOUBLE BIND because if you indeed stop you'll be doing what we tell you, and if you read on you'll be doing what we've wanted all along. And the more you read on the more you're falling for this simple device of telling you exactly how a good commercial design works. They're TRICKS and this is the worst TRICK of all since it's describing the TRICK whilst trying to TRICK you, and if you've read this far then you're TRICKED but you wouldn't have known this unless you'd read this far. At least we're telling you directly instead of seducing you with a beautiful or haunting visual that may never tell you. We're letting you know that you ought to buy this record because in essence it's a PRODUCT and PRODUCTS are to be consumed and you are a consumer and this is a good PRODUCT."''
-->--Excerpt from the cover of Music/{{XTC}}'s ''[[http://hipgnosiscovers.com/xtc/go2.html Go 2]]''

In a deserted film studio lot, two businessmen seal a deal by shaking hands. One of the businessmen is [[ManOnFire on fire]]. Neither of them acts as if anything is wrong.

A respectable, middle-aged suburban couple attempt to fake a photo of an alien spaceship flying above their house, but are caught in the act. The wife is not happy about it.

Sometime during TheThirties, a wealthy young woman invites her latest boyfriend into her mansion. The suitor looks apprehensive--and he has good reason to be. In the next room, the woman's butler is busy disposing of her previous boyfriend.

Where are these scenes from? Old movies, or some forgotten GenreAnthology series? Actually, they're all from the work of a studio that designed album covers for some of England's best known bands. (In order, they're the covers of Music/PinkFloyd's ''Music/WishYouWereHere'', Music/{{UFO}}'s ''[[http://stormthorgersonarchive.com/html/cc/CC04.html Phenomenon]]'' and Audience's ''[[http://hipgnosiscovers.com/audience/thehouseonthehill.html The House on the Hill]]''.) Welcome to the world of Hipgnosis.

During TheSixties, Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey "Po" Powell were students at the University of [[{{Oxbridge}} Cambridge]], where they befriended future Music/PinkFloyd members Music/SydBarrett, Music/RogerWaters and David Gilmour. Thorgerson and Powell had already designed and photographed several paperback covers for Penguin Books as "Consciousness Incorporated"; therefore, when the Floyd needed a cover for their second album ''Music/ASaucerfulOfSecrets'', they turned to their friends Storm and Po, who renamed their collaboration "Hipgnosis" after the word was scrawled on the door of their flat by a then-unknown "ingenious dope fiend".[[note]]Depending on who you believe, the scrawler was either Syd Barrett or Adrian Haggard, another friend of Thorgerson and Powell.[[/note]] This was the beginning of a creative partnership with Pink Floyd that continued for decades.

''Saucerful'' turned out so well that Hipgnosis was offered more work by the Floyd's label and booking agent. Throughout TheSeventies, the studio's reputation grew as they were commissioned by some of the biggest names in British music (see the list below); along with artist Creator/RogerDean, they helped create the look of ProgressiveRock and HeavyMetal. Their work is notable for its use of {{surrealism}}; in those pre-Photoshop days, their enigmatic images had to be created in RealLife, or through retouching and other trickery, instead of clicking on a mouse. Hipgnosis is also remembered for the stories their vivid images told, often using ScienceFiction tropes. (Speaking of sci-fi, Hipgnosis designed covers for Creator/DouglasAdams' ''Radio/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' albums and Norman Spinrad's novel ''Literature/BugJackBarron'').

Storm and Po became so busy that in 1974, they promoted their assistant Peter Christopherson to a full-time third member; Christopherson remained with Hipgnosis even after he joined Music/ThrobbingGristle. However, by the mid-1970s, times were changing. Prog and metal were out, PunkRock was in, and with a few exceptions such as Music/{{XTC}}, the new crop of bands that followed in punk's wake had little use for Hipgnosis' elaborate imagery. Although the studio continued into TheEighties, by 1983 they'd transformed themselves into a MusicVideo company called Greenback Films, which eventually dissolved due to CreativeDifferences.

After Hipgnosis, Storm Thorgerson formed [=STd=] (Storm Thorgerson Design), then [=StormStudios=], and continued doing album covers (and eventually CD booklets); although he mostly designed for younger bands like Music/{{Muse}}, Music/BiffyClyro, Music/CatherineWheel and Music/TheCranberries, he still worked on most Music/PinkFloyd-related projects. He died in 2013, and [[AuthorExistenceFailure he was active until the very end]]. (In accordance with [[http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=30adec2edf9e7e995a3ac90d0&id=c1255d04bf&e=a725bb81ce Thorgerson's wishes]], [=StormStudios=] has carried on without him.) Aubrey Powell is currently a film director and has co-written two books with Thorgerson. Peter Christopherson continued making music (with Music/ThrobbingGristle, and later with Psychic TV and Music/{{Coil}}), as well as directing music videos and TV commercials, until his death in 2010. In 2014 and 2015 Powell, who owns the Hipgnosis name, [[{{Revival}} revived]] it for Pink Floyd's GrandFinale ''Music/TheEndlessRiver'' and David Gilmour's solo album ''Rattle That Lock''; these will likely be the studio's final projects.

http://hipgnosiscovers.com/ has an extensive archive of images created by Hipgnosis and their friends. [[http://stormthorgersonarchive.com/ Storm Thorgerson]] and [[http://aubreypowell.com/HOME.html Aubrey Powell]] also have official websites. The studio also participated in several books about its work; the 2017 publication ''Vinyl. Album. Cover. Art. The Complete Hipgnosis Catalogue'' lists all the album covers from the classic period. (It doesn't include the two revivals mentioned above, singles bags, music-related memorabilia like posters and adverts, or any of their non-music related work, but you can't have everything...)
!!Hipgnosis clients and albums with Wiki/TVTropes pages:
* Music/TenCc
* Music/{{ACDC}}
* Music/TheAlanParsonsProject
** ''Music/IRobot'' (1977)
* Music/BadCompany
* Music/SydBarrett
** ''Music/TheMadcapLaughs'' (1970)
* Music/BeBopDeluxe
* Music/BlackSabbath
* Gary Brooker, Matthew Fisher and Robin Trower of Music/ProcolHarum
* Music/DeepPurple
* Music/DefLeppard
* Music/ElectricLightOrchestra
* Music/EmersonLakeAndPalmer
* Music/PeterFrampton
* Music/PeterGabriel
* Music/{{Genesis}}
** ''Music/TheLambLiesDownOnBroadway'' (1974)
* Music/GoldenEarring
* Music/{{Hawkwind}}
* Music/TheHollies
* Music/LedZeppelin
** ''Music/HousesOfTheHoly'' (1973)
** ''Music/TheSongRemainsTheSame'' (1976)
** ''Presence''
** ''In Through The Out Door''
* Music/PaulMcCartney and Music/{{Wings}}
* Music/JohnMcLaughlin
* Music/TheMoodyBlues
* Music/PinkFloyd
** ''Music/ASaucerfulOfSecrets'' (1968)
** ''Music/{{Ummagumma}}'' (1969)
** ''Music/AtomHeartMother'' (1970)
** ''Music/{{Meddle}}'' (1971)
** ''Music/ObscuredByClouds'' (1972)
** ''Music/TheDarkSideOfTheMoon'' (1973)
** ''Music/WishYouWereHere'' (1975)
** ''Music/{{Animals}}'' (1977)
** ''Music/TheEndlessRiver'' (2014)
* Music/ThePolice
* Music/ThePrettyThings
* Music/{{Quatermass}}
* Music/GerryRafferty
* Music/{{Rainbow}}
* Music/ToddRundgren
* Music/{{Scorpions}}
* Music/StatusQuo
* Music/AlStewart
* Music/{{Styx}}
* Music/{{Sweet}}
* [[Music/MarcBolan T. Rex]]
* Mick Taylor of Music/TheRollingStones[[note]]Hipgnosis was also the original choice for the Stones' ''Music/GoatsHeadSoup'' cover, but their work was never used[[/note]]
* Roger Taylor of Music/{{Queen}}
* Music/RickWakeman
* Music/{{XTC}}
* Music/{{Yes}}
!!Storm Thorgerson/[=STd=]/[=StormStudios=] post-Hipgnosis clients with Wiki/TVTropes pages:
* Music/TenCc
* Music/{{Anthrax}}
* Music/{{Audioslave}}
* Music/SydBarrett
* Music/BiffyClyro
* Music/CatherineWheel
* Music/TheCranberries
* Music/TheCult
* Music/DreamTheater
* [[Music/IanDuryAndTheBlockheads Ian Dury]]
* Music/{{Kansas}}
* Music/TheMarsVolta
* Music/SteveMillerBand
* Music/{{Muse}}
* Music/TheOffspring
* Music/MikeOldfield
* Music/{{Pendulum}}
* Music/{{Phish}}
* Music/PinkFloyd
* Music/{{Quatermass}}
* Music/{{Styx}}
* Music/{{Ween}}
!!Tropes present in Hipgnosis' work:
* AwesomeMcCoolname: Storm Thorgerson.
* TheBlank: [[http://tinyurl.com/pinkfloydfacelessman One image]] from Music/PinkFloyd's ''Music/WishYouWereHere'' depicts a faceless man in the desert dressed in business attire and hawking Pink Floyd records. To add to the effect, the man's wrists and ankles (the only parts of his body that show besides his "face") are invisible, implying that on some level he doesn't even exist, which ties in to the album's theme of absence.
* CoolOldGuy: What Thorgerson and Powell eventually became. (Christopherson died at 55, which may or may not be too early to qualify.)
* CreatorCameo: They did several of these, usually with their faces obscured.
** Storm and Po appear on the back cover of Music/PinkFloyd's ''[[http://hipgnosiscovers.com/pinkfloyd/anicepair.html A Nice Pair]]''.
** Storm is one of the surgeons on Music/{{Rainbow}}'s ''[[http://www.hipgnosiscovers.com/rainbow/difficulttocure.html Difficult to Cure]]''.
** Po is the man whose face is covered by a map on Music/TenCc's ''Bloody Tourists'' album.
** Peter Christopherson is the man looking under the hood of a car on Music/BadCompany's ''[[http://hipgnosiscovers.com/badcompany/desolationangels.html Desolation Angels]]''. He also appears on the cover of ''Music/IRobot''.
* CueTheFlyingPigs: Literally, with the inflatable pig designed for the cover of Pink Floyd's ''Music/{{Animals}}''.
* DeadpanSnarker: Storm comes across as one in many of his writings.
* DesignStudentsOrgasm: Some of their more elaborate covers fall into this trope.
* DrosteImage: PlayedWith on Music/PinkFloyd's ''Music/{{Ummagumma}}''. The pictures show each of the four band members switching positions and occupying the same place, save for the final one, which is the cover of their previous album ''Music/ASaucerfulOfSecrets''.
* DrowningPit: The Strawbs' ''[[http://www.hipgnosiscovers.com/strawbs.html Deadlines]]'' has a phone booth turned into one.
* EenieMeenieMinyMoai: Music/{{Styx}}'s ''[[http://hipgnosiscovers.com/styx/piecesofeight.html Pieces of Eight]]''.
* EverythingsBetterWithDinosaurs: The cover of Music/{{Quatermass}}' SelfTitledAlbum features pteranodons flying around horizontal (!) skyscrapers that seem to stretch on forever.
* GlowingEyesOfDoom: The innersleeve of Music/PeterGabriel's [[http://www.hardformat.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/peter-gabriel-1-4.jpg first album]].
* ManOnFire: Music/PinkFloyd's ''[[http://hipgnosiscovers.com/images/496_wywh_lp_holland_front.jpg Wish You Were Here]]''.
* MesACrowd: The inner gatefold of Music/EmersonLakeAndPalmer's ''[[http://hipgnosiscovers.com/images/496_elp_trilogy_us_cd_booklet1.jpg Trilogy]]'' has multiple Emersons, Lakes and Palmers posing in a forest.
* PunnyName: "Hipgnosis" = hypnosis.[[note]]And pronounced the same way. It's a portmanteau of "hip" (trendy) and "gnosis" (pronounced "no-sis"; knowledge, especially religious or mystical).[[/note]]
* PyramidPower:
** The cover of Music/TheAlanParsonsProject's ''[[http://hipgnosiscovers.com/alanparsons/pyramid.html Pyramid]]'', naturally enough.
** Also, Music/PinkFloyd's ''Music/TheDarkSideOfTheMoon''.
* SixthRanger: Peter Christopherson, of course. Hipgnosis also had a group of regular collaborators, including graphic artist George Hardie, illustrator Colin Elgie, logo designer Geoff Halpin, designer Richard Evans and John Blake, and photo retouchers Maurice Tate and Richard Manning.
* SpidersAreScary: The cover of the 1970 Probe Records sampler ''[[http://www.hipgnosiscovers.com/handlewithcare.html Handle With Care]]'' is a closeup of a tarantula crawling on a leaf.[[note]]There's no design credit on the sleeve, but, but the album is listed in ''Vinyl. Album. Cover. Art. The Complete Hipgnosis Catalogue''.[[/note]]
* SplitScreenPhoneCall: Music/TenCc's ''[[http://hipgnosiscovers.com/10cc/howdareyou.html How Dare You!]]''
* {{Surrealism}}: Creator/ReneMagritte was a major influence on Hipgnosis' work.
* VisualPun: Several Hipgnosis images are literal interpretations of figures of speech. Some examples:
** Music/PinkFloyd's ''[[http://hipgnosiscovers.com/pinkfloyd/anicepair.html A Nice Pair]]'' feature several: "Frog in the throat", "Laughing all the way to the bank", "Fork in the road", etc. (Not to mention the innuendo-laden "A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush".) And of course, the title gets one; one of the images is of a topless busty woman and a pear.
** Another Pink Floyd example: the "fire man" image on ''Music/WishYouWereHere'' is a metaphor for "getting burned" in the music business suggested by George Hardie.
** Climax Blues Band's ''[[http://hipgnosiscovers.com/climaxbluesband/tightlyknit.html Tightly Knit]]'': "Put a sock in it".
** Capability Brown's ''[[http://hipgnosiscovers.com/capabilitybrown.html Voice]]'': "Zip your lip".
** Prototype's [[http://hipgnosiscovers.com/images/496_prototype_lp_canada_front.jpg self-titled album]]: "A little birdie told me".
** A [[http://hipgnosiscovers.com/images/496_flashes_ad_uk.jpg press ad]] for Roy Harper's ''Flashes from the Archives of Oblivion'' in which the singer praises himself depicts him with a literal swelled head. There's also an illustration of a bull shitting at the bottom of the ad.
** UFO's ''[[http://www.hipgnosiscovers.com/ufo/forceit.html Force It]]'' has a cover photo of a couple making love in a bathroom containing many faucets. "Force It"... "faucet"... [[LamePunReaction groan]].
* WallOfText: The essay that comprises the cover of Music/{{XTC}}'s ''Go 2'', excerpted above.
* WipeThatSmileOffYourFace: Rael is shown like this on the back cover of Music/{{Genesis}}' ''Music/TheLambLiesDownOnBroadway'', as well as [[http://hipgnosiscovers.com/images/496_lamb_ad_uk_1.jpg this British press advert]]. Hipgnosis had originally suggested the idea for Music/MottTheHoople, but [[ExecutiveMeddling an executive]] at their label Creator/ColumbiaRecords rejected it.
* VulgarHumor: The covers for Music/{{Scorpions}}' ''[[http://hipgnosiscovers.com/scorpions/lovedrive.html Lovedrive]]'' and ''[[http://hipgnosiscovers.com/scorpions/animalmagnetism.html Animal Magnetism]]'', as well as the picture sleeve for The Cortinas' punk single "[[http://hipgnosiscovers.com/thecortinas/defiantpose.html Defiant Pose]]", which is a VomitIndiscretionShot.