Thorgerson grew up in Cambridge, England and originally wanted to become a filmmaker before deciding to focus on art instead. In 1967, he formed the art group Hipgnosis with his friend Aubrey Powell; their first project was the cover of the second album by Thorgerson’s grade-school friends Pink Floyd. Thorgerson’s relationship with Floyd proved to be beneficial for his career, as he later went on to design the covers of some of their biggest-selling albums. He also did work for other big-name musicians, designing the cover for Led Zeppelin’s Houses Of The Holy, Black Sabbath’s Technical Ecstasy, and Peter Gabriel’s first three solo albums. In recent years, his work could be seen gracing the covers of artists like Muse, Rival Sons, Umphrey’s McGee, and the Wombats.
Thorgerson did eventually return to film-making later in his life as a music video director. He directed the video for Yes’ biggest hit, “Owner Of A Lonely Heart,” as well as videos by Pink Floyd, David Gilmour, and Bruce Dickinson.