Album Cover Illustration | 50 Years of Pink Floyd

This project was created for my final graphic design exams. I came up with an identity for an anniversary edition of 50 years for my favorite music band, Pink Floyd, and a cohesive system used across 8 vinyl albums. Each album cover design features pen and ink illustrations drawn in my style, with original concepts for every LP.

Atom Heart Mother (1970)- Atom Heart Mother Suite’s minute 2:20 features the entry of the powerful, orchestral “main theme”. The image that always popped up in my mind when hearing this theme was the arrival of a giant spaceship from outer space. This being one of my favorite early Pink Floyd songs and with Atom Heart Mother being probably the first LP in which the band started to create their early PF sound signatures, it only seemed appropriate to illustrate the early arrival of something alien that would change everything.
Meddle (1971)- The famous ping sound in the beginning of the giant Echoes was the main inspiration of the design. With creation itself being one of the central themes of the song also, the main idea of the cover is the creation of life by seeing a human figure sleeping inside a shiny drop of something akin to water, hitting a big body of a similar liquid only to be bounced back after making a ping-like sound.
Obscured By The Clouds (1972)- A soundtrack album created for Barbara Schroeder’s The Valley, which presents the search for a paradise in Papua New Guinea which doesn’t appear on the map, hence “obscured by the clouds”. Papua New Guinea is home to the largest butterfly in the world, Queen Alexandra’s Birdwing, an example of which is illustrated on this album cover.
The Dark Side Of The Moon (1973)- The most famous Pink Floyd album might just be the most philosophical one. Themes of human traps such as war, greed and insanity are illustrated on the cover as grey demons with white pupils silently observing the rise of a body of a female. Why does the body rise and where does it go is left to interpretation.
Wish You Were Here (1975)- A drawing of a Valkyrie silently looking down like it’s grieving take central place on Wish You Were Here’s cover. Valkyries were mythical beings presented in the Norse folklore as powerful ones who may or may not choose who dies in a battle or who goes to Valhalla, often based on their own interests and secret affairs with human warriors. For an album which features themes of grief, absence and the greedy, impersonal and manipulative nature of the music business, using exclusively a drawing of a grieving Valkyrie seemed appropriate to me.
Animals (1977)- Animals, to me at least, is a rebel, aggressive and at times violent album. Its aggression comes from repulsive representations of the nature of politicians, corporate overlords and those who do their bidding blindly, all of which can be compared to animals (pigs, sheep and dogs- all of which are titles of songs from the album). I wanted an illustration that would create, at least in a low-key way, a feeling of repulsion and out of this, I created an image of a fat pig gorging himself with food, sitting with its behind pointed towards the camera without any sort of shame towards the viewer.
The Wall (1979)- The Wall’s first song is 3 minutes and 18 seconds long, called In The Flesh?. Its last section features a bridge sung by Roger Waters, reading: “Lights! Roll the sound effects! Action! Drop it, drop it on ‘em! Drop it on them!”, followed by the sound of a bomber aircraft and the cry of a newborn baby. The illustration features a bomb falling from the sky. Alongside it, because I wanted to stay away from a literal representation of a brick wall, I opted for something much closer to us, a metaphorical wall of smoke coming from a thermal power station.
The Final Cut (1983)- Although Roger Water’s father died in World War II, the statues portrayed in the image come as a reaction to World War I. Kaethe Kollowitz was a German sculptor whose 18-year old son Peter died in Flanders at the outbreak of the first World War. These two statues sculpted by her which are hand drawn on this cover are called Grieving Parents, a work of art which took 15 years to be created.