H.R Giger is most famous for his design of the alien creatures in the Alien movie series. I saw these movies and creatures as a child and they scared me! But then later in life I became a fan of the Alien movies as well as Giger’s artwork. As a teenager I was particularly attracted to dark and gothic art. Giger’s sculptures and artwork were influenced by styles such as bio-mechanical, futuristic, dark and gothic themes which was also reflected the type of music I became of fan of. One band I listened to in the late 90s was Korn. The singer of Korn, Jonathan Davis was also a Giger fan and had Giger commission a special microphone stand for him. I remember clearly seeing this mic stand on stage while the band performed.


Before the Korn mic stand was designed in 2000 Giger designed several album covers throughout the 70s, 80s and 90s, often for more alternative artists ranging from pop through to death metal. Below a quote from Rolling Stone magazine who feature some of Giger’s best album covers here.

“Surrealist Swiss painter H.R. Giger, who died on May 12th at age 74 (2014), is perhaps best known for inspiring the design of the creature in the Alien movie franchise, also had a long and deep connection with music. Whether via commissioned pieces or licensing deals, his disturbing, erotic “bio-mechanical” images were frequently used for album cover art, among other musically-related projects. We’ve highlighted some of the best of those eerie uses. “

Some of the musical artists that Giger designed for include Debbie Harry, Danzig, Dead Kennedys, Emerson, Lake and Palmer, Celtic Frost and Carcass.

Giger described his artwork as “biomechanical,”, and earned renown for his monochromatic dystopian landscapes and perverse monsters. Many paintings featured genitalia in the art, while others found machines fused to organic beings.

“My paintings seem to make the strongest impression on people who are, well, who are crazy,” Giger said in a 1979 interview, according to the Associated Press. “If they like my work they are creative … or they are crazy.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Jamie Hewlett

Jamie Hewlett is a comic book artist, designer and director from England. Born in 1968 “The Year of the Monkey”. His most popular work is with the comic book Tank Girl and virtual concept band, Gorillaz.


While studying in College, Hewlett created a fanzine with his friends Alan Martin and Phillip Bond called ‘Atomtan’ – this brought them to the attention of comic book artist Brett Ewins. Ewins invited them to create material for a new magazine – which then came to be Tank Girl.


Tank Girl is an unconventional anarchic graphic novel about the misadventures of a tank-riding outlaw. Set in a post-apocalyptic society where resources are fiscal, Tank Girl fights against the corrupt Water & Power organisation. Her boyfriend is a mutant Kangaroo named ‘Booga’. The comic’s style is influenced by British Pop Culture, punk visual art and surrealism. In 1995, the graphic novel was turned into the movie and despite flopping at the box office, it gained a cult following and remains a cult classic to this day.

In 1998, he co-created the cartoon band Gorillaz with longtime friend Damon Albarn. Gorillaz. The members in the band are completely fictional. The bands 2001 debut album Gorillaz, earned them an entry into the Guinness World Book of Records for Most Successful Virtual Band. Gorillaz has performed live using hologram technology and all their music videos are animated by Hewlett and Co.

Hewlett has also designed cd covers for various bands including, Mindless Self Indulgence, Senseless Things, Cud and an illustrative comic strip for Pulp’s “Common People”. In the 90’s he collaborated with a slew of indie bands and is literally the poster boy of post-punk British Pop (say that four times really fast).

Like many contemporary artists, he is influenced by Japanese anime ‘Studio Ghibli’, sci-fi, post-punk culture and futurism.

Jamie Hewlett has a distinct style, that is instantly recognisable. His work often deals with misfits and antiheroes and features anthropomorphic monkey characters clad in bandaids, torn clothing, cigarettes and tanks. The characters he creates are rebellious and mischievous. In 2006, he won Designer of the Year from Arts Council England – Hewlett’s work is ever-evolving and each project is vastly different from the last. He has designed operas, directed videos, illustrated graphic novels and album art and runs an animation company “Zombie Flesh Eaters“.

Jamie Hewlett has not only created a personal mythology with the virtual band Gorillaz, he has also created designs for the direction in which technology and culture are going, the shape of things to come

– Chairman of Arts Council, Sir Christopher Frayling summing up Hewlett’s achievements


BBC: Journey to the East animation by Jamie Hewlett with Zombie Flesh Eaters on vimeo


Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 2.03.25 PM

Jamie Reid is from the era of the punk movement. He was a Graphic Designer for a famous rebellious punk band called Sex Pistols. He likes to portray his rebellion and protest against nuclear arms and war through his art and formed the punk era. One of the famous posters he did for the Sex Pistols is the poster for their song called ‘Anarchy in the UK’. Its a combination of a photomontage and a collage. The Uk flag is thorn and looks like its patched together with safety pins. In the middle a hole is thorn and the title of the band and the song are protruding out from it. The outrageous style of the poster also reflects the band and also shows rebelion and protest.


Reid also developed this ‘powerful ransom note and newspaper clipping style’ for the sex pistols that became iconic in relation to the band. Perhaps this was influenced by his purchase of a printing press and his subsequent publication of a controversial community.

Screen Shot 2016-04-07 at 10.33.02 PM

To give different importance to the words he used boldness and larger size for the title of the album and used a different colour for the title of the band so there will be a contrast and people who never knew about them can immediately tell which is which. I think it is very eye catching and stands out.


This album cover like the others shows the newspaper clipping style and a feel of rebellion and a political message. The colours are very flat to describe the hard times in London in this era.


Reid-made other Pistols art, including a picture of the Queen with a safety pin through her lip, and swat stickers in her eyes this became defining symbols of the punk rock and rebellion era, and the Sex Pistols in particular.

Click to access Graphic%20designer%20Jamie%20Reid%20facts.pdf

Alex Grey

Why do musicians choose a particular visual style for their artwork? Does this music of the band tool describe the spiritual aspect of its album covers? If music could be a mind altering connection with the universe does the work of artist, Alex Grey inspire people to become more aware of their conscious spirituality?


I find Alex Grey body of work is  much more than a showcase of beautiful colours and detailed imagery. He explores the subject of consciousness, visually. This language, know as sacred art, has been used for centuries to manifest spiritual wisdom. The difference is Greys use of the detailed anatomy. Working with cadavers in the mid 1970s could explain Alex Grey ‘X-ray ‘ style of art.That and copious use of mind altering substances which is the trademark of so many spirituals.


His album  covers are a refreshing change to bold simple vectors or, unimaginative images used by  too many musicians. Instead we have Alex Greys rich tapestry of work depicting the human body has grids of fire, galactic swirls a, lots of eyes.

Music graphics has been a fundamental  step in the art style of Alex Grey gaining access to a much broader audience. The artwork; The net of vision  has catapulted Grey to international recognition. It is not only the  backdrop of the bands stage set but inside and out of the Grammy award wining album, 10,000 days which sold triple platinum.

Alex Greys showpiece work is a ten year project called ‘secret mirrors’. Here is the best example of what Grey hopes to achieve when he calls his work ‘transformational’. The series has 21 life size canvas which take people on a journey of human experience seen in these xray depictions. The goal is to show multiple layers of reality with the interplay of the anatomical and the spiritual. Through this combination, he says that his art points towards the

“spiritual force, a creative force that I think runs through all artists.”


Born in Columbus in 1952 Grey attended Columbus collage of art on a full scholarship. After dropping out of art school Grey painted billboards before moving to Boston to study conceptual art in 1974. He lives with his wife of 32 years, Allyson in New York.



Storm Thorgerson


Storm Thorgerson of Norwegian descent became one of England’s best known graphic designers. In 1968 Thorgerson teamed up with Aubrey Powell and both became the founders of the graphic art group known as Hypgonsis.
Originally the company had set out to design singles and album covers related to the music industry.

One of the closest connections from the music industry to help boost Hypgnosis was Rogers Waters from Pink Floyd who had known Thorgerson during school years in Cambridge.
Thorgerson and Waters played rugby together during the schooling years. Thorgerson also became teenage friends with David Gilmor, guitarist of Pink Floyd.
Thorgerson, best known for his album work on the highly recognisable Pink Floyd (Dark Side of The Moon) later went on further to produce hits designs from artists such as:

Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, Nik Kershaw, Black Sabbath, Scorpions, Peter Gabriel, Genesis, Al Stewart, Europe, Catherine Wheel, Bruce Dickinson, Dream Theater, Anthrax, The Cranberries, The Mars Volta, Muse, The Alan Parsons Project, Biffy Clyro and Rival Sons.

Thorgerson and his team released several books detailing their work. (The Gathering Storm) – (A Quartet in Several Parts) was the last.

2013, Prog magazine renamed its Grand Design Award after Thorgerson. It is now known as the “Thorgerson Grand Design Award and will be given to the designer of the year’s best packaged product. Incidently, Thorgerson had won the award in 2012 for his work with Pink Floyd.


st-80 st90