George Hardie

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George Hardie (b. 16 November 1944) in an English illustrator, and graphic designer. He is notable for contributing iconic album cover artwork for British design group Hipgnosis.


Hardie was born in Chichester, West Sussex, England. He attended the prestigious St Martin's and the Royal College of Art in London, before working as a designer for Nicholas Thirkell Associates (NTA), in addition to partnering with Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell of Hipgnosis.[1] The abstract graphics of Hardie's output marked a distinct contrast with the heightened photographic surrealism of the work of other members of the Hipgnosis group.[2] Amongst Hardie's folio of album covers includes the famous prism on Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) chosen from three of his designs, the album Wish You Were Here (1975), Genesis' The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway (1974), Black Sabbath's Technical Ecstasy (1976), and Yes' Going for the One (1977), often working with the handicap of having no access to the unreleased music contained within.[3]

He was also commissioned to design the sleeve of Led Zeppelin's eponymous debut album by manager Peter Grant, in October 1968. Hardie had previously worked on Jeff Beck's album Truth, whom Grant had also managed, and his original concept was to have a sequential image of a Zeppelin with clouds and waves.[4] Guitarist Jimmy Page wasn't entirely convinced and asked him to swap the design to a single facsimile image of the Hindenburg (LZ-129) going down in flames. Hardie's original concept however was later reused in part, on the inner gatefold sleeve of the next album, Led Zeppelin II. His designs were also used on Presence (1976), and the soundtrack album The Song Remains the Same (1976).

Outside of the music industry, Hardie was also commissioned to design postage stamps for the Royal Mail. He has taught postgraduate students of graphic design at the Faculty of Arts and Architecture, University of Brighton, since 1990. In 1994, he became a member of the Alliance Graphique Internationale (AGI), for which he now presides as International Secretary. Hardie was elected as a Royal Designer for Industry in 2005.[5]


  1. George Hardie. University of Brighton. Retrieved on 14 July 2013.
  2. Garner, Philippe (1980). Contemporary Decorative Arts from 1940 to the Present‎. New York: Facts on File, 205. ISBN 0-87196-472-4. 
  3. Nadel, Dan and Rymill, Jessi (2005). The Ganzfeld 4: Art History?. Berkeley: Gingko Press, 185. ISBN 1-58423-251-3. 
  4. Jack, Richard Morton (2008). The Sunbeam Guide to Led Zeppelin. London: Foxcote Books, 94. ISBN 1-84353-841-7. 
  5. George Hardie. University of Brighton. Retrieved on 14 July 2013.