It is often touted as the best album of all time, and has become so ingrained as part of popular culture that it’s hard to believe that the concept for Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon cover was actually born out of a simple textbook illustration.
We were lucky enough to have the album’s original illustrator, George Hardie, visit us at our offices where we chatted about the album.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the iconic design has its routes in a chance 1968 meeting in a photographic darkroom at the Royal College of Art in London. It was then that George first met Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell – the creative minds behind now legendary design studio, Hipgnosis.
Over the year, Hipgnosis produced artwork for some of the most influential bands of the era including Led Zeppelin, Genesis and Black Sabbath, but it was the bold graphic design for The Dark Side of the Moon which thrust the studio’s work into the public eye when it hit record stores in March 1973.
Until this point, much of Hipgnosis’ work had been photographic. But under the direction of Pink Floyd’s keyboardist Richard Wright to produce something “simple, clinical and precise” their ideas took on a new dimension. The breakthrough moment was provided by Storm Thorgerson who remembered an illustration from a photography book showing the process of light refraction through a glass prism; “An inspirational image in itself” as George recalls. The concept seemed particularly fitting for Pink Floyd who were famous for their use of light shows.
“Slightly re-arranging the illustration, I drew a line artwork and indicated colours using percentages of magenta, cyan, yellow and black from a printer’s chart – the simplest way of making this kind of line artwork where the lines act as the edges of each colour and the printer fills in the colours.” explains Hardie. The prism was airbrushed, black on white, and reversed out of a mechanical printer’s black background to produce the final effect.
After its release, The Dark Side of the Moon went to number one on the US Billboard chart for one week, but it ended up staying in the charts for a consecutive 741 weeks from 1973 to 1988 – longer than any other album in history.
The band were suddenly propelled from the underground into the mainstream. With an estimated 45 million copies sold, it became Pink Floyd’s most commercially successful album and is frequently ranked as one of the greatest rock albums of all time. The white beam of light passing through a prism to form the bright colours of the spectrum against a stunning black background invited listeners to discover the music inside, and it still does today.
Own the Dark Side of the Moon Framed Edition
Now you can own this definitive piece of Pink Floyd memorabilia – a remastered copy of The Dark Side of the Moon vinyl professionally framed and signed by the original album artist, George Hardie himself.
Coutts – bankers to the Queen – have confirmed coins and stamps as lucrative hobby investments…
The Coutts Passion index tracks the rate at which the price of hobby investments has risen, and its increase of 80% between 2005 and 2014 proves that there is money to be made for those who decide to turn their hobby into an investment.
Stamp and coin collecting both made the top 10 in recent news, despite having been around for hundreds of years these collecting pastimes remain just as popular today…
200 Million Collectors
In fact, it’s estimated that around 200 million people worldwide still enjoy collecting stamps to this very day. An impressive figure considering the technological advances that the world has seen over the years and new fads and crazes that have developed.
Ranked in 9th place by Coutts – philately is still widely recognised by many as a popular collectible hobby.
Postage stamp collecting began at the same time that stamps were first issued, and by the 1860’s thousands of collectors and stamp dealers were appearing around the world as this new study and hobby spread across Europe.
Collecting stamps for investment purposes is viewed as a hedge against inflation and devalued currencies. Perhaps not as popular for younger audiences as it once was, stamp collecting is still considered to be a worthwhile hobby – which can be both rewarding and profitable to the collector.
Ranked at number 3 in the Coutts top 12 list, is coin collecting. Last year prices for old coins grew at a rate of 9% and over the 10 year period between 2005 and 2014 they have risen a staggering 176%
Top 3 Position
People have kept coins for their bullion value for as long as coins have been minted, however, the collection of coins for their artistic value came much later.
Today, coin enthusiasts are still hunting for collectible coins to add to their collections. There are many different areas within numismatics which range from theme, metal, currency, era and country.
Keith Heddle of Stanley Gibbons, puts coins’ enduring popularity down to “their tangibility and literal link to money, wealth and precious metals”.
So, it’s good news for collectors. With coins like the undated 20p and the Kew Gardens 50p which can simply be found in loose change, the return on their investment stands to be even higher in percentage terms.
Stamps, along with coins, are the only two alternative investments on the Telegraph’s list that have not lost money in any given year since 2005.
Whilst it’s always nice to hear about coin and stamp values rising, we always recommend that you collect first and foremost for the enjoyment of the hobby.
The most lucrative ‘hobby investments’ over 10 years
- Classic cars
- Old Master and 19th Century art
- Old coins
- Rare musical instruments
- Post-war and contemporary art
- Rugs and carpets
- Impressionist and modern art
- Fine wine
- Traditional Chinese works
The Westminster Collection offers a variety of collectible stamps and coins.
click here to find out more.