Just published is The Raging Storm - The Album Graphics of StormStudios, the latest, and equally essential book from our favourite graphic designer, Storm Thorgerson, and his team. Associated with Pink Floyd since 1968, Storm, along with his colleagues Hipgnosis and more recently StormStudios, has provided most of the Floyd's album cover art along with other key imagery. Storm himself is a much respected personality within the world of Pink Floyd, his contribution a key part of their
The Raging Storm is a collection of many pieces that StormStudios have completed for various artists over the past four years - not just for bands such as Pink Floyd, but more recent artists too, all of whom have been inspired to use StormStudios thanks to their painstaking approach to the work, creating often big and bold, unforgettable images, with a sense of humour or a cryptic note infusing each image.
Below we discuss this new book, which we recently chatted to Storm about. We'll share that interview with you very shortly, but in the meantime, if the book sounds interesting to you, we've got an exclusive discount on offer just to Brain Damage visitors, knocking around 15% off the price of the book. So without further ado, let's face the Raging Storm...
As is often said, first impressions always count. Bucking convention, the book is presented in landscape, rather than portrait, format. As Storm notes in his preface, it was a design decision, not withstanding the issues one might have sitting it comfortably amongst other books on the shelves. "It is a departure and is better suited to much of our output. When it is open it reminds us fondly of gatefold vinyl, and we of course like vinyl, because our images can be bigger."
As Storm explained to me recently, size is important when faced with music that might express large things, and often the best way to express this is by shooting outside, rather than in a pokey studio with all the restrictions that imposes. This is also reinforced by some aspects of the images being larger than life, either in stature or quantity (who could forget the seemingly endless hospital beds on Pink Floyd's A Momentary Lapse of Reason cover, for example?). As you progress through the book the images do seem to suit the landscape format far better.
It's not just the layout though that takes the eye - the print quality is extremely good, too. Colours are crisp, sharp and vivid, the colouration is natural, and the paper of decent quality. With Storm not using a mainstream publisher this time, possibly more control has been possible over this crucial aspect. Having said that, previous books have been well presented, to a similar standard as this.
Starting with Biffy Clyro, and ending with the very latest of their images for Pink Floyd, the book takes in work for a number of quite diverse artists. For many, if not most of the images, Storm takes the (for him) unusual step of offering some explanation as to what they represent which provides fascinating insight into his motives and creative considerations. In themselves, most of the images are absorbing, but with the story behind the pictures revealed, extra facets are laid bare.
Elsewhere in the book, artwork for Shpongle, The Mars Volta, Disco Biscuits, Red Hot Chilli Peppers (who contacted StormStudios for an album cover, then changed their mind), Syd Barrett, Muse, Steve Miller and others is shown in detail, and subjects as disparate as trouser length, red gym balls, giant scissors, box sets, cows made of wire, and cowboys throwing chairs, are all under discussion.
For the Floyd material, there's plenty to explore - rejected ideas, rough plans, and alternate images. There's an exposition of how, and why, the Liquid Dark Side happened (and the subsequent images inspired and created for other artists). There's also plenty of coverage of their work for the current Why Pink Floyd? campaign, demonstrating the up-to-date nature of the book.
As with Storm's previous collections, this book provides a fascinating look through an impressive body of work. He shows no sign of slowing down, and this book would be an impressive career retrospective for most graphic designers and artists. To cover just the past four years in this weighty tome is testament to the unique work that StormStudios do, and we thoroughly recommend it, not least for the constantly entertaining and illuminating text which reveals more about each image or project.
ORDERING DETAILS AND EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT
As Storm and co are in effect self-publishing the book, The Raging Storm is available to purchase from theragingstorm.firebrandstore.com. There, you can find the limited edition hardback, along with a very limited deluxe edition that comes with a special print and is signed by Storm.
As a Brain Damage visitor though, we've arranged a very special, exclusive discount. You can get £5 off the hardback edition (therefore each book costs £30 plus p&p instead of the recommended price of £35 plus p&p). To do this, you need to enter the special promo code of STORM DAMAGE in the voucher area at the bottom of the checkout process. Please note the code is case sensitive, so enter it in CAPITALS. The discount should then be applied, and you'll see that your basket total has reduced.