Through the Prism

Untold rock stories from the Hipgnosis archive


Intriguing stories of creative endeavour, volatile relationships, excessive lifestyles and bizarre events from the world of rock, as told by Hipgnosis co-founder, creative designer, photographer and filmmaker Aubrey Powell


ISBN: 9780500252376 Category:

Aubrey Powell


Founded in 1968 by Aubrey “Po” Powell, Storm Thorgerson and Peter Christopherson, graphic design firm Hipgnosis gained a legendary status by transforming the look of album art through their designs for AC/DC, Black Sabbath, The Police, Genesis, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, Syd Barrett, and The Who. In this lively volume, Powell presents brutally honest, entertaining and revealing insider stories from the world of rock, featuring an eclectic cast of pop stars, comedians, actors, managers, gangsters, and inspirational world figures from 1966 on. His thrilling narrative is packed with anecdotes – from the founding of Hipgnosis to surviving drugs busts, and from the creative process behind the most iconic album artworks of all time to mounting the Pink Floyd exhibition, Their Mortal Remains – and is richly illustrated with Hipgnosis artwork and Powell’s own photographs.

Drama and creativity are the common threads throughout these amazing stories. With candor and insightful reflection, Powell reveals how he and Storm became an effective creative partnership despite their volatile relationship; how the final colour artwork for Led Zeppelin’s Houses Of The Holy was created; how the most iconic album cover of all time – The Dark Side Of The Moon – came about; and how the 2017 Pink Floyd retrospective became the largest and most successful music exhibition ever mounted by the Victoria and Albert Museum – despite the deeply antagonistic and dysfunctional relationship between Roger Waters and David Gilmour. Throughout, Powell exposes how the trappings of fame and glory upset the balance of everyday life, bringing creativity and destruction in equal measure.

Packed with exciting insider stories and anecdotes featuring famous musicians, managers, and actors, Through the Prism is a must-have for music and pop-culture fans.

With 253 illustrations

Additional information

Weight 882 g
Dimensions 15.7 x 23.4 cm
Publisher name Thames and Hudson Ltd
Publication date 4 November 2021
Number of pages 320
Format Hardback
Dimensions 15.7 x 23.4 cm
Weight 882 g


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Aubrey Powell co-founded the album cover design agency Hipgnosis with Storm Thorgerson in 1968. The company was at the vanguard of rock iconography, creating some of the most innovative and surreal record cover art of the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Nominated five times for a Grammy Award, Hipgnosis created more than 400 album covers for many of the biggest rock bands of the era, including Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Paul McCartney. Powell is currently the Creative Director for Pink Floyd. He is the author of Hipgnosis Portraits and Vinyl • Album • Cover • Art, also published by Thames & Hudson.