Peter Christopherson has died

Author: Colin | Published: 25/11/10

Most famous as a member of Throbbing Gristle and Coil, Peter Christopherson was at one time a partner in Hipgnosis. During his time with the agency, he was responsible for the design and artwork for Peter Gabriel’s first three solo albums. Strikingly minimal in execution, his designs are disturbing and highly memorable images of isolation, anger and pain. They’re as powerful today as when they were first published between 1977 and 1980 and remain personal favourites.

Throbbing Gristle’s website reports that he died peacefully in his sleep.


  1. You need to document the inner sleeves too: they’re equally beautiful. Do you have them? I can photograph if you need.

    Comment by Robert Sharl — November 26, 2010 @ 12:06 pm
  2. I’m always amazed that his part in Hipgnosis isn’t mentioned more, I not sure how long he was with them but it must have been about 5 years surely?

    Comment by kevin foakes — November 26, 2010 @ 5:18 pm
  3. Hello Robert, thanks for the heads up and offer. I’ve just bought a copy of PG1 online with inner sleeve. PG3 I’ve had forever, but haven’t seen in quite a while. I know the back of PG2 has Gabriel as a road sweeper, is there an inner sleeve as well?

    Comment by Colin — November 26, 2010 @ 8:12 pm
  4. Hello Kevin, John Coulthart refers to a variety of work on his website and I think Throbbing Gristle or Chris and Cosey refer to his designing for Led Zeppelin! It would be interesting to know more.

    Comment by Colin — November 26, 2010 @ 8:15 pm
  5. Re: Led Zeppelin and Hipgnosis, the first Hipgnosis book, Walk Away René, credits him with photos on the Presence album. He provided photos for numerous Hipgnosis jobs from 1976 onwards. I haven’t seen a credit but I’ve always assumed that some of the b&w industrial decay pics in the gatefold of Pink Floyd’s Animals were his.

    More surprising than the photos was discovering from the For the Love of Vinyl book that the menaced fellow on the sleeve of Moroccan Roll by Brand X was him with his back to the camera. Hipgnosis often saved time and money by using themselves or their friends as models.

    Comment by John Coulthart — November 29, 2010 @ 4:20 pm
  6. Hello John, aha, if you’d asked me which Led Zep album he’d contributed to I would have said Presence, it’s my favourite design of theirs. My second choice might have been In Through The Out Door’s innner sleeve, the photos of the bar scene.

    I’m only acquainted with a few Brand X albums and not that particular one. It’s nice to think that it is him, hidden in that way.

    Comment by Colin — December 1, 2010 @ 10:03 pm
  7. Late to the party, sorry chaps. re: In Through the Out Door, you’re correct, Colin; he did the lighting for the cover shots (photos were by Aubrey) and also provided the brushstroke (see retouch artist Richard Manning’s website for further info). As well as Moroccan Roll, another cover he appears on is Rainbow’s Difficult to Cure (far left, along with numerous other Hipgnosis alumni) and many of his bandmates appear on covers he designed (John Balance of Coil on Wishbone Ash’s New England, Chris & Cosey of Throbbing Gristle on UFO’s Force It, etc). Perhaps his most famous images are the two he did for Pink Floyd, namely the cover photo of Battersea Power Station for Animals (Peter’s photo) and the diver photo from inside Wish You Were Here (shot by Aubrey but set up by Peter).

    Comment by Greg Reason — April 26, 2015 @ 12:01 am


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