Hipgnosis was formed in 1968 by Storm Thorgerson and Aubrey Powell when they were students at the London School of Film Technique and the Royal College of Art. Storm and Aubrey were previously involved in the short lived design group Consciousness Incorporated which worked on book covers. The name Hipgnosis came from Adrian Haggard who scrawled that word across Storm and Po's front door one night.
Peter Christopherson started working for Hipgnosis in 1974 as an assistant and later became the third partner in the business. Many designs credited to Hipgnosis were a collaboration of these three people, but often only one or two would work on a particular design. When freelance artists were contracted for photography, illustration or retouching they would usually be credited separately from Hipgnosis.
Visual artists that worked with Hipgnosis as assistants or freelance artists included Bruce Atkins, Howard Bartrop, Simon Bell (3), Marcus Bradbury, Rob Brimson, Alwyn Clayden, Colin Chambers (2), Jeff Cummins, Terry Day, Richard Draper, Colin Elgie, Andrew Ellis, Richard Evans (7), Geoff Halpin, George Hardie, Bush Hollyhead, Spencer Jay, Richard Manning (3), Paul Maxon, Colin Mitchell, Anthony Taylor, and Tim Wakely.
Hipgnosis ended in 1983 as the trio perceived that the era of extravagant album covers had reached an end. Thorgerson, Powell and Christopherson then started a new business partnership called Greenback Films to capitalize on the growing market for music videos.