Storm Thorgerson, the British graphic artist best known for designing memorable and surreal album art for Pink Floyd and other bands, has died.

Thorgerson, 69, died Thursday, after having been ill for some time, according to a family statement. His death "was peaceful and he was surrounded by family and friends."

Born in Potters Bar, Middlesex, Thorgerson knew Pink Floyd's Roger Waters and Syd Barrett from their years at Cambridge High School for Boys. He was also a teenage friend of David Gilmour and, later, became the band's main designer.

"He has been a constant force in my life, both at work and in private, a shoulder to cry on and a great friend," guitarist and singer Gilmour said in a statement.

"The artworks that he created for Pink Floyd from 1968 to the present day have been an inseparable part of our work."

Thorgerson's iconic covers for the band include the suited man in flames on the cover of Wish You Were Here, the inflatable pig flying over London for Animals and the rainbow of light emerging from a prism on The Dark Side of the Moon. His simple and effective design for the latter is considered among the greatest album covers of all time.

"For Dark Side of the Moon, we did six or seven complex roughs of all sorts of different things that were eminently suitable. And we were very excited and looking forward to showing these different ideas to the band," Thorgerson recalled in an interview with

"At the actual meeting, we gathered around took about a minute! They looked at all these things and looked at the prism and said, 'We'll have that.' We said, 'Oh, there's this and this, have a look at this.' And they said, 'No, we'll have that.'"

Thorgerson also designed album covers for the likes of Led Zeppelin, Black Sabbath, Genesis, Muse, The Cranberries, Phish and Anthrax. As well as creating album art, he started a company that created music videos and concert films.

He is survived by his mother Vanji, his son Bill, his wife Barbie Antonis and two stepchildren.

With files from The Associated Press