The Truth Behind Led Zeppelin’s Iconic Album Cover Will Take You Back In Time

The Zeppelin Hindenburg disaster can never be forgotten. The incident terrified so many at that time and it still does. The debut album cover of Led Zeppelin featured Zeppelin Hindenburg in flames which gained a lot of attention and became an iconic cover.

It has been 50 years since the debut album of Led Zeppelin came out. This album made way for one of the greatest rock bands in the history of rock culture. The artistic cover production for this album was done by George Hardie who is a little hesitant now about using the image of the terrible 1937 disaster as the album cover at that time. He believes he could have given another thought about that whole situation. Nevertheless, the cover is still in the minds of the people and is highly loved.

The classic and vintage album art creator Hardie admitted that he never had any record player in those times and yet he created some of the best album covers of the era. Initially, the idea for Led Zeppelin debut album cover was given by Jimmy page, the guitarist for the band who suggested to use a famed photograph which was taken at the site of explosion by Sam Shere. But Hardie had another design concept in mind which involved the depiction of a zeppelin in the sky. His concept was not accepted due to some reasons.

Hardie was not ready to give up and wanted to create something vintage for their debut album. This needed some brilliant idea and some innovation. So now you know what went behind the scenes of that iconic cover designing for Led Zeppelin. Another interesting fact about this moment was that while this whole designing process was taking place, Led Zeppelin had a big gig at the Marquee Club in London and people were queueing outside to see them perform. It was a memorable time for all the members of the band as told by George Hardie.


The album cover had to be designed keeping in mind that there is no disregard to copyright. Hardie left no stone unturned to achieve what he had kept his eye on. He used a Rapidograph pen for his ink rendering and completed the design which met all the criteria. His work was appreciated and continued to design artworks for them. Their albums “Presence” and “The Song Remains the Same” both released in 1976 and had their covers designed by Hardie.

We have a pretty much decent idea of the love their album received which Hardie had never imagined when he was in the design stage. Hardie received $76 for the job well done but the love received was more encouraging and precious.