Roger Dean (artist)

Roger Dean (born August 31, 1944, in Ashford, Kent) is an English artist. He is best known for his work on album covers for musicians, which he began painting in the late 1960s, and which usually feature exotic, fantastic landscapes.


Dean was born in England, but spent most of his childhood moving around the world with his British Army father. The family returned to England in 1959, where he was educated at The Norton Knatchbull School. He later earned a National Diploma of Design from the Canterbury School of Art. In 1968, he graduated from the Royal College of Art in London. Beginning in the field of design, he preferred to distinguish between "design" (the reworking of existing models), and "invention" (making something new). One of his inventions was the "sea urchin chair." It was a foam chair, which, though appearing spherical, would conform to the sitter, who could obtain a seated position of varying angles. Later, he was asked to design a "landscape" of similar seating for a club belonging to Ronnie Scott. Roger Dean (1975). "Views". Reissue: Pomegranate (1993): ISBN 1-56640-448-7] . His "retreat pod" chair design was featured in the film A Clockwork Orange.

His first album cover work was in 1968 for a group called Gun. In 1971, Dean produced the cover for the first album by the African/Caribbean band, Osibisa, which attracted a lot of attention to his work. Later that year, he began the partnership for which he is best known, designing his first album cover, "Fragile", for the progressive rock band Yes. Dean designed the classic Yes "bubble" logo, which first appeared on the album "Close to the Edge", and has created covers for the band as recently as 1999 ("The Ladder"). Yes guitarist Steve Howe said, "There is a pretty tight bond between our sound and Roger's art." In addition to their album covers, Dean also contributed to his brother Martyn Dean's stage set designs for the band.Roger Dean (1984). "Magnetic Storm". Reissue: Pomegranate (1993): ISBN 1-56640-449-5.]

Known primarily for the dreamy, other-worldly scenes he has created for Yes, Budgie , Uriah Heep, Gentle Giant and other bands, Dean has said, "I don't really think of myself as a fantasy artist but as a landscape painter." Characteristic landscapes show graceful stone arches (as shown in "Arches Mist", above) or floating islands, while many paintings show organic appearing habitats (such as shown in the cover for "Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe", below). Though he primarily works in watercolour, many of his paintings make use of multiple media, including gouache, ink, enamel, crayon and collage. In addition to his cover paintings, Dean is respected for his calligraphic work, designing logos and titles to go with his paintings.

Beginning in 1985 with the software company Psygnosis, Dean has been responsible for the cover artwork for several video games, including "Tetris Worlds" as well as a redesign of the Tetris logo. [moby developer |id=31298 |name=Roger Dean's profile] Two compilations of his work, "Views" (1975) (the success of which led him to form publishing house Paper Tiger Books) and "Magnetic Storm" (1984), have been published. In addition, his architectural and furniture work have been exhibited in the Victoria and Albert Museum and in the Royal Academy.

Talking about the design of the Yes logo: An architect and furniture designer, Roger Dean worked with the curves in an elegant and natural way, providing to the image of the band with dynamism and a feeling of powerful flow. This logo represents perfectly the fantastic and surrealistic world of Yes music that Dean also pictured in his cover art for the band. It is also an example of how Roger Dean was one of the artists who made good use of the stroke in logo design, which became a personal signature on his works.

In early 2005, Dean announced plans to create a feature film titled "Floating Islands". This film will be produced by Roger Dean and David Mousley. The story is based on the underlying theme depicted in the album artwork for Yes. It will feature animated 3D renderings of classic Dean images and music by Yes. In recent years, Roger Dean has focused a great deal on his architectural ideas. He has designed both homes and sustainable villages. As a designer, Dean has developed all aspects of his homes, from construction techniques to emotional comfort and security. The design of these homes is based on his Home For Life concept, a house that is artistically beautiful and environmentally kind, but cheap and quick to build. [ [ Home for Life] designs at the official Roger Dean website]

Roger travels every summer to the North East Art Rock Festival, or NEARfest, as the invited guest, and has designed the festival logo every year since 2001. He welcomes the chance to meet many of his fans in person and has signed thousands of autographs of his work. Dean has lived in Brighton since 1972.

Album covers

Some of the following links are to images


*1971 ""
*1971 "Woyaya"

Atomic Rooster

*1971 ""
*2002 "Resurrection"


*1971 "Fragile"
*1972 "Close to the Edge"
*1973 "Yessongs"
*1973 "Tales from Topographic Oceans"
*1974 "Relayer"
*1975 "Yesterdays"
*1980 "Drama"
*1980 "Yesshows"
*1981 "Classic Yes"
*1991 "Union"
*1991 "Yesyears"
*1992 "Yesstory"
*1996 "Keys to Ascension"
*1997 "Keys to Ascension 2"
*1997 "Open Your Eyes"
*1998 "Keys to Ascension Volumes 1 and 2"
*1999 "The Ladder"
*2000 ""
*2001 "Keystudio"
*2002 ""
*2004 ""
*2005 "The Word is Live"


*1972 "Squawk"
*1973 "Never Turn Your Back on a Friend"
*1996 "An Ecstacy of Fumbling - The Definitive Anthology"

=Uriah Heep=

*1972 "Demons and Wizards"
*1972 "The Magician's Birthday"
*1995 "Sea of Light"
*2001 "Acoustically Driven"
*2001 "Remasters: The Official Anthology"

Gentle Giant

*1972 "Octopus"


*1973 "Greenslade"
*1973 "Bedside Manners Are Extra"

=Steve Howe=

*1975 "Beginnings"
*1979 "The Steve Howe Album"
*1991 "Turbulence"
*1994 "Not Necessarily Acoustic"
*2003 "Elements"


*1982 "Asia"
*1983 "Alpha"
*1985 "Astra"
*1990 "Then & Now"
*1994 "Aria"
*2001 "Aura"
*2008 "Phoenix"

Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe

*1989 "Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe"
*1993 "An Evening of Yes Music Plus"

Rick Wakeman

*1993 ""
*1999 "Return to the Center of the Earth"

The London Symphony Orchestra

*1997 "Symphonic Rock: American Classics"
*1997 "Symphonic Rock: The British Invasion, Vol. 1"
*1998 "Symphonic Rock: The British Invasion, Vol. 2"

The London Philharmonic Orchestra

*1995 "The London Philharmonic Orchestra Plays The Music of Pink Floyd"


*1968 "Gun", The Gun
*1969 "Earth & Fire", Earth & Fire
*1970 "
*1970 "
*1970 "Heavy Petting", Dr. Strangely Strange
*1971 "Dedicated to You But You Weren’t Listening", Keith Tippett Group
*1971 "Space Hymns", Ramases
*1972 "Octopus", Gentle Giant
*1972 "First Base", Babe Ruth
*1973 "Spring Suite", McKendree Spring
*1973 "One Live Badger", Badger
*1973 "SNAFU", Snafu
*1974 "Staircase to the Day", Gravy Train
*1976 "Cactus Choir", Dave Greenslade
*1977 "Natural Avenue", John Lodge
*1983 "Breaking Starcodes", Barry Devlin
*1989 "
*1993 "Symphonic Music of Yes"
*1995 "Tales from Yesterday", multi-artist Yes tribute
*1995 ""
*1996 ""
*1997 "The Moray Eels Eat The Space Needle", Space Needle
*1998 "Yes, Friends and Relatives"
*1998 "Ad Infinitum", Ad Infinitum
*2000 "Yes, Friends and Relatives Volume 2"
*2002 "Flattening Mountains and Creating Empires", Vermilion
*2003 "
*2005 "The Inconsolable Secret", Glass Hammer
*2006 "White", White

Videogame covers

* 1986 "Brataccas", Mindscape Inc./Psygnosis
* 1987 "Barbarian", Psygnosis
* 1987 "Terrorpods, Psygnosis
* 1988 "Baal", Psygnosis
* 1988 "Chrono Quest", Psygnosis
* 1988 "Obliterator", Psygnosis
* 1989 "Shadow of the Beast", Psygnosis/Reflections
* 1989 "Stryx", Psyclapse
* 1990 "Infestation", Psygnosis
* 1990 "Shadow of the Beast II", Psygnosis/Reflections
* 1991 "Amnios", Psygnosis
* 1991 "Ork", Psygnosis
* 1992 "Agony", Psygnosis
* 1992 "Faceball 2000," Bullet-Proof Software
* 2001 "Tetris Worlds," THQ
* 2007 "Tetris Splash," Tetris Online, Inc. (title screens)


* "The Flights of Icarus" (ISBN 0-905895-16-9 editor, contributor). Large format colour book with numerous paintings by Dean, Martyn Dean and others. Edited by Donald Lehmkuhl, Martyn Dean and Roger Dean.
* "Views" (ISBN 1-56640-448-7) Large format colour book with full page and double page images of Roger Deans works, both architectural and artistic. Text by Dominy Hamilton and Carla Capalbo in association with Roger Dean. Architectural section by Donald Lehmkuhl.


External links

* [ Roger Dean's personal web site]
* [ Information about the "Floating Islands" film project]
* [ BBCi Music Interview, 2002]

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