Giger's works, often showing macabre scenes of humans and machines fused into hellish hybrids, influenced a generation of movie directors and inspired an enduring fashion for "biomechanical" tattoos.
Born Hans Ruedi Giger on Feb. 5, 1940, in the southeastern Swiss town of Chur, he trained as an industrial designer because his father insisted that he learn a proper trade.
Giger's vision of a human skull encased in a machine appeared on the cover of "Brain Salad Surgery," a 1973 album by the rock band Emerson, Lake and Palmer. Along with his design for Debbie Harry's solo album, "Koo Koo" (1981), it featured in a 1991 Rolling Stone magazine list of the top 100 album covers of all time.
Giger went on to work as a set designer for Hollywood, contributing to "Species," ''Poltergeist II," ''Dune," and most famously "Alien," for which he received a 1979 Academy Award for special effects.