Hamilton's art collages of the 1950s directly inspired Sir Peter Blake, who created the Beatles' Sgt. Pepper cover. For his own design for the blank White Album cover and the collage-style poster inside, Hamilton claimed to have been paid the equivalent of $316.
He was closely associated with the Swinging London of the 1960s. One of his well-known paintings depicted Mick Jagger and art dealer Robert Fraser handcuffed together in the back of a police car. As a teacher, one of his art students was Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music. Hamilton is often credited as one of the original pop artists, as well as the coiner of the phrase.