Edelmann was actually born in Czechoslovakia in 1934. He is a well-known illustrator in Europe, but is probably most famous for his art direction and character designs for the 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine.
From 1953 to 1958 Edelmann studied printmaking at the Düsseldorf Academy of Fine Arts. He began his career as a freelance illustrator and designer for theatre posters, and German advertising. From 1961 - 1969 he was a regular illustrator and cover designer for the internationally renowned youth magazine twen. During 1967 - 1968 he worked on Yellow Submarine.
Between 1968-1970, he was a partner in a small animation company in London but his desire to work on more feature films did not come about. In 1970, Edelmann moved to Amsterdam and designed posters for plays, films and book jackets. His last deliberate use of the style of Yellow Submarine was for illustrating a book, Andromedar SR1 (1970), which was about a voyage to Mars. He also designed the cover for a German edition of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. Also known are his numerous illustrations for Kenneth Grahame's children's book The Wind in the Willows.
From 1972–1976, Heinz Edelmann taught industrial graphic design in the Department of Applied Sciences Duesseldorf. After that he was Lecturer of Art and Design at the Fachhochschule Köln. (Cologne factory schools) and in 1999, he became professor of illustration at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart. Edelmann died in 2009 in Stuttgart aged 75.