HuskyFox, the branding company who received the nomination for Best Recording Package at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, has revealed the branding process behind BTS’ Love Yourself Series. The company was nominated as “art director” for “Love Yourself: Tear”, the second album in the group’s Love Yourself trilogy.
Based in Seoul, HuskyFox defines themselves as a professional branding company and their belief lies in a “brand that is fulfilling the novelty and keeping the adventurous spirits in a changing world”. Their clientele includes Samsung, CJ E&M, Naver Corp., Big Hit Ent., JYP Ent., Cheil, and many more.
While the Project Management was undertaken by Big Hit Entertainment, the team at HuskyFox took care of Identity Design, Graphic Design, and Application Design of the Love Yourself Series.
While a lot of people might consider the nomination for Recording Package at the Grammys as a trivial mention, it is instead a breakthrough moment for Big Hit, BTS, and HuskyFox’s team in the mainstream music industry. Grammys are viewed online and offline across the globe and considering that the viewership also includes people who might not yet have heard the name of BTS, the nomination and the group’s subsequent attendance at the event did help them garner the attention of the general public both within the US and outside.
Music is not just an art comprising of lyrics and audio, instead, it is a “result” of the collaboration between different departments who work tirelessly behind the scene to create a narrative that as small as a name to as big as artist’s persona for the album.
Love Yourself Series’ comprises of “Wonder”, Her”, “Tear”, and “Answer” and talks about three stages of love. The phases range from the discovery of the emotion of love in the “other” to the realization of the need for “self-love”.
“Wonder” and “Her” posits the emotion on the external subject which leads to disappointment as the protagonists of the series has not yet discovered their identities which is the prime determinant to find compatibility in the other half. The pain that separation brings transition into a realization that the boys need to first understand and embrace themselves fully before they can love others.
Their webtoon “Save Me” which is currently running periodically on LINE WEBTOON narrates these phases in the form of comics, an alternate medium to music videos and “The Notes”.
Love Yourself Trilogy was revealed in the form of 3 albums, each of them comprising of 4 Versions (Love Yourself: Her – L, O, V, E, Love Yourself: Tear – Y, O, U, R, Love Yourself: Answer – S, E, L, F). Released on Behance, HuskyFox segmented the strategy, values, and branding process undertaken before the release of the albums. Attributing Youth to “Her”, Love to “Tear”, Consolation to “Answer”, the team helped put the album’s narrative and fans’ interpretations in context.
In the infographic, a detailed explanation has been giving behind the use of the flower as the series’ symbol. The same flower finds its place in Smeraldo Books. Using the “singular” line technique, the creative team created an uninterrupted flow in the narrative. Starting from the bud, the album designs reflect the phases that one see boys go through in each version.
“The metaphor of a flower, and of the art being connected in the way of love’s emotions, were ideas suggested Big Hit. We considered deeply, for we needed a graphic and minimal design that would represent the implicative metaphor that held the message. We also needed a strategic approach to connect the 12 albums. We drafted various designs and colours in consideration of Big Hit’s direction.”
(Lee Doo Hwi in an interview with Yonhap News)
As described in the infographic,
“the continuous connected lines symbolize the feelings of youth such as pitapat, love, parting, pain, and self-love”.
The significance that fans have been alluding to in terms of albums’ covers, members’ appearances, symbols used in the songs as well as graphics have been materialized in the details shared by HF’s team. It’s a good opportunity for the fans and music lovers, in general, to learn about the rigorous process that went behind creating one of the highest charting albums.
It also helps add another layer in the series of discussions as the storyline of any musical work is first reflected on the graphics used on the album covers.
In an interview with Yonhap News, the excerpts of which were released by Lee Eun Jung and translated by doyoubangtan.wordpress.com, the representative of HuskyFox, Lee Doo Hwi, talked about the process that the team went through for creating the design. Confessing that it was the first time that they were working on an album design, Doo Hwi said that they did not come with the knowledge of the existing rules. The “lack” of knowledge worked in HF’s favor as it allowed the team to bring authenticity to the table.
In particular, album work had a different side to it. As there were a large number of fans waiting for the release of it, there was a sense of responsibility that we had to deliver a good design that met their expectations, and so it was difficult. However, when BTS’ album reached 1st on the Billboard Charts, we felt warm knowing we had taken part in such a project.
Today, when physical albums are gaining their prominence, it is also important for the artists to understand the significance of working in collaboration with the creative teams to create a product that people would like to keep, as a memory and a legacy. BTS are well-known for creating an immersive world of their own and HuskyFox’s project details offered a glimpse into the level of planning that goes into creating their work of art.
It must not just be acknowledged but also be appreciated, for the people who spend a lot of time working behind-the-scenes.
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