Image Credit: BTS_ARMY_INT (Twitter)

HuskyFox Inc. releases the branding process behind BTS’ “Love Yourself” Series

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”.

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BTS 'LOVE YOURSELF' SERIES Album Identity & Applications Design 방탄소년단 '러브유어셀프' 시리즈 앨범 아이덴티티 & 어플리케이션 디자인 – 컨셉 모션 (5/6) – Behance를 통해 자세한 내용을 확인할 수 있습니다. – BTS는 전 세계적인 팬덤을 보유하고 있는 최정상 아티스트입니다. 스토리텔링과 싱어송라이터 그룹의 정체성을 갖고, 성장하는 청춘의 초상이자 리더로서 꿈, 방황, 유혹, 희망, 사랑 등 젊은 세대가 공감할 수 있는 메시지를 앨범에 담아내고 있습니다. 'LOVE YOURSELF’는 학교3부작, 화양연화, WINGS를 잇는 앨범으로, 완전하고 빛나는 청춘으로 가는 길을 이야기합니다. – 허스키폭스에서는 'LOVE YOURSELF’가 담아내는 서사와 음악을 시각화하여 앨범 아이덴티티를 정립하고, 관련 어플리케이션을 제작했습니다. 'LOVE YOURSELF'시리즈는 기'Wonder', 승'Her', 전'Tear', 결'Answer'의 네 가지 단계로 사랑의 과정을 담고 있습니다. 뮤직비디오 기'Wonder'는 꽃봉오리와 그레이 컬러로 사랑이 시작되기 전의 감정을, 미니앨범 승'Her'는 개화한 꽃과 화이트 컬러를 사용하여 사랑에 빠진 감정을 나타냈습니다. 정규 3집앨범 전'Tear'는 떨어지는 꽃잎과 블랙 컬러로 이별의 어둡고 슬픈 감정을 나타냈고, 리패키지 앨범 결‘Answer’는 남겨진 꽃잎을 하트로 표현하고 홀로그램 컬러를 적용하여 이별 후 깨닫게 되는 자아와 자존감을 나타냈습니다. 총 3개의 앨범, 그리고 앨범마다 4개의 버전, 총 12개의 그래픽을 담고 있으며, 12개의 앨범을 펼쳐놓으면 12개의 그래픽이 이어져 유기적인 스토리를 나타냅니다.  전'Tear' 앨범은 61회 GRAMMY AWARDS에서, 한 해의 아름다운 앨범을 꼽는 Best Recording Package부문에 노미네이트되었습니다. – Project Owner – BigHit Entertainment Project Management – BigHit Ent. Visual Creative Team Creative Direction – HuskyFox Identity Design – HuskyFox Graphic Design – HuskyFox Application Design – HuskyFox

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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, 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.

What do you think about the album’s concept? Share your thoughts via tweet @CelebMix.

Written by Ayushi

Hi! I am Ayushi from India. The only thing that is consistent about me is my passion for writing and reading. Weaving words to form a story is the best thing I know and the only thing I want to do.
"Writer by nature is a dreamer, a conscious dreamer."
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