This is a look at the BTS Logo and the history behind this popular boy band.
With such a massive global following, BTS has never failed to attract attention with each rebrand. According to a press release by BigHit Entertainment, their most recent BTS logo from 2017 was designed by a top design agency in Korea. The process of developing this new visual identity was quite rigorous, taking almost a year. It involved the collaboration of the band’s members, their management staff, as well as focus group interviews.
BTS is a seven-member Korean pop group that made its debut in the summer of 2013. Under the management of BigHit Entertainment, BTS has become a global phenomenon, smashing multiple streaming records, and is currently recognized as the most popular band on the planet.
With 14 albums in just six years, the band continues to enthrall fans across the world with their unique style of music. According to a report by Insider Magazine, the group currently ranks as the second most consumed genre artist (behind Billie Eilish).
BTS unveiled their last logo in the summer of 2017. This new emblem brought with it a new perspective or interpretation to their name. Apparently, BTS now stood for “Beyond The Scene.” This was a gesture of acknowledgment to their large fan base, commonly known as ARMY members. The official explanation also stated that the logo had a mission: “Protecting Youths from Prejudice” and encouraging young people to go after their dreams and not settle for less.
The first BTS logo featured a black bulletproof vest with the capital letters “BTS” in white or silver. The theme behind this emblem was “firepower,” as the design detail attempts to communicate. The acronym BTS, being short for “Bangtan Sonyeondan” in Korean, is best translated as “Bulletproof Boy Scouts.” For this reason, the whole concept of the bulletproof vest seemed to be a good visual fit for their name.
BTS Logo Evolution
While there have been four different logotypes for the group since their debut in 2013, the second and third iterations are technically not official logos, although they were prominently featured on their merchandise. The original bulletproof logo was considered the band’s official logo until 2017 when the ARMY and BTS door emblems were introduced.
The first design had plenty of details on it, which made it look somewhat cluttered. The bulletproof vest featured lots of illustrations on its surface, along with the BTS inscription. On each side was a lightning bolt amidst outward spikes that formed a circular ring around the vest.
The 2016 emblem looked completely different from the original. It comprised four circles, each with a different surface pattern. The inscription “Wings” appeared below, in black.
In 2017, the group released a new symbol comprising four empty ellipses, each intersecting with the adjacent two ellipses. Underneath the symbol was the lettering “Wings” and “You Never Walk Alone,” all in blue like the ellipses and spanning two lines.
The current logo features two pairs of trapezoids, one atop the other. The trapezoids represent half-open doors from the inside and outside and look like mirror images of each other.
BTS Logo Elements
Logo Symbol: The BTS logo features two trapezoids that symbolize doors, with the meaning being “ARMY meeting BTS at the doors.” According to the group’s official Twitter account, the logo conveys “us and army becoming one together.”
The symbol is actually made up of two parts: for BTS, the two trapezoids show the doors as half-open on the inside, and for the ARMY, two trapezoids representing the doors half-open from the outside. The ARMY half is placed on top of the BTS half to form the complete symbol. The letter “ARMY” and “BTS” appear at the top and bottom of the symbol, respectively.
Logo Color: The designers went for a simple black for the emblem, communicating sophistication through simplicity. The lettering for the names ARMY and BTS is in silver, which adds a touch of gloss.
Logo Font: The font featured in the logo may look like a traditional sans serif at first, but on closer inspection, the letters show some slight modifications. Both the “B” and “S” use soft lines, while the “T” has its top ends slashed for a stylish effect.
The History of BTS
According to BigHit Entertainment, the initial intention of BTS was to do hip-hop music. The team behind the band wanted a rap group at first, but soon shifted to the more promising pop-idol model. The team recruited the band members in 2010.
Before the group became a unit, the members trained with BigHit Entertainment for about three years. The training was a rigorous process involving lessons in singing, acting, and general media. The group members were also coached on preparing to become superstars. And after releasing a number of song covers on YouTube, the seven-member group finally made their official debut in 2013.
BTS released their first album, “2 COOL 4 SKOOL” to a fairly good reception. The album reached number 10 on one monthly chart in the country. The title song, “No more Dream,” was seen as social commentary for the pressures of growing up in Korean society.
Their next chapter, Dark & Wild, was a kind of transitional period before the release of “HYYH,” which is short for “Hwa Yong Yeon Hwa”, translated as the happiest or most beautiful times of one’s life. This release marked a growth spurt in their musical evolution. It featured themes centered on growing up and coming of age, which was reflected in both the sound and the visuals. Of the first three albums, this is the one that most closely matches the group’s current style of music.
Scaling New Heights
In 2016 BTS released “Wings,” an album that ushers in a new era dealing with such issues as temptation and the struggle between good and evil. The members also brood about discovering their own individual beliefs, with “Blood Sweat & Tears” as the biggest hit of the album.
In 2017, BTS moved into a new era dubbed “Love Yourself”, in which the members focus on the theme of love. Having had to go through a maturation process, which included figuring out individual beliefs, the group croons about loving yourself—and others. The second album of this era, “Tear”, marked the group’s explosion onto the worldwide scene.
BTS Band Members
As of 2020, BTS is a seven-member pop group, with the oldest member being 27 years old and the youngest being 21. The boys were brought together by the talent management company BigHit Entertainment.
Kim Namjoon (RM, 24)
Kim, who goes by the name RM, is the leader of the group and was the first to be recruited. RM is also the tallest of the boys. As a tradition for pop groups in Korea, the leader acts as the spokesperson and takes on responsibilities like accepting awards on behalf of the group. This role suits RM perfectly as he happens to be bilingual. He honed his English-speaking skills by watching the show Friends so many times over.
RM reportedly has an IQ of 148 and, in addition to being brilliant, is also charismatic. He is, however, seen as a bit awkward or clumsy and has shared with fans how he tries to balance his music persona of RM with Namjoon. For his leisure time, he loves to visit museums and parks. On the music side of business, he raps and also helps produce.
Yoongi (Suga, 26)
In addition to being a rapper, Yoongi is a fine producer and writer. He was the second to join the group, and his stage name is Suga. Many of BTS’s songs have Suga’s fingerprints all over them, and he also writes and produces for other artists outside of the group.
In the early days of the group, Suga and RM argued a lot, but they now consider each other great friends. Suga almost quit the group on a number of occasions over the years, fearing that he was giving up his freedom to belong. But the group’s followers are glad that he decided to stay put and help with the musical direction.
Hoseok (J-Hope, 25)
J-Hope, also a rapper, is one of the top dancers of the group. He was originally being recruited for his street dancing skills and learned to rap under the guidance of BigHit. Hoseok says that he went for the stage name “J-Hope” because he hoped to bring joy and hope to people. He’s regarded as one of the most vibrant and outgoing members, and it’s not uncommon for him to perform a little dance while engaged in interviews.
Ji-min (Jimin, 23)
Jimin is one of the more popular, standout members of the group alongside J-hope, their top dancer. Jimin had the privilege of a classical training from an art school before he joined the group. He’s also a member of the vocal line thanks to his smooth, melodic voice. He’s known to be sensitive and caring, and besides being a flirt, it’s not hard to see why the fans love him.
Taehyung (V, 23)
At 23, V is one of the group’s youngest members and was the last one to join the band. He attended the same school as Jimin, and although they were not close in the beginning, they later became best friends after discovering how much they had in common. V loves to explore beauty and the arts, and makes a point of going to a museum whenever he can. He even bought an art piece from a small gallery in Texas when the group toured the state.
At 27, Jin is the oldest of the lot and is fondly nicknamed “worldwide handsome,” having introduced himself as such back in 2017 at a news conference. While the introduction would probably backfire for others, it was hardly out of place for Jin, whose looks played a decisive factor in the decision to recruit him for the group. Jim spends his leisure time playing video games for the most part.
Jung-kook (Jungkook, 21)
At 21, Jungkook is the youngest member but one of the most talented of the bunch. In addition to being the group’s lead vocalist, he’s also one of the main dancers. He’s popularly known as “golden maknae,” a title he earned for being highly talented on various fronts.
As a trainee, Jungkook was a precocious boy, and many labels were after his signature. He chose to join BTS mainly because of Namjoon, whom he thought was really cool. He has a wide range of hobbies, from bowling to videography and even boxing, which has become his latest obsession. With such a vast scope of interests, it’s no surprise that he’s the most multi-talented of the boys—and he sometimes loves to shoot his mouth off on Twitter.
Wrapping Up the History of BTS and Its Logo
As the BTS brand has grown bigger and bigger, its management has recognized the need for a brand identity that reflects its ethos. Their latest logotype took nearly a year to conceptualize, and the inclusion of their “ARMY” fans as one half of the logo has helped earn even more appreciation from admirers.
K-pop groups are a big part of the Korean entertainment culture, and for groups such as BTS, their musical influence spreads far and wide, across the world. The group’s fan base, known as the “ARMY” is a force to reckon with by itself, and given its sheer size and influence, BTS already appears to be one of the most successful boy bands of all time.
With their highly synchronized dance moves, designer fashion, and musical themes touching on such issues as mental health and societal pressure, this pop group looks all set to dominate the world of music for quite a while. And given their massive following, the boys are already well on their way there, having accomplished so much at a relatively young age bracket.
The success of BTS did not happen overnight, however. The boys had to undergo a thorough training program under BigHit for around three years before they could make their official debut. Most importantly, along with their coming of age as teenagers and then young adults, the group has managed to evolve their music and scale heights they probably never imagined.