Everyone knows BTS. You’d have to be living under a rock to not know the biggest boyband on the planet right now. The septet from South Korea has become a global phenomenon by selling out concerts and smashing multiple streaming records.
In today’s world of music and entertainment, RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook are dominating the stage.
Their story of success is a long one, but it can be simplified with the evolution of the BTS logo, aka the symbol of the band. Similar to them, the BTS logo had undergone many changes to reflect the transitions undergone by the band and their fans.
What Does the BTS Logo Stand For? An Evolution of Representation
Despite the changes it has undergone, the BTS logo is always a representation of their mission: “Protecting the youth from prejudice.” The logo changes always aim to reflect this mission, along with the new goals or values the band wishes to impart to their fans.
Since their debut in 2013, BTS has had four different logotypes. However, the second and third iterations aren’t technically official logos, although they were heavily featured on their merchandise and promotions.
Here’s the history of one of the most iconic Kpop logos in the world.
BTS Bulletproof Vest Logo (2013 to 2016)
BTS’s original logo debuted with their first album ‘2 Kool for Skool.’ With their group name being Bangtan Sonyeondan (Bulletproof Boy Scouts), they needed a logo that represented their fight for injustice and the firepower of their vocals. Thus, the bulletproof vest logo was born.
From a designer’s point of view, BTS’s first logo isn’t exactly a work of art. First, it looks cluttered. The vest featured many illustrations on its surface, along with the BTS inscription. A lightning bolt adorned each side of the vest, which emphasized the ‘firepower’ vibe BTS was going for. The lines around the vest look like a flash bang, giving the logo a more comic or cartoon-ish appeal.
The BTS typeface suggests strength and manpower. It uses the same bold, stencil typeface used to represent military action.
Most of the time, the BTS logo is in silver or white while the vest is in black. On black backgrounds, the colors would be reversed, with the vest in silver and the BTS typeface in black.
WINGS: The 4 Circles Logo (2016 to 2017)
In 2016, BTS ushered in a new era with a new logo. The iconic Wings logo, which was comprised of four circles, was also the cover art of their album of the same name. Many fans assumed that the logo was just a random mix of circles and didn’t mean anything (which was a welcome breather for fans who did a lot of speculation during the HYYH era).
However, the band assured ARMY (their fanbase) that nothing they do was ‘normal.’ They eventually released a photo that showed the member’s individual logos. The WINGS logo actually represents each member of the band in an abstract form.
BTS’s 2nd WINGS Logo (2017)
Still reveling in the success of the WINGS era, BTS slightly tweaked the original WINGS logo by featuring four blue empty ellipses that overlapped each other and meet in the middle. The WINGS typeface also changed; it has become bolder. They also removed the rounded edges on the letters and added a tagline (based on one of the new songs added to the current album) “You Never Walk Alone.” The entire logo was also colored blue.
What is the Current BTS Logo?
In the summer of 2017, BTS finally released a new version of their iconic logo. The new logo includes two trapezoids that look like doors opening. On top of the logo change, the band also changed the meaning of the name (which enforced the design). As mentioned, BTS used to stand for ‘Bulletproof Boy Scouts.’ After the release of the new logo, they changed the meaning to ‘Beyond the Scene.’
The new BTS logo is also composed of two parts:
- The ARMY logo, which is two trapezoids that represent the half-open doors outside
- The BTS logo, which is two trapezoids symbolizing the half-open doors inside.
When you combine the two logos, you get a new symbol. By placing the ARMY logo half on top of the BTS logo, you get a shield, which is a symbol of protection. According to fans, the shield (ARMY) is a bulletproof (BTS) one. It also symbolizes how the band and the fans are always there to protect each other — something both parties have been doing over the years.
The logo is meant to symbolize the strong bond between BTS and ARMY. After all, the band has also been very outspoken about their mission to protect the youth from prejudice to encourage their fans to follow their dreams.
In response to the logo change, the band tweeted that the new logo’s symbolism of their strong connection to their fans makes it a more meaningful change. HYBE (then called BigHit Entertainment) also released a YouTube video showcasing the new logos for BTS and ARMY.
The New BTS and ARMY Logos Are EVERYWHERE
Since the release of the new logos, BTS and ARMY’s logos have appeared throughout different Bangtan productions. When the band performed their song “Home” on The Late Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, you can spot soda cans with the ARMY logo on them.
Even Jungkook brings the new logos with him. On his hand, you can spot a tattoo of the BTS ARMY logo, which is accompanied by his other ARMY-related tattoos.
The BTS logo will probably be one of the most iconic logos in the history of music. It isn’t just a symbol of a band; it represents the strong relationship between BTS and their beloved ARMY.