[Herald Design Forum 2018] Plus X founders share secrets behind BTS’ success after rebranding

By Cho Chung-un

Published : Sep 14, 2018 - 18:35
Updated : Sep 14, 2018 - 18:35

The role of branding has evolved from making everyday product more attractive to transforming the identity of a boy band, said founders of Plus X, a brand experience marketing and design agency based in Seoul, at Herald Design Forum 2018 on Friday.

The founders who re-established the brand identity of BTS, a South Korean idol group enjoying worldwide success, said that they focused on reinterpreting the boyband’s image as young artists who refuse to be complacent and predictable and who endlessly dream to be something new and fresh.

Shin Myoung-sup, co-founder and co-director of Plus X speaks at the 2018 Herald Design Forum on Friday. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)

“Different from regular branding projects, we needed to redefine the identity of the musicians with design factors that are consistent and diverse at the same time,” said Shin Myoung-sup, co-founder and co-director of Plus X.

“We started with unifying the design of BTS logo and applying it to social network platforms, concerts and goods in a consistent manner, but left room for limitless change,” he said.

The crux of BTS identity rebranding was establishing the relationship between the boyband and its fans -– known as Army.

The design concept of “an opened door” is what established the intimate ties between the two, positioning BTS as young artists as those opening the door and its fans, Army, as those who waiting for them on the other side of the door, he said.

“BTS is the portrait of young people today, because they tell the story of the world today,” said Shin.

“They never cease to stop and make new challenges. That is what we intended to express with design elements: an opened door.”

Shin and his partner Byun Sa-bum established Plus X in 2010. The company is known for its brand marketing for BTS, Hyundai Card the Red Package, YG Entertainment and 11st, a major online shopping platform, among many others. The company is expected to receive a Million Dollar Export Tower from the Korean government later this year, the first design services business recipient of the award, according to Shin. 

By Cho Chung-un (christory@heraldcorp.com)


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The Korea Herald by Herald Corporation