Quick Take: BTS' New Look and Name
Without any sort of warning, BigHit Entertainment released a video simply titled “BTS Logo Animation” on July 5. With no further explanation, fans were left both surprised and confused. The video showcased two new logos, one for the group and one for their fandom, and featured Rap Monster hinting at a new name for the group, Beyond the Scene. However, with no explanation being released with the video, many fans thought that the group was changing their name completely. The confusion was so widespread that even international outlets like Vogue and Hollywood Life reported on it. BigHit later clarified that Beyond the Scene was simply a new English name for the group, keeping 방탄소년단 as their official Korean name.
Like most of the K-Pop community, the news brought out mixed reactions among our staff. Here’s what some of them thought about the group’s sudden rebranding. What do you think of BTS' new look? Are you a fan, or do you wish they'd stuck with what they had? Let us know in the comments below.
I happened to be browsing around on Twitter when the Logo Animation video dropped. At first, I, like most of Twitter, was confused. It looked like this was a logo for a new album, but all of the news articles had said BTS's comeback was uncertain for now. They're guessing there might be an August comeback, but it's really up in the air. So I didn't think we'd get a logo for an album quite so soon, literally just a few days after the end of the WINGS tour. So we waited. Then the news articles and the tweets from official accounts came. Needless to say, I'm still kind of confused and surprised at the logo change, and the addition of an official English name. I get it from a business standpoint, but I must say I'm partial to the bulletproof vest, continuity, and identity. I don't like change as a rule, and identity is really important. The new logo is a bit too sleek and minimalistic for my tastes. I don't care for having an official English name either, because I'm still going to say 방탄 the proper way like I always do! It’s a simple solution to the problem of the question “So what does that mean?” when they tell international audiences their name is “BTS.” But really, BTS is already an English acronym, it doesn’t need to have a meaning beyond that in English. I mean, look at some of the names of English musicians/bands/groups. They aren’t any clearer when it comes to meaning. But hey, it's not up to me obviously, and it also doesn't hurt anything. There may be a new logo, but they're still the same, so in the end, nothing is really changing.
It didn’t really surprise me to see that most people aren’t on board. There was some misinformation, though, because some fans thought they were completely changing their name and the explanation behind it. But that’s not the case in the end; it’s just an additional name with an additional meaning. I think that makes me (and most of the members of the subbing team I’m on) feel a bit better about the entire ordeal.
At first, I was a little skeptical about the rebrand. I thought that it was done just to help BTS gain more acceptance outside of their current audience, and I felt like they shouldn’t have to change themselves just for that purpose. However, once I looked more into it, I felt a bit more reassured that BTS and BigHit Entertainment put a lot of thought into this move and its meaning, and I appreciated the symbolism behind the new logo for both the group and the fans. I’ll miss their old logo, but they’re still the same group, and that’s what matters. I’m not sure if I’ll ever get used to their new English name or call them by it, though.
Does BTS ever sleep? It seems they're always busy keeping ARMYs guessing. Honestly, I love this name and BI change. Of course the old BI and English name Bulletproof Boyscouts will always have special meaning to all of us. But our boys have grown immensely over the past few years. Their image has changed from young, aggressive delinquents to soft(er), empowering idols. Their focus has taken a stronger shift towards empowering youth and bringing inspiration and hope to people, so this new logo of the opening doors is absolutely perfect. Besides, I never called BTS Bulletproof Boyscouts anyway. I'd say 방탄소년단 or just BTS instead. Beyond the Scene? It will take time to get used to, but I don't mind it at all. I'll probably just call them “BTS” like I used to before the change anyway. Changes aside, I'm excited to see what other things BTS has brewing!
Speaking from a design standpoint, a total rebrand of an already well-known group or organization is pretty risky, since a lot of people do not take kindly to change. But if anyone can do it, it’s BTS. I personally like the new branding idea, since it signifies the growth of the group into what they have become now compared to where they started. BTS’s identity has shifted quite a bit since their debut, and this new brand identity really showcases the more mature side of the message that they’re trying to portray with their music, instead of just the whole “teenage rebellion” thing. Plus, I really love the symbolism and the inclusion of ARMYs in their new logo. One of the things that truly makes BTS stand out amongst the crowd is their ability to remain humble and close with their fans—even with the success they’ve seen, and will likely continue to see in the future.
Speaking from another design standpoint, it is a big undertaking to consider rebranding a group’s identity and presence that many people know by name and image. This is true especially for the fans that have stood by the boys since their debut. But a complete rebrand also shows the growth and maturity of the group. BTS’s ultimate goal and musical direction are still the same, but they want to expand and broaden their appeal to more fans. They can go beyond today and shoot for the future. That’s what a successful logo and brand identity is all about—a message that is timeless and memorable that will endure through the ages and stages of the group’s maturity and accomplishments.
I really like the new logo. It’s clean and simple, and that’s the new trend of logos these days. Even though it took some time for me to really understand the message behind it, I see how it plays well into their new English name, Beyond The Scene. And to add in a logo for ARMY that reflects off the main logo is truly amazing. BTS never forgets to thank ARMYs in all that they do and accomplish, so including ARMY into their new brand makes our bond with them even stronger and more meaningful. I saw a few mockups that combined both logos together and it shows that BTS and ARMY will always support and protect each other into the future.
Now for the new English name—I will always remember Bulletproof Boyscouts because it has had a special place in my heart since their debut. They started out with a very young, fresh look at the music scene and badass attitudes. That’s what attracted me to them at first. But now that the boys are growing up and expanding their musical styles, it sounds appropriate for them to take on this new name, Beyond The Scene. I find it pretty clever, honestly. Before BTS, everyone used that acronym as “behind the scenes.” For BTS to choose to be called “beyond” instead of “behind” shows they’re determined to go far into the future with their creativity and musical talent. They want to be above and beyond, and I admire their strength and conviction.
It’s going to take me a bit to get used to their new English name. However, I am one to embrace change and take things with great stride. Change means growth, and I definitely want to see BTS grow more into their talent and career. I’ll still refer them as BTS because it’s shorter and easier to chant, haha. I’m really excited to see how their new brand identity will correspond with their comebacks and new group image. People may see BTS and BigHit do unconventional things in the K-Pop industry, but I know they will never steer us wrong, and they will surprise us with something great!
To be perfectly honest, I know next to nothing about BTS beside the members’ names and their title tracks. I’m not familiar with their personalities or know what shows they’ve been on. To be honest, when I read the translation of the Osen article about this new rebrand, I was surprised to learn that they’ve been trying to express “youth who block the oppression and prejudice of teens” this whole time. I certainly hadn’t gotten that impression as a casual listener. All this just means that I’m essentially the equivalent of a “new fan”, someone who’s heard their music but knows little to nothing else about them. Seeing the community spark to life with the announcement of their rebrand, however, made me curious. While a new logo would be a massive business decision in any other industry, it isn’t really a huge deal in K-Pop. Several groups have gone through variations and changes to their logo before. It’s a natural thing, especially considering how groups grow and change through the years. In BTS’s case, the new logo seems oversimplified to me, and the explanation behind it is more than a little cheesy, but I can’t say that it’s a huge issue for them to change it. It’s just so common within the industry that it isn’t even really news anymore.
What really surprised me about the whole announcement was that they were changing their English name. If they were just called “Bangtan Sonyeondan”, maybe I would understand. After all, hearing that name get butchered time and time again by new fans and international media wouldn’t be pleasant, to say the least. However, overseas, they’re more often referred to as BTS than anything else. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone seriously call them “Bulletproof Boyscouts.” They’ve always just been BTS. So to feel the need to produce a new English name that has very little connection to their Korean name seems odd and unnecessary to me. When it comes to branding, you don’t really want to change your name unless it’s ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL. And here, it just doesn’t feel necessary. I don’t really understand why the group felt the need for the new name and, to be perfectly honest, I have to wonder if it’ll even stick, or if people will continue to just call them BTS. I know I probably will.
I'm feeling oddly positive about all this. The second I saw the video, it just screamed rebranding for me, and I wasn't worried a bit about it. It is a bit worrying to think a group like BTS that has now solidified their name after four years of hard work would try to change their brand, but based on what we've seen so far, they're keeping their original essence. It also calms my heart seeing the members so happy about it and sharing their thoughts with us on Twitter. I've personally felt like the vest logo and boxed lettering didn’t match their current aesthetics. Of course, they will always hold a special place in my heart and will never lose their meaning. BTS is still bulletproof, and we're still their protecting ARMY. That'll never change. They would never risk their current reputation or tarnish the name they've constructed. All we can do now is be as happy as they are and continue with our endless support.