If you thought the different colors on the four Map of the Soul: 7 album covers were chosen just to look pretty, think again. Sparks Edition, the couple duo who designed the albums, have revealed that each of the four designs actually has a specific meaning relating to BTS and their journey.
Sparks Edition previously revealed how the “7” logo itself was put together: by combining seven unique fonts, each one chosen by a different BTS member to represent their individuality. When combined, the marks represented the group’s shared journey as seven members over seven years.
Now, the design duo has revealed that each version of the Map of the Soul: 7 album has its own unique meaning too.
To make the Map of the Soul: 7 covers as authentic to BTS as possible, Sparks Edition consumed hours upon hours of the group’s content, including fan-made compilations of all the members.
Since we needed to establish a story for each member, we tried to study them like a geek.
— Jang Joon Oh, Sparks Edition
Incorporating the seven “7” marks from each member into one design wasn’t easy given that they had to balance aesthetics with concept. But over the course of several months, the designers managed to come up with four impressive and unique covers.
At first, the difference between each cover version may seem arbitrary and unimportant, but Sparks Edition actually overlaid and colored the “7” marks in different ways to represent different sides of BTS.
Version 1, which features a pastel color scheme, was based on swans. Though its colors are fairly different to those seen in the “Black Swan” music video, it represents similar themes: striving for perfection, vulnerability, and innocence.
Version 2 was also inspired by swans—this time, the titular black swans. On this cover, the seven “7” marks were arranged differently to create a curvy shape. This, combined with the dark blue and monochromatic color scheme, represents BTS’s glamorous shadows.
In Version 3, the “7” marks were arranged to create a very straight, rigid shape. Sparks Edition did this to represent strength and a sense of duty. The bold red, blue, and black color scheme (also the colors of South Korea’s flag) may also reflect that.
Last but not least, the different marks in Version 4 were positioned for optimum harmony. This was designed to represent BTS’s unity, ego, and identity.
The Sparks Edition designers say album covers are one of their favorite things to design. Given all the thought and processes behind this project, there’s no doubt that creating Map of the Soul: 7 will be a memorable experience for them.
It’s the simplest design we’ve worked on in a way, yet has the most stories in it.
— A Ji Hye, Sparks Edition