Boy band EXO is an example of a successful combination of talent, hard work, and marketing components. There are so many facts related to the creative activity of the band that it is impossible to mention all of them. However, we’ll briefly talk about a few of them. For instance, in May 2014, tickets for the band’s first solo concert were sold out in 1 minute and 47 seconds. In five years of work, EXO released nine albums. Each of them broke the records of the previous one. Successful sales are largely due to quality promotion. The boy band is extremely active in the media space. The guys often appear in entertainment shows, in episodes of TV series, and at social events.
Meaning and History
The boy band was established in Seoul by S.M. Entertainment in 2011. The next year, the EXO made its debut with twelve participants split up into the Exo-M and Exo-K subgroups. They were putting out music in Chinese and Korean, correspondingly. debut studio album won Album of the Year at the Mnet Asian Music Awards and Disk Daesang at the Golden Disk Awards, attracting positive reviews and financial success. With over a million copies sold, the group became the best-selling Korean band of the previous twelve years. Subsequent albums saw recognition as well. EXO has been performing as a single group since 2014, releasing music in several languages.
What is EXO?
Boy band EXO (Korean: 엑소) is known as one of the most popular South Korean groups of the last decade. The biography of the band began with resounding success and continues to develop along the same track.
2012 – 2013
The band debuted with a quite bold, geometric, and dark logo. It was a black vertical rectangle with a white hexagon occupying about two-thirds of the upper portion of the base. The shape had a black pattern on it, which spelled out the name. It was not obvious right away as the viewer saw an “X’ in the center and not much else. If you look closer, the left side of the shape along with a small horizontal, seemingly random, stroke formed an “E”. Meanwhile, a diamond to the right of the “X” represented the “O”. In fact, the full name added in white right under the shape repeats this pattern, only here all the characters are clearly read.
This logo was created for their first album. It is quite symbolic as the heart and the circle are meant to be a representation of the album name “XOXO”. Just like in the earlier version, the designers hid the band name in these symbols. In fact, both have “EXO” printed in a similar style as in the hexagon. It surely was a clever way to add hidden elements to the emblem and unless you are a fan, you probably won’t guess the name of the band it is representing.
2013 – 2014
A bright red color was introduced alongside EP called Miracles. The designers went a step further and not only removed the background in the earliest logo version but also erased the border of the hexagon on the left side, leaving only inner lines. It was no longer a secret that the logo had the name hidden right in front of your eyes. This time, the logo acquired a more abstract look, while its red color not only symbolized love and passion, which the band’s songs were about but also the strength and passion of the members themselves.
2014 – 2015
Another geometric emblem was introduced a year later. A labyrinth was added inside the familiar hexagon shape with a smaller white hexagon being placed in the center. There are surely many ways to interpret this black-and-white logo used for the Overdose album.
The Exodus album got its own logo. It also had a hexagon shape, but the pattern was closer to the original one. The only difference was that the “X” was twisted to create a diamond shape in the center. In addition, the horizontal line, which was part of the “E”, was extended. The overall image looked familiar, yet had something unique about it.
2015 – 2016
This logo looks nothing like the logos the ban had earlier or even after. It had “Sing for You” printed using all uppercase, sans-serif letters. The inscription had a rectangular border and “2015/Winter/EXO” printed across the top using a smaller font. The band continued to use a black-and-white color palette.
2016 – 2017
The hexagon shape is formed from letters. Diagonally across, one can read “EXO”. The album name is also printed on there and the characters are even interconnected by arrows that make the deciphering easier. Just like earlier versions, it was quite a symbolic illustration.
2017 – 2018
Given the name of the album this log was designed for, one can imagine that this logo was a symbol of war, destruction, and opposition. At the same time, the designers were able to preserve a hexagon shape and hidden band name in this logo. The band surely worked hard to preserve a recognizable identity no matter the introduction of a new design.
A futuristic design was presented in 2018. A speedometer was meant to represent the rhythm and go with the album name – Don’t Mess Up My Tempo. The square black background reminded of the earliest logo, while the red elements made it look daring and bold. The band name can be seen at the bottom in Red but is also featured along the right side of the speedometer.
2018 – 2019
It might seem that the hexagon shape with the band’s name is gone and has been replaced by a fancy diamond. However, if you look closer, you will instantly see that some of the diamond edges are highlighted to form “EXO”. The precious stone itself looks magnificent and was meant to represent the diamonds in a ring that symbolizes love.
2019 – Today
This logo looks quite unexpected as it seems there is nothing in common with anything the band had earlier. It consisted of two crossed black flags with gray poles. The fans also instantly saw the hidden name, where the left flag featured the horizontal line of the “E” and the poles created the “X”. it seems that the band never seized to find creative ways to present its name along with some secondary meaning.
Font and Color
With the exception of a few splashes of red, the band has always gone for a black-and-white color palette. It not only allowed it to unite all of its logos and create a timeless and modern look but also gave the logos a feeling of sophistication and power.
The logos typically carry no inscriptions besides the hidden name. During the times when the ban did add any inscriptions, they chose rather basic sans-serif fonts, such as Times New Roman. Their name featured a geometric font, which allowed the designers to hide it along the lines of geometric figures and not only.