Hope World

In early March, a member of globally popular Korean music group BTS known by his stage name J Hope, released his first mixtape by the title of Hope World.

J-Hope “Hope World”

the album is comprised of self composed tracks mainly falling into the genres of K-hip hop and K-Pop (Korean pop) with lively beats and fun energizing sounds matching J-Hopes personality.

To go along with such a bright and happy tracklist, the album would need cover art that reflects the songs as well as the artists personality which is exactly what was done for the cover of Hope World.

designing an album cover for a personal mixtape is an very crucial part of making a successful debut as a solo artist which is where the importance of graphic design comes into play. the image needs to express the moods and themes of the album in an enticing way to be able to grab viewers attention and make them want to listen. not only in this album, but for as long as pop music has been around graphic design has also played a huge part in its success. creating fun and expressive images to match the contents of the album and align with the artists vision is a key component to what makes pop popular.

in some cases, just as certain sounds can be coined by certain artists, specific art styles and images can also become associated with musical artists all based off their album art covers. Some album covers that became iconic over the years include ones such as Pink Floyd’s DSOTM, The Beetles Abbey Road, and Nirvana’s Nevermind album.  Not only did these albums gain popularity through their music, but these three very different but all equally iconic images employed graphic design techniques to create visually appealing and expressive images that would later on become recognizable visuals across the globe.

Pink Flyod “DarK Side of The Moon Album cover
The Beetles “The Abbey Road”
Nirvana “Nevermind”

However, J-Hope’s Hope World album takes the popularity of his album image one step further. Since its release on March 1st 2018, Hope Worlds cover image has gone on to become a globally known image across musical artists and fans alike. the large fan base surrounding the group of BTS and J-Hope has brought much attention to the album art and have even coined that specific style of art as “HobiCore”, an aesthetic expressing J-hopes personality based solely off the art work for the Hope World album. Bright saturated colours and swirly designs reminiscent of the album art is whats often associated with “Hobicore” and J-Hope.

example of “Hobicore”
“Hobicore” artwork by @silvia.pintou on instagram
“Hobicore” adapted into fashion

This shows how not only is the music what makes the album popular but also the graphic design work that is put into making a captivating and expressive cover.