K-pop 'Radar' released 'The most impressive K-pop album design of the year' for 2021 on November 12. A total of seven albums were chosen as the best album designs of the year.
Albums such as ONF's 'City of ONF,' SHINee's 'Atlantis,' Soyeon's 'Windy,' NCT Dream's 'Hot Sauce,' AKMU's 'Next Episode,' Wendy's 'Like Water,' and Key's 'Bad Love' were chosen as the best album designs.
The results of this study were conducted in the form of a survey given to design experts. The survey included the K-pop album packages released in 2021 in the music industry.
ONF's album 'City of ONF' received high praise as it visualized their own worldview. SHINee's 'Atlantis' was praised for its visual aesthetics created using maps and compasses. In particular, the two groups received high marks for leaving a deep impression on their fans by developing a complete storyline for their albums.
SHINee member Key's 'Bad Love' perfectly embodied the 1980's subculture and cartoon concept, while Soyeon's 'Windy' uses the playful cakebox design for her album while incorporating a harmonious design throughout her album promotion, including the music video, album package, and album concept.
NCT Dream's 'Hot Sauce' garnered attention using a fairy tale and cartoon-like concept with colorful designs, while Red Velvet's Wendy released a beautiful limited edition design using fresh blue flowers. Lastly, AKMU's 'Next Episode' was evaluated highly as it displayed the group's identity well using visual concepts fit to their image.
Currently, the music industry puts more weight on the streaming results of songs. However, K-pop album sales are at an all-time high during the period of COVID019. Amidst this phenomenon, albums that combine aesthetic design to perfect the album are gaining more attention from fans.