Super Junior – 6JIB Sexy Free & Single

A compilation of all the posts relating to Super Junior’s Sexy Free & teasers.

Noteworthy points:

  • The typeface is quite clean and classic, some points could have been kerned with more care – My view on SM and latin character typography? Improvements can ALWAYS be made
  • Subdued earthy colours are a very nice and welcome contrast to the pop culture image of 5JIB
  • Natural flora imagery is interesting and links well with the earthy colours


This is a complete juxtaposition to the name. I am confused but intrigued. The classic and natural themes could imply more romantic links rather than sexy ones – quite disjointed to the name.

As the images are released and progress we shall see what lies in the messages that come from them, knowing how SM work I’m sure the contrast in name and concept imagery will continue.

The colours, the shirt, the flowers, the bubble, the long hair – this all has the air of Romanticism and the Romantic fashion wave influences by the romantics of old.

Romantic fashion is something you’re more likely to see as a female lead idea. It incorporates colours such as creams, lemons, pale pinks, pale earthy browns and greens. You get the mother-earth feel without the hippies and tie-dye.

Thoughts: I’m thinking natural beauty, the quintessential example of sexy, free and single, because not only is he those three things, here in photo form SM can imply the layers of romance in a man. Romance and beauty are greater than sexy.

There’s a little juxtaposition to the concept and name with this teaser, knowing how I’ve seen Super Junior’s teasers progress in the past this may desist – but for the moment it’s interesting.

Donghae also continues the Romantic styles you can see in Eunhyuk’s teaser. Materials aside of course, as these do not fit the fashion styles, the colours, shapes and ‘veil’ are very in fitting with this idea.

The juxtaposition with the title is also still relevant here. Any ELF will know that Donghae is a ‘Sexy’ man – as the title of the album and concept want us to see. His costume, and the photography, is only very slightly revealing that to us however.
The chiffon of his outfit would reveal his body, were it not for his seated position, and his defined arms would at least be on view were it not for the centre focus on the image.

Again we see the beauty in Donghae’s face, the hints at romance, rather than the Sexy we are told is there.

Thoughts: Note to SM …

  1. Sexy
    – Concerned predominantly or excessively with sex; risqué
    – Sexually interesting or exciting; radiating sexuality
    – excitingly appealing; glamorous
  2. Romantic
    – of, pertaining to, or of the nature of romance; characteristic or suggestive of the world of romance
    – fanciful; impractical; unrealistic
    – imbued with or dominated by idealism, a desire for adventure, chivalry
    – characterised by a preoccupation with love or by the idealising of love or one’s beloved
    – displaying or expressing love or strong affection

Not the same

Leeteuk described his teaser perfectly in his tweets.

A beautiful man. You can’t tell who this is from afar. I hear this is the lonely Peter Pan.

Again we see a ‘beautiful’ man. Here we do have a shift in the fashion and make up styles however.

In the 1980s romanticism was ramped up in Britain with a flamboyant edge and the New Romantic fashion movement emerged. Angular and dark defining make up, dramatic hair, adorned clothing – Leeteuk shows a brilliant take on this theme.

The New Romantics also had a knack for androgyny and suspending age thanks to their ingenious use of make-up. KPop idols have never been the stars we see age the worst in the world of course but it is clear to see, from knowing Leeteuk’s features, that the make-up (and quite possibly editing) here take back years from him.

Thoughts: I love everything about the New Romantics, so this is quite interesting.
Still I’m seeing juxtaposition and this will irritate me until I see a teaser that start to correlate with the title of the album.
The androgyny in Leeteuk and Donghae’s teasers are quite interesting, and unsual, in relation to the title you’d expect maybe more male representations but the fashion styles are from very androgynous scenes, therefore it seems only right for the concept. Not the name.
The album title grates on me already so if they aren’t lining up the teasers with it then the reveal process seems convoluted! SMEnt do this every time though!

Here we most definitely have New Romantic vibes. Pale tones have been added to many lines of Ryeowook’s face to create drama in his features. Then you have the dark make-up at his jaw creating a even more of a sharp angle there than he already has.

I’m not entirely sure whether he has very wide lenses in here but his eyes are so dark you can hardly see any of his sclera, the whites of his eyes, this adding to the intensity of the dark make-up defining his lower lids.

The dark and passionate red is far more fitting with the New Romantics than the earlier Romanticism themes we saw in the teasers.

Thoughts: Visually this is a strong teaser as it sticks to three very distinct colour tones: The pale tones of his shirt and skin; the foreground dark tone of his hair and wrist adornment; and the dark tones of the background.

This is a very convoluted teaser image.

So firstly I’ll go for the simple things. Yesung’s is the first standing, full body image we have, this would imply there will be at least one more of these in the series.

This teaser also takes us back to the Romantic Fashion themes of the earlier teasers of Eunhyuk and Donghae, primarily in colour – the pale yellows and earth tones.

We see Yesung in shorts, Romantic, and New Romantic, fashions draw some of their influences from classic periods in history and a big part of male clothing was breeches. Breeches would come in all different lengths but it would be popular fashion to wear the kind that became tighter at the knee.
Of course Yesung is not wearing breeches – but he is wearing clothing that ends at the knee. Am I clutching at straws for that link? I don’t know, but the teaser does have the Romantic links regardless of the shorts.

Now, to the element that ELF must all be questioning. Yesung’s choice of headgear. This brings us back to the mother earth feel we get from the Romantics themes. In fact the most direct link to the website design so far (closer even that Leeteuk’s viney hair adornment).

Thoughts: Romanticism brings you images of forest and woodland, or expanses of countryside and serenity. It is classic, it is beautiful, there is also mystery within the wonder.
I think that Yesung’s teaser does describe that, despite it being in such a confusing form.

Firstly: There will be designers at YG cursing SM right now – reworking of someone else’s idea happens a lot in design, but not normally quite so fast and so close to home.

The use of the darker colours on his face create more defined versions of the contours Shindong is himself building in his features.

Again, swaying more toward the New Romantic makeup looks rather than the Romantic styles we started with in the Eunhyuk and Donghae teasers. White make-up, bold defining of contours of the face – although not 100% true to the New Romantics you can see the influences if we regard the previous styles being pulled through in the collection of teasers.

Shindong doesn’t really have a costume for me to comment on as his teaser is pulled down to the base levels to concentrate on the make-up design.

Thoughts: Shindong’s teaser can’t really give anything more away BECAUSE it is so basic, it doesn’t bring any more styles. Unless of course this was a hint at something very base and simple – The SMEnt and Super Junior way. I would consider Shindong’s teaser being the tell all to be unstable ground however as it is quite similar to YG’s BIGBANG Alive teasers. The simplistic elements here may just be a red herring.

Sungmin’s teaser takes us back to the Romantic themes of Eunhyuk’s teaser. The lighter colour tones, the flowing locks of hair, the floral additions – these all sway to the earlier of the two period themes we’ve been seeing.

Sungmin’s face is lit in a way that gives him a somewhat feminine, ethereal beauty, emphasised by the long blond hair he’s been given for the concept teaser.
Being a female led fashion theme this means Sungmin’s teaser fits more seamlessly into the Romantic theme than maybe any other.

Thoughts: Sungmin’s is another strong concept teaser. I still can’t help but wonder about the juxtaposition between name and visual.
Here I’d considered them to be very disjointed. This concept is visually too much beauty and too little ‘sexy’.

Kangin’s teaser feels a little different. It still calls on the same references that I’ve pulled from previous teasers, mixing the two Romantic eras. We see the deeper colours of the New Romantics, even some of the defining coloured make-up is used here. However, we have the addition of the more classic romantic styles in the flowing veil.

One could suggest the use of styles and colourings of the old Romanticism movement artists such as Goya, Blake, Delacroix – I’m not for a second saying Kangin looks like a Delacrois painting, he doesn’t, it just leads me to the following thoughts.

Thoughts: Kangin’s teasers presents the colour theme of the newer age but is heavily influenced by classic ideas of the older themes we’ve seen. Here is something old with a fresh face. Apt for Kangin’s return?

With Siwon we venture back to the New Romantics. However, not with the strength we’ve seen in teasers such as Leeteuk’s.

We’re actually seeing the androgyny of the style applied to the most masculine member of the group in the most flamboyant and over-the-top way SMEnt could decide on.
Realistically the androgyny of the style would have been captured far better on Siwon in a far more basic ways – with defining make up and an edgy, angular haircut.

You actually have very feminine accessories here, in the adornments to the hat, overstepping the boundary of flamboyant and showy and venturing into questionably ugly. Teamed with the hair chosen for the teaser this attempt at androgenising Super Junior’s epitome of masculinity doesn’t work.

Thoughts: There is too much going on here for this to be a strong visual, Siwon’s whole face is made of two tone types. His irises are two tones, his eyebrows are two tones, the shadowing in his skin even creates a second tone in his skin.
Overall his face doesn’t feel complemented in the image.

If there was one member I generally thought we could rely on SM to use to bring ‘sexy’ to the table in ‘Sexy, Free & Single’ it would be the Super Junior adonis, Choi Siwon. Yet here am I proved wrong.

Kyuhyun’s teaser presents us with a combination of the themes once again. We have the background colour themes of the older Romantics, along with the simplistic clothes, all be it in a darker colour.

Then, however, we have the angular make-up styles of the New Romantics. Not in the effective ways we’ve seen it used on the likes of Ryeowook though.
Kyuhyun’s make-up creates simplistic shapes and lightens a centre focus within the photograph.

Thoughts: Disappointingly, as a Gamer, this is a weak teaser. The themes don’t hold strong despite a beautiful base portrait.
Again that we can rely on, that some beauty does come through the wishy-washy concept displayed here. The simplicity of Kyuhyun’s image does show his base beauty.
The juxtaposition rears its head once again.

As I have mentioned in a number of the individual members posts there is a juxtaposition between the name Sexy, Free and Single and the style we have seen in the teaser photos.

There is a reason why, with their sixth album at least, Super Junior can get away with such large differences in the messages they convey.

Although any album is made to pull in more than just its existing audience in reality 6JIB is for the old and existing audience. It has been put together much quicker than many Super Junior albums to welcome back Kangin and bid farewell to Leeteuk.

This audience does not need to see sexy in a teaser image to think their idol is sexy, this idea is already pre-existing to the ELF they are targeting.

Therefore layering the teasers with messages of beauty and romance is quite clever.

ELF [vitaMINs, Gamers, Angels, Shinsfriends … etc] already see a sexy idol as an automatic reaction, but through the concept the ‘single’ idol they have been presented with is now even more the perfect man as he is sexy, beautiful, romantic – the ideal.


Sexy, Free & Single is typeset in Snell Roundhand with an English111 Presto ampersand. Awfully kerned, awfully leaded.

I always say it, and I’ll say it again – SM’s designers of choice have no skills with the latin alphabet.


Founder at BritROK
Founder of BritROK.
Graphic Designer and lover of all things Punk and Indie!

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