Seoullo naming & branding

“Seoullo 7017” is the new brand name of an elevated pedestrian road near the Seoul Station in downtown Seoul, a metropolis with 10 million populations. Seoullo 7017 is completed on the city’s 45 years of flyover, named “Seoul Station Goga” or “Seoul Station Overpass,” as a downtown revitalization project of the Seoul Metropolitan Government. VJO participated in the project with developing its brand design as a part of a talent donation.

“Seoullo” has double meanings in Korean – one is “Seoul Road” and the other “To Seoul.” “7017” is added to the name because the flyover was originally built in 1970 and reborn as a pedestrian road in 2017. Its brand design incorporates a pair of walking legs in a curved shape to embody people’s pleasant walking and smiles. The legs can be changed into various types of them to represent a diversity of pedestrians. The brand design is based on “Seoul Hangang” font developed by the Seoul Metropolitan Government in 2008 as an open source typeface to be freely used by public. In fact, this font was used with a specific intention that Seoullo brand design can be a good example where a public resource is used in a more desirable way.

From construction hoarding
design to souvenir design

In addition to the development of the brand name “Seoullo 7017,” VJO donated the design of construction hoarding. VJO designed it as a part of pubic design to attract citizens’ positive attention and expectation about the project. VJO uses bold and cheerful super-size graphics of various pedestrian feet with a green backdrop to represent the green pedestrian road.

VJO also designed a set of souvenirs for Seoullo 7017. Most of the souvenirs are designed to be made locally by local manufacturers in the neighborhood – nearby areas are known for its abundant  sewing factories and shoe making factories, hoping to bring local residents and businesses together and revitalize the local economics.

Project background

Seoul Station Overpass had represented the city’s industrialization and modernization during the 1970s and 1980s. However, as time went by, it became an obsolete and dangerous structure. In 2012 and 2013, the Overpass received a “D” degree in the safety inspection, and was finally decided to close as of December 13, 2015.

Inspired by the High Line, the 2.33 kilometer-long linear park in Manhattan on an elevated section of a New York Central Railroad, and the 4.8 kilometer-long Promenade plantée in Paris, the Seoul Metropolitan Government decided to transform it into a pedestrian-friendly walkway instead of demolishing it.

The SMG held an international design competition for its renewal project, and the design plan of Winy Maas of MVRDV, a Dutch architecture firm, won the grand prize. His design, entitled as “The Seoul Arboretum,” emphasizes the city’s ambition to be greener, more attractive and more user-friendly, and inspires a process of change for the entire neighborhood.

After one year and five months of construction, Seoullo 7017 was unveiled on May 20, 2017. It is a 10.3 meter-wide and over 1 kilometer-long walkway with being decorated with 228 species of trees, shrubs and flowers to create an arboretum of local species, a library of plants that can be enjoyed by Seoul citizens.