Seoul’s Symbols

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The Seoul Metropolitan Government designed its emblem to embody the bright future of the capital city of the Republic of Korea.

Meaning

The emblem features the Korean letters, “Seoul”, into mountains, sun and the Hangang (River) and a general design depicting the figure of a joyful human being, thus representing Seoul as a human-oriented city. In the context of nature, humanity and city, the green mountain signifies respect for the environment, the blue Hangang, history and vitality, and the Sun in the center, the city’s vision of the future. These three elements are organically connected with the strokes of a brush, visualizing Seoul’s image and dynamic energy. The emblem was designed on the basis of national roots, so that it can be seen as a symbol of Seoul’s present and future. The basic idea for the design was inspired by the works of two prominent painters of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910), namely, Mokmyeokjodon (Sunrise over Namsan (Mountain)) by Jeong Seon (pen name: Gyeomjae) and Mudong (Dancing Boy) by Kim Hong-do (pen name: Danwon).

History

This emblem was adopted on October 28, 1996, replacing the emblem previously used from 1947.

Current Use

  • Seoul flag, buildings, offices, signs, government cars, and stationery 
  •  Official documents, certificates, publications, public servant name cards 
Grounds  「Ordinance of Seoul Metropolitan ‘s Symbol」Article 3 – 1. Emblem

Seoul Colors

The logotype is one of the core elements of Seoul’s CI (City Identity) and was specially designed to represent Seoul in an official capacity. It was intended for use with the city’s insignia from the very beginning. The design cannot be changed under any condition. 

Dancheong (traditional Korean decorative coloring) red
CIE L*a*b    38 / 58 / 28
KS    5R 4/12(dE.3.3)
CMYK    4 / 100 / 71 / 20
(US Sheetfed C.)
sRGB    174 / 25 / 50

SC7912
CIE L*a*b    48 / -11 / -44
KS    2.5PB 5/10(dE.3.0)
CMYK    87 / 35 / 0 / 0
(US Sheetfed C.)
sRGB    0 / 121 / 188

SC4904
CIE L*a*b    49 / -39 / 31
KS    10GY 5/8(dE.3.0)
CMYK    81 / 16 / 99 / 4
(US Sheetfed C.)
sRGB    46 / 133 / 60

 

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The Seoul brand captures the citizens’ exultant energy and pride. It was designed to foster a deeper love of Seoul and a sense of community, and to convey Seoul’s dynamic image. 

Meaning

The name combines the greeting “Hi!” with the city’s name, “Seoul”. It aims to convey a friendly image of Seoul to the global community and to promote harmony and unity among Seoul’s citizens. Since “hi” is also a homophone of “high,” the brand offers a new vision for Seoul and reflects the city’s commitment to making Seoul one of the world’s leading cities. The “Hi Seoul” brand slogan was officially unveiled on October 28, 2002, the 9th Citizen’s Day. A sub-slogan, “Soul of Asia,” was added on November 13, 1996 to make Seoul’s identity, vision, and goal clear. ‘Seoul’ and ‘soul’ sound somewhat similar in the English language, thus evoking an overlapping image. It was intended to express the diversity of Seoul’s culture and the city’s goal of becoming a global center by merging traditions with cutting-edge digital technologies.

History

  • 2002.10.28 : “Hi Seoul” slogan declaration
  • 2006.11.13 : “Hi Seoul” complemented with an additional sub-title, “Soul of Asia”
Current Use

  • Seoul flag, buildings, offices, signs, government cars, and stationery 
  • Official documents, certificates, publications, public servant name cards 
Grounds 「Ordinance of Seoul Metropolitan City’s Symbol」Article 3 – 2. Brand

서울의 심벌 해치

Seoul’s symbol ‘Haechi’ was created to satisfy the need for a memorable set of symbols that befit the size and status of Seoul and to elevate its position, build competitiveness, and boost recognition. This unique icon was inspired by Seoul’s traditional symbol and imagery that roots back to China.

Meaning

The Haechi is a mythical animal referred to in Yimulji (異物紙, Korean pronunciation), an ancient Chinese book on mythical creatures, as “a beast with a single horn that lives on the remote edge of the northeast region. It is said to have an upright temperament, attacking those who foment conflict with its horn.” Koreans believed the Haechi to be an animal that could determine right from wrong. Haechi were considered guardians against fire and other disasters. Haechi sculptures made by the master stonemason Lee Se-wook were placed in Gyeongbokgung Palace during its construction to protect it from the strong ‘fire’ energy emitted by Gwanaksan Mountain. This mystical animal was widely held to be a guardian against fire and other negative forms of energy, as well as a bringer of happiness and good fortune. 

History

  • May 13, 2008: Haechi designated as Seoul’s symbol
  • March 25, 2009: Official release of the Haechi BI and character
Current Use

  • City tour buses, Haechi taxis, banners etc. for various official events, guides, construction area barriers, publications 
  • Public service name cards, badges, Gwanghwamun Haechi Plaza, Haechi statue in front of City Hall, etc.
Grounds  「Ordinance of Seoul Metropolitan ‘s Symbol」Article 3 – 3. Icon

Flower

The Seoul Metropolitan Government designated the forsythia as the flower of Seoul on April 3, 1971. The flower is considered the most appropriate symbol of Seoul’s climate. Forsythias come into full bloom in early spring, and symbolize the cooperative spirit of Seoul’s citizens.

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Tree

The Seoul Metropolitan Government designated the ginkgo, known for its beauty, longevity, and strong resistance to pollution, as the tree of Seoul on April 3, 1971. As a tree that grows big and strong, it symbolizes the development and prosperity of the nation’s capital.


Bird

Traditionally loved by the Korean people, the magpie is believed to be an auspicious bird and a messenger of good fortune. According to a Korean folktale, magpies formed a bridge to help two star-crossed lovers reunite. The magpie was chosen as the national bird of Korea in 1964, after receiving a substantial amount of votes in a national contest. 

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Seoul Font

Seoul’s original font, the Seoul Font, was developed to enhance Seoul’s brand value. Based on the Myeongjo Font (Korean serif type), the type family includes four Seoul Hangang types (light, medium, bold, and extra bold), four san-serif Seoul Namsan types (light, medium, bold, and extra bold), and one type for vertical writing, making nine types in total.

The Seoul font was inspired by the spirit of the nation’s classical scholars. Its simple yet elegant features make good use of empty space and capture the elegant curves of traditional Korean homes. The name incorporates Hangang and Namsan, two of Seoul’s most important assets. The font is intended to foster cultural pride in written and spoken Korean.

 

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Seoul Hangang font

서울한강체 특징

 

  • The serif was shortened to give the type a contemporary edge. 
  • Decorative elements were kept to a minimum for simplicity. 
  • The separated ends are spread so that the motif looks more‘open.’ 
  • The vertical and horizontal strokes are well balanced to improve readability. 
  • The vowels have no serif for a cleaner image.
  • Remove projections create a cool space
  • The consonants have no serif for a cleaner image.

Seoul Namsan font

서울 남산체

 

  • The asymmetric ‘ㅅ’ gives the font more movement. 
  • Its elongated letters create extra space between the letters to improve readability.
  • The space between the letters and characters by securing enhanced cyan sex

  • The lines were inspired by the curves found in traditional Korean buildings. 
  • The bottom outline is made uneven to improve recognition. 

Seoul Font Download

TIP Use the font Seoul

WINDOW(TTF) compatible with Window98, Window XP, Window Vista

MAC(OTF) Machinosh OS X(version 10.4xand above)

Versions before Seoul Font March 2010(08 Seoul Namsan Font, 08 Seoul Hangang Font)

Windows
MAC

Representative colors of Seoul

단청빨간색

Dancheong (traditional Korean
decorative coloring) red

  • A wishful color symbolizing good health and peace
  • A palatial color used for 600 years in Joseon’s royal structures
  • The color most favored by Seoul’s residents

 

한강은백색

Hangang (River) silver 

  • A radiant silvery  white  color evoking the waters of the Hangang (River)
  • A color symbolizing the “white-clad” Korean people
  • A granitic color typical of Seoul’s mountains

50 District Colors of Seoul

서울 지역색 50


250 Current Colors of Seoul

서울 현상색 250


600 Recommended Colors for Seoul (62 Achromatic + 538 Chromatic)

서울 권장색 600