Improving the address system is an important factor that can transform a city by solving difficulties related to finding roads. Solving traffic problems and reducing logistics costs, which can also positively influence urban safety issues, can save time and energy, and thus a green city can be created. For example, a study related to the implementation of the road name address system reduced costs by KRW 3.4 trillion a year. The parcel number address system that is currently in use was developed in 1918. However, the large number of developments means that the sequential order of parcel numbers is no longer effective or helpful in finding roads. The road name address system to be introduced in the near future and implemented in 2014, is based on the road name and building numbers used in most advanced countries. To allow for the new system to take root, this study investigated the current visual elements of local signposts, which influence legibility and effective information delivery, by focusing on the road name address local signposts installed in Jongno-gu (Gangbuk) and Seocho-gu (Gangnam), with the Hangang River as reference point.

The results indicated that the road name address local signposts currently installed in Seoul serve two purposes, namely advertising and public announcements, and have a standardized layout. However, the elements in these signposts are displayed slightly differently in each region. Common features include the use of white lettering on a greenish-black (black tinged with green) background to improve legibility, and the use of orange-yellow to emphasize numbers and English letters. Letters are displayed in four languages¾Korean, English, Chinese, and Japanese¾in the regulated font “Hangil” (a neat font with good legibility in Gothic type developed as a public design development project) and partially in “Seoul Namsan” (font developed as a Design Seoul project). The use of multiple languages, despite functional necessity, may cause visual disturbances due to repetition of the same content. Public information is displayed in three sections. First, the road name, which forms the basis of the address, is indicated at the top. In addition, representative places located on both sides of the present position are described using pictograms and letters. Second, in the center, the geography within a 1.5 km radius is shown on a planimetric map marked by the road name address. The map on the Jongno-gu direction board highlights in yellow major government offices and tourist attractions in 3D. Third, information on nearby tourist attractions nearby for tourists or advertising space is provided at the bottom.

This study found that the function of the road name address local signposts in Seoul is to provide necessary information. However, the problem is the creation of visual chaos as a result of a large volume of information and the expression of elements that lack unity. It is necessary to establish production guidelines so that road name address local signposts deliver information effectively, for example by improving the location, height, font size, and other elements of the signposts in relevant areas.