Return to the past with modern twist at Seoul Design Festival
Published : Dec 14, 2018 - 15:17
Updated : Dec 14, 2018 - 15:17
“Newtro” has emerged as a trend in the fashion and design industries here. A combination of “new” and “retro,” the concept mixes trends of the past with fresh interpretations.

And an ongoing event rides on that wave. The Seoul Design Festival taking place at the Coex Convention and Exhibition Center in southern Seoul caters to those who want to swing back to the 1980s or 1990s, with a new, creative twist. 

(Seoul Design Festival)

The festival’s overall theme is “Young Retro: Design Reversing Back to the Future.” Designs on display have been inspired by the past, but they are more than just retro.

Around 217 interior, furniture and craft brands are participating in the event, setting up booths to display their products and design identities.

One of the brands is Oimu, an abbreviation of “Oneday, I met you.” The design studio aims to bridge the past with the present. It hopes to remind people of the value of secondary industries that are struggling. 


The studio’s representative design products are matchboxes, erasers and pencils -- products not used much these days -- with modern designs for decorative purposes.

Another graphic design studio, Ordinary People, is introducing its signature product, Daily Calendar. As many people use calendars on mobile devices these days, daily calendars are considered to be products from the past. 

(Ordinary People)

The studio was intrigued by how daily calendars enable a user to feel the day’s start to end. Aiming to make people realize the value of each day, it designed the Daily Calendar with 365 graphics for each day of the year.

Manufacturing, IT and service firms with strengths in design are also participating in the event.

The 17th Seoul Design Festival continues through Sunday, and the entrance fee costs 10,000 won per person. For more information, visit

By Im Eun-byel (