Designing Safety Content That You Want to Keep It on Your Desk

The 2020 SEOUL DESIGN INTERNATONAL FORUM has obtained written consent from the speaker to publish the summarized and edited content


It is no coincidence that when some major safety incident occurs is when most people take an interest in safety. When an individual pays particular attention to safety in daily life, it is because some accident or incident has motivated them to do so.

While the type of content that can be easily accessed through smartphones is becoming more diverse and complete, it makes us wonder if the safety of our society is changing. It makes us wonder if safety measures are competitive. The Safety Design Research Institute ‘Osafe’ started from this question.

“How can we keep people safe?”

“Isn’t it possible to prevent unexpected safety accidents in advance? “

“If there is an unavoidable safety accident, what can be done to minimize the damage?”

Osafe works based on a design methodology. In order to be chosen by modern people who live busy lives, we are working hard to produce and share safety content that can stand out, have fun, and form a consensus.

OSAFE for safety design

Osafe is a place for ‘safe design’. We work on safety rules in a new, fun way, and sometimes take a stimulating approach, and organize information necessary for safety in a systematic infographic.



We are also working hard on new design research that fits the theme. We conduct interviews with safety experts and listen to opinions in the field. Safety manual infographics, expert interviews, safety issues, etc. are compiled into a magazine and published every two months, and are distributed free of charge upon request or as far as necessary. Osafe started designing and sharing safety manuals for the first time in 2014, and is also an independent publisher preparing to publish the 7th issue of the magazine after switching to a bi-monthly magazine in 2016.


As we dealt with content related to safety, we were able to run a children's traffic safety campaign on our own, provide education in schools, and collaborate with organizations and companies. Internally, we take pride in designing content that is directly related to safety, and we are always striving to improve the quality of our content. Although no one asked for it, we made a character and applied it to a public design, and made a poster to encourage voting and attached it to the Hongdae area at dawn to deliver a message. Of course, it was collected again after the voting day passed. We also tried making amulets to pray for safety. This was one of the outcomes of contemplating in various ways for the efficient communication of safety information. The reason why OSafe voluntarily designs safety contents like this started with the wish that we all live together safely and for a long time. We would like to introduce the process of designing safety contents, including the motivation for Osafe's activities, and talk about safety design we think about.

Why Safety Design?

Although I started a design studio and mainly outsourced projects for clients, I kept asking myself the question of what design can do for social and public purposes.

The two biggest reasons for choosing the topic of safety were that I felt a sense of social responsibility as a designer for the lack of personal motivation as a citizen and the lack of examples for safety design at the time as a result of a major accident such as the Daegu subway fire disaster. I think what a designer does best is to make the invisible visible, reinterpret the visible and create a new form of it. Whether it was because they were too familiar with it or because it wasn't fun, I started designing safety rules that I rarely paid attention to in my own way.


The images at the top exclude the text and the screen is configured to pay attention to the message once more through the fun of inferring the situation when only looking at the illustration. In areas that cannot be quantified, such as fun or emotion, we focused on the emotions of those directly involved in content production, rather than finding a code that everyone could relate to. We drew the content with the hope that it may be natural, but we want you to reconsider the safety rules that you may forget in your daily life.

Safety rules design, ‘Living a long life matters’

Osafe tried to brand the safety manual under the name of ‘Living a long life matters'. In the process of visualizing safety rules that are essential in our daily life, we suddenly asked ourselves, ‘Is the safety manual the best we can do? Safety accidents and other incidents occur in a variety of subjects and situations, and it was judged that it is risky to attempt to standardize prevention and response methods. Rather than producing a manual that suggests solutions, we tried to find a way to increase the ability of the subject to take an interest in safety accidents and incidents on their own and make independent judgments.

We started publishing the magazine in an easy, fun, but accurate way of putting on professionalism. In addition to the safety manual, which was carried out just one time, more robust contents such as expert interview infographics were added, and it was published regularly once every two months. This was an opportunity to build a sustainable process internally and archive content, and externally, we wanted to provide an opportunity for more people to take an interest in safety content.

OSAFE's Design Process, Creating Failure Scenarios

One of Osafe’s design processes is ‘creating failure scenarios’. This is to collect as much information as possible, such as stakeholders, similar cases, and surveys, centering on the safety project we are conducting, select factors of failure among them, and internally review the initial target point and resource countermeasures to be put in. There were countless factors that could cause Osafe's safety content to fail, such as lack of budget, lack of marketing, and external environment. The most important point to pay attention to was the question, ‘Why aren’t people interested in safety content?’.

I thought there were three main reasons. First, there are so many things to see, safety content is not fun, and the device to induce attention is insufficient. Second, most people think that safety rules and accidents have nothing to do with me, and are interested in safety after an accident or disaster. Third, people basically have an instinct to avoid warning information. It was found that they did not pay attention to safety information because it itself caused negative thoughts. Accordingly, we established ‘fun’, ‘specificity’ and ‘appropriate level of stimulation’ as a guide for safety content design.

Safety Content Design Guide: Fun, Specific, Appropriate level of Stimulation

By breaking away from relatively heavy topics such as disasters and crimes that can be recalled through the keyword 'safety', we tried to combine them with materials that can draw people's attention, such as companion animals. By combining materials closely related to life with safety contents, expression and approach methods have been expanded.


Combination with materials that can attract people's interest / Combining with living materials

Second, we tried to describe specific situations that potential victims of safety accidents may face, and clearly express the message of how to prevent them. We visualized small safety messages that can be conveyed before taking specific situations and actions, such as good tips to know before boarding a boat and good tips to know before winter mountaineering.


Third, in the process of regulating the appropriate level of stimulation, it was decided to apply the internal guide and conduct an objective evaluation focusing on the contents that are designed internally and the contents that will be designed in the future. Therefore, in order to check whether the message of the subject has been delivered well, we are trying to create an indicator for the designated distributors, advisors, and internal team members.


Children's Traffic Safety Yellow Card Project

In order to induce the right behavior and to make the subject have a sense of safety independently, a different type of content was needed from the manual magazine content, which mainly consists of visual information. The ‘Children’s Traffic Safety Yellow Card’ is a campaign that provides opportunities for children to play an active role by comparing the road to a soccer field, and by examining whether the children are the referee and whether the cars and pedestrians are obeying the rules properly. During the brand building process of the campaign, the children learned that they had a passive idea that cars should protect pedestrians. In order to change this thinking, we visualized a message that children can actively understand and respond to the situation. In addition, it provided an opportunity to share various stories about traffic safety with children by explaining that adults who drive can make mistakes and situations that are difficult to deal with in unexpected situations. You can check the video of 'Children's Traffic Safety Elo Card Campaign' on OSafe's YouTube channel.


Manners project, ing

There is a saying, “Manners maketh man.” It's an ambiguous situation at every moment, and the rules may be different for each neighborhood, but there is a common manner that we want each other to be respected. Manner Project ing is a project that expresses the story of such manners in a fun way through characters. Along with the exclamation 'ing?' that appears at unpleasant or embarrassing moments, manners are not meant to be kept only once, but have the meaning of a 'something progressive, that must always be kept'. We often try to adapt our civic consciousness, which has not yet grown to keep pace with urban growth and pace, in line with social norms. This project deals with many unethical behaviors that occur in public spaces and presents correct manners. We wanted to share the message of those who face a variety of new situations, mainly with young people in their 20s, and just as 'manners' is needed anytime and anywhere regardless of time, place, and partner, this content is also appropriately shared and applied to the necessary situations. It contains the wish for a society with a mature sense of community.


Various communication attempts

Safety immunity is a basic right in our lives and a decisive factor for a happy life. However, after compulsory safety education for kindergarteners and lower grades of elementary school is over, most people don't pay much attention to safety. Therefore, in order for the safety culture to be properly established and for the members of society to have a proper safety awareness, I thought that various types of contents were needed to provide information and form a consensus. Instead of producing and distributing one-time content, periodic content production is required, and safety rules that can be easily forgotten are designed in the form of a fun amulet, and goods are produced so that they can be gifted to loved ones.


I wish you safe driving. The safe amulet 'DdwiDdwiBbangBbang'


I wish you safe shopping. Safety amulet 'anti-shopping.

Osafe aims to convey a message about safety in a way that is not burdensome so that it can be seen by your side even in normal times and to create an appropriate level of awareness. We will continue to look back on whether we are sufficiently considerate of users when producing safe content through the production of Goods and try as many projects as possible.

Safety design content project

Osafe has been carrying out various types of projects, such as collaboration and agencies. The safety culture magazine ‘Living a long life matters’ receives budget or infrastructure support according to the content theme, and the Children’s Traffic Safety Yellow Card campaign is operated in collaboration with the target audience and the characteristics of the region. In a project with a main client, such as collaboration or agency, an efficient process is important, especially since it has to utilize limited resources such as cost and schedule to deliver results. Safety design requires comprehensive consulting capabilities, not simply creating results, but collaborating with stakeholders, applying design methodology using expertise, and understanding the overall design process, including decision making. in need. The results we see and touch are part of this process.

As the design process is diverse for solving problems, the first stage of collaboration requires a discussion about through which process the project will be operated. In this process, you can check the goals of the project and allocate areas where you can do well with each other. In a project with the Children's Safety Foundation, whose main goal is safety, there were cases where the design issues were mainly made because only the safety information and message parts were sufficient.

Currently, there is a very large amount of data for one person to fully accept safety information. However, in terms of accessibility and accuracy of the information, it is dispersed or mixed to the extent that it is difficult to guarantee the safety of one person. From a citizen's point of view, safety contents produced and shared by government-related organizations are continuously developing, but Osafe is also archiving step by step for the systematic construction of safety design contents.

Safety contents require an understanding of media and users, and effectively and pleasantly deliver accurate information in line with the changes in content trends. When these activities are continuously repeated, knowledge becomes consciousness and leads to action, taking one step closer to a safe society. Our methods are all different, but we are all eventually heading towards safety. Osafe will continue to design safety contents that can be helpful to our society in the future.

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