Ginza Line Renewal - Tokyo Metro

Tokyo Ginza Station Design Contest and Renewal Campaign

Anyone that knows about Japan or has ever visited knows how vital public transportation is to everyday life. The train systems here are such an essential part of life that all but 6 of the 51 most busiest train stations in the world are located in Tokyo!

That being said, those of you who live in Tokyo have probably at some point or another caught glimpses of the new ad campaign launched by Tokyo Metro last month, informing riders of the Ginza Station Design Contest and ongoing Ginza line renewal project.

ginza line renewal advertisement design poster web campaign architecture japan tokyo redesign

ginza line renewal advertisement design poster web campaign architecture japan tokyo redesignThe ads are featured in every station on the Ginza line in various mediums including print, digital posters (such as the image above), videos on the train, a comprehensive website (not responsive unfortunately) and more. The website includes information about the renewal project and concept, which aims to divide the stations on the Ginza Line into five major areas, the Shitamachi (old downtown) Area, Shougyo (commerce) Area, Ginza Area, Business Area, and Trend Area, and redesign each station according to the theme for the corresponding area.

ginza line renewal advertisement design poster web campaign architecture japan tokyo redesign

Illustration that depicts each of the 5 major areas that the Ginza Line will be divided into. Each area will have a theme, and each station will be redesigned with their corresponding areas/themes.

ginza line renewal advertisement design poster web campaign architecture japan tokyo redesign

Image from the Ginza Line Renewal website. The site is informative and fun to look at.

ginza line renewal advertisement design poster web campaign architecture japan tokyo redesign

The campaign also plans to repaint all of the cars on the Ginza Line to the color pallet of the original Ginza Line introduced in 1927.

ginza line renewal advertisement design poster web campaign architecture japan tokyo redesign

Collection of posters for the campaign, featured on the website.

ginza line renewal advertisement design poster web campaign architecture japan tokyo redesign

Another fun page from the website, explaining the overall concept for the renewal project.

We particularly like the simple and effective identity developed for the campaign, which pairs the Ginza line’s warm golden-yellow color with that of the standard yellow and black associated with construction.

A brief 30 second CM was also developed for the campaign and is often featured in stations and train TVs.

In addition to the CM, 26 different posters were created to feature in station posters, online ads, etc. Here are just a few of the posters, all of which can be found on the Tokyo Metro website.

ginza line renewal advertisement design poster web campaign architecture japan tokyo redesign

“Total renewal of the Ginza Line”

ginza line renewal advertisement design poster web campaign architecture japan tokyo redesign

“A station can be part of Tokyo’s city landscape.”

ginza line renewal advertisement design poster web campaign architecture japan tokyo redesign

“A station can be even more part of the town”

ginza line renewal advertisement design poster web campaign architecture japan tokyo redesign

“Underground scenery will change drastically.”

ginza line renewal advertisement design poster web campaign architecture japan tokyo redesign

“As this is (perhaps) one of the largest renovation projects of the century, we may cause you inconvenience for a while. Thank you for your understanding.”

ginza line renewal advertisement design poster web campaign architecture japan tokyo redesign

“Ginza Line is to be Lemon Yellow!”

ginza line renewal advertisement design poster web campaign architecture japan tokyo redesign

“Long-awaited renewal.” (a play on words in Japanese as the word for city, “machi” sounds the same as the root form of the verb “to wait”, “machi”.

ginza line renewal advertisement design poster web campaign architecture japan tokyo redesign

“All of the trains will be changed to the new type.”

ginza line renewal advertisement design poster web campaign architecture japan tokyo redesign

“Ginza Line will be brand new.”

The contest, launched on January 21st, extends until March 6th and is calling for designers and architects to submit their designs for how they think the 1st floor of the Ginza Station subway ought to be re-designed. Below is a translation from a section of the brief from Tokyo Metro:

The design should focus on the connection with earth/nature and use the space so that even though you are below ground it feels as if you are above ground.

For all you sleep deprived architects out there looking to make your mark, you still have about 3 weeks to get your designs in. Brew up a pot of coffee and get to designing!

Author Information


Eli Nygren is a graphic designer/project manager from Maui, Hawai'i. He is fluent in Japanese and English and is currently based in Tokyo. In addition to design, he loves music, camping, surfing, cooking and reading.

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