Lecture: Lance Wyman – Mexico 1968

  • live in Manhattan since 1971
  • Dad was a fisherman
  • enojyed making models
  • worked in factories 7 days a week 12 hours a night
  • studied industrial design at PRATT
  • their picked to wor at General Motors doing graphics: packaging for Delco products
  • learnt about mapping in the military
  • graphics in 3D applications with signs, industrial design background in use
  • Peter Murdoch – met at Royal College London, studied furniture design
  • Chrysler Pavilion and Mexican Pavillion architect worked as Lance’s office (Nelson’s 1966)
  • had to work with 5 rings – be able to interpreted to different languages: Spanish, French, English
  • geometry expand to make 68

  • Mexican culture, Mexican folk art
  • Olympic design printed on clothes with the stripes, recognisable
  • Mexico floorplan, like a maze room: logo looking down with striped walls
  • Mexican glyphs inspired sporting icons
  • ongoing visual shapes on the stamp which make it look kinetic which is what the Olympics is about
  • silhoutte on the stamps (Apple iPod silhoutte resembles)
  • no name for sport, just symbols/ signs
  • paper structure for signs based on tower (totems) in Tula
  • 29/ 30 years old working on the Olympics project
  • student uprising in Mexico created alternative negative connotations of Lance’s work e.g. riot images using the same style
  • La Greca Del 68
  • Mexican metro
  • Mexican World Cup – Pico bird
  • walking distance circles showing time it takes (as used in present time maps)
  • Washinton map – tried to make it bold and keep icons
  • redesign at the moment with new Dallas airport line (silver line)
  • National Washington zoo – created icons and tracks
  • 1968 Olympics icons looks like Apple iPhone apps
  • “learning to use icons again”
  • Santa Fe – north, east, south, west sign
  • Korea Arts Centre
  • “take the obvious and transform it”


Response to lecture: I’ve seen Lance’s work in the gallery at NUCA and I particularly like the versatility of the Olympic identity where the black and white stripes are instantly recognisable and can be applied onto clothing. I like how the pattern incorporates the Olympic rings and how geometrical it is, simple yet effective. By tying the year of the Olympics with the Olympic rins makes it a strong identity. His work mainly consists of icons and signs, it was good that he had knowledge of industrial design (he studied at PRATT) so that he can make his deisngs into real life. This also shows that what I learn in first year/ or what I generally learn at NUCA will hopefully help me in the future.

In my honest opinion, even though I respect him a huge amount with the incredible work he has created, some work is not to my taste. I think that some of his work are quite repetitive with the icons, it’s really cool that he created/ established icons in the design world but as it is very overused in the present time – I don’t think his work can compete with other people that have entered/ developed the industry of icon design. Some of his icons I think aren’t revolutionary and that any designer can create these days as they are very common. In addition, my view of the Washington Metro map is that it is too cluttered with information, I find it difficult to read – though I do appreciate he tries to incorporate icons to make stations recognisable¬† – but I think that maybe that stations are grouped too close together or that stations names are positioned too close where they are and that station names are positioned at different angles making the reader having to turn their heads to understand.

I like how his work has influenced others such as Apple’s designs with the iPod adverts and iPhone app shapes, either it’s a coincidence that the designs are similar or that they have taken inspiration from Lance. Even the colours used on the iPod ads are the same colours as Lance’s Mexico stamps. I find it incredible how Lance’s history has been in that he has travelled many places, met different people, created works for very famous clients – this inspires me to work hard because it shows that you shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover in that if I were to see Lance in public I would have thought he was an ordinary man, but he is an extroadinary man with an incredible past and experience.

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