lance wyman exhibition at MUAC in mexico city lance wyman exhibition at MUAC in mexico city
oct 25, 2014

lance wyman exhibition at MUAC in mexico city

lance wyman at MUAC’s coming and going exhibition
portrait © designboom


coming & going – lance wyman – urban Icons
mexico city, mexico

october 18, 2014 – february 22, 2015


read designboom’s interview with lance wyman


over the past five decades, the figure of lance wyman has been a keystone in contemporary design, and his work has established itself as a fundamental element for understanding the visual culture of the present day. ‘coming and going’, curated by pilar garcia, focuses on the central axis of wyman’s work: design as an urban proposal. the presence of his icons persists in the mexican social, cultural and urban imaginary, and his work marked a watershed in the history of design in the country.


coming and going – lance wyman – urban icons
exhibition poster designed by lance wyman, 2014



for this exhibition at El Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo (MUAC) de la UNAM in mexico city, projects were chosen that have influenced the visual identification of urban life in mexico and the wider world, including furniture, sketches, photographs and statements that offer insight into the creative process of abstraction and research that wyman engages in to find a solution to each of his projects.



a view of the exhibition space
photo © designboom



in 1966, lance wyman arrived in mexico city with the aim of participating the international competition for the design of the graphics for the mexico olympic games 1968. a graduate of the pratt institute in new york, wyman possessed sound experience in the field of graphic and industrial design, having worked in the office of george nelson, considered the father of the industrial design of the american international style, and a leading partner in the firm of herman miller. for the 1962 trade fair held in zagreb, yugoslavia, wyman began to explore the idea of building in three dimensions and on a monumental scale the logo for the US pavilion. for the mexico olympic games 1968, wyman’s proposed logo was selected, and he became the graphic designer on the olympic program team headed up by architect pedro ramírez vázquez.


in relation to this project, his contribution to the design of the icons for the cultural olympiad—which formed part of the olympic program for the first time—is of particular note. from then on, a series of experiences tightened wyman’s links with mexico and helped to define a new way of understanding contemporary graphic design, establishing him as one of the leading figures in the evolution of visual identification. his work in mexico presented wyman with the problem of using visual design to create a functional signage system that would provide orientation in the urban realm while transcending the limitations of language.


a view of the exhibition space – right is the USA pavilion for the zagreb trade fair, 1962
photo © designboom



‘my first opportunity to work in mexico came from participating in a competition to develop graphics for the 1968 olympic games held in mexico city and acapulco. I went to mexico city with fellow designer peter murdoch for a two week trial period and during that time designed the mexico68 logotype. I became director of graphic design (logotypes, pictograms, publication formats, posters, stamps, etc.) and peter became director of special projects (signage system, exhibit structures, design of the torch, etc.) after the olympics peter returned to london to attend to other commitments and I stayed in mexico to design the metro graphics. designing olympic logos and pictograms for an international event gave me the experience, ability and insight to design and apply that type of communication to more permanent urban programs. I fell in love with mexico and still go back often.’ – lance wyman (read the full interview)



minesota zoo branding and signage, 1984
photo © designboom



view of the exhibition
photo © designboom


branding and signage for camino real hotels, 1968
photo © designboom


branding and logo for el presidente chapultepec hotel, 1975


custom font for el presidente chapultepec hotel, 1975
photo © designboom


various work by wyman on display at MUAC
photo © designboom


national zoological park washington branding and signage, 1973 (with bill cannan)


national zoological park washington branding and signage, 1973
photo © designboom


national zoological park washington branding and signage, 1973
photo © designboom


national zoological park washington signage, 1973
photo © designboom


view of the exhibition
photo © designboom


mexico city metro identity and station identifiers, 1969
photo © designboom


mexico city metro identity and station identifiers, 1969
photo © designboom


mexico city metro identity and station identifiers, 1969
photo © designboom


mexico city metro identity – first metro tickets, 1969
photo © designboom


mexico city metro signage designs, 1969
photo © designboom


mexico city metro signpost, 1969
photo © designboom


mexico city metro station signage, 1969
photo © designboom



mexico olympics 1968 logo (with mexico 68 design team) – the starting point was the mandatory five-ring logo that identifies the modern olympic games. it was the realization that the geometry of the five rings could be expanded to generate the number ’68′, the year of the games and with the addition of the word ‘mexico’ the logotype was created.



mexico olympics 1968 – various applications and explorations of the identity
photo © designboom


mexico olympics 1968 – traveling exhibition stands
photo © designboom


mexico olympics 1968 – traveling exhibition stands
photo © designboom


mexico olympics 1968 – postage stamps
photo © designboom


mexico olympics 1968 – lance wyman with the mexico 68 logo at the time of the games
original photo by malcolm kirk


mexico 1970 world cup postage stamp and commemorative envelope, 1969


mexico 1970 world cup postage stamp and commemorative envelope, 1969


museum of contemporary art monterrey, MARCO logo, 1990
photo © designboom


diagram of the 3D MARCO logo , 1990
photo © designboom



logo for central de abasto (produce market in mexico), 1981



logo for central de abasto, 1981
photo © designboom


central de abasto market icons, 1981
photo © designboom



interective archive of wyman’s work – to coincide with exhibition lance wyman has launched a new responsive version of his website featuring over 150 projects – browse the archive at
photo © designboom



lance wyman monograph published by MUAC and editorial RM
photo © designboom

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