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1968 Mexico City Olympic Games Lance Wyman

NEELY SUTTER

IDES 421 | SUMMER 2018

07.09.18


Finding the Heart of Mexico At a time of turbulence, social unrest, and an identity crisis within the country, Lance Wyman was able to capture the true spirit of Mexico within his designs. Borrowing from Mexican icons (ie. Luis Ramiro Barragán), Wyman’s team was able to create a multi-lingual way-finding system that was modern and efficient yet warm and celebratory of the city’s rich Latin history.

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IDES 421 | SUMMER 2018


“ Create an image showing that the games are in Mexico that isn’t an image of a Mexican wearing a sombrero sleeping under a cactus.” - Lance Wyman

IDES 421 | SUMMER 2018

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IDES 421 | SUMMER 2018


The Mexico City Olympic games took place in the summer of 1968 and was ground breaking in many ways. This Olympics featured the latinamerican host, new sports technology, and American civil rights. Further, the game was plagued by many challenges including politics, violence and a disparate need for an effective communication system. The Mexico City Olympic Games marked the first Spanish speaking country to host the games and presented a challenge for multilingual wayfinding in the heart of one of the world’s most populated cities. That alone would be no small task, but designer Lance Wyman took his task further by embracing the culture, lifestyle and people of Mexico City in his designs. Wyman, who won the opportunity to brand the city in a 2-week logo contest, created a look that simultaneously celebrated the symbol and Mexican culture. This was a strategic move in many ways. First the radiating lines allowed for the brand to directly relate back to the Olympic rings logo. The skewing of the Olympic rings would be impossible today with brand standards but served as one the wayfinding systems biggest faults and biggest rewards. Wyman’s liberal usage of the rings lead to the last time a design was allowed to be so generous with the regarded symbol. Secondly, with much of Mexico being illiterate and a large population of foreign language speakers relying on the brand, symbols would be crucial to communication. Lastly, creating a brand that based on symbols allowed for Wyman and his team to adapt it to any application needed in the city. This ease of function created a strong graphic brand that could be recognized within any situation, on any product, and in any environment. Beyond the brand, Lance Wyman incorporated wayfinding techniques with the built environment of the Olympic games. Wyman created intriguing spaces with his wayfinding system without the excessive architecture that is now expected with the Olympic games. One of the most noticeable was large balloons to signify stadium entrances. Not as noticeable, but perhaps more revolutionary, is the creation of modular signage poles that allowed for a pick place system depending on needs. One of the biggest strengths of Wyman’s design is the efficiency. Everything that was incorporated into the wayfinding program of the Olympic games had both an aesthetic and productive role. Even the tickets of the events were beautifully designed within the overall brand, but also specific to the event, stadium, section and seat. They served as both a design token and a mini road map to the visitor’s seat.

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Sources Cited “Behind the Iconic Graphics from 1968, from the Artists Who Created Them.” The Washington Post. Accessed July 10, 2018. https://wwwwashingtonpost.com/news/national/ wp/2018/05/30/feature/behind-the-iconic-graphics-from-1968-from-the-artists-who-created-them/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.a9162f67fbd2. Byrne, Emmet. “Radiant Discord: Lance Wyman on the ‘68 Olympic Design and the Tlatelolco Massacre.” Walker Art Center. Accessed July 10, 2018. https://walkerart.org/magazine/lance wyman-mexico-68-olympics-tlatelolco-massacre. Knapp, Pat. “1968 Mexico City Olympics.” SEGD. February 18, 2014. Accessed July 10, 2018. https://segd.org/1968-mexico-city-olympics.

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IDES 421 | SUMMER 2018

IDES-421_W1:B  

2_ Do some additional research on a specific historical wayfinding system which you find interesting/significant. Design a creative document...

IDES-421_W1:B  

2_ Do some additional research on a specific historical wayfinding system which you find interesting/significant. Design a creative document...

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