El Palacio de Hierro is one of Mexico’s leading retailers, with department stores throughout the country. It is one brand, but each store features unique design elements that draw on the history and character of their location.
The renovations on the Pedregal store in Mexico City began in 2018, and Lance Wyman‘s work in Mexico in the 1960s and 70s, which includes design for the Mexico Olympics in 1968, the World Cup in 1970 and the Mexico City Metro was mentioned in the brief.
“El Palacio de Hierro approached us to create a unique identity for the Pedregal store,” says Andy Butler, creative director at Deduce. “They requested something ‘modern but timeless’ that referenced the work Lance had done in Mexico during the 60s, the period that the Pedregal area of the city was developed.”
“It was important that our solution worked well across architectural applications and could be used alongside the principal El Palacio de Hierro logo. We were also required to use Palacio’s colour scheme of black and yellow,” Butler continues. “While Lance and I were kicking ideas back and forth, we settled on a logo that embraced the multiple Ps in the name, since it could be symmetrical and allow for patterns.
“At the same time we were looking at architectural references and realised we could use the Ps to create an ‘eye of the bull’ – a quatrefoil shape that you find all over Mexico City. We referenced the bold lines from Pre-Hispanic art and gradually resolved the logo, which set the tone for the rest of the project.”
The duo then used the logo as a starting point from which they developed a custom typeface and pictograms for the wayfinding system. “Several patterns are made by repeating the logo and these are applied to many different surfaces from metalwork to wood and tiles and packaging,” says Butler. “We then designed a custom two-stroke typeface based on the P from the logo and a set of pictograms for the wayfinding system.”
This is not the first time that Butler and Wyman have worked together. “I have collaborated with Lance several times over the last six or seven years,” says Butler. “I wrote about his work for Designboom in 2013, that’s how we met and became friends. A year later he asked me to help out on some aspects of his retrospective exhibition at MUAC in 2014 and I worked with him on his website which we are in the process of revamping. We collaborated on an identity for a design festival in 2016 and a pin to raise relief funds for the Mexico earthquake in 2017. We are also working on some projects together that are still in progress.”
Butler describes working on the Pedregal project as “a lot of fun”. “It was one of those instances where everything came together and gelled between the design team and the client,” he says. “We had a clear brief and myself and Lance work well together so it was a lot of fun and as always working with Lance I learned a lot.”
The new design at El Palacio de Hierro will be implemented throughout 2020.
Creative director: Lance Wyman
Graphic design: Lance Wyman, Andy Butler