Lance Wyman and the Mexico City Metro

In 1969, Lance Wyman’s pictograms for the Mexico City Metro brought radical thinking to the design of a new public transport system. So that the signage would be understood by everyone, Wyman devised a series of symbols for the stations that could also be expressed verbally – Metro passengers could then travel from grasshopper to duck, via eagle head and fountain. In an extract from Unit Editions’ new monograph on the US designer, Adrian Shaughnessy charts the significance of Wyman’s project and the symbols that were adopted by local communities while influencing designers across the world