Vignelli’s schematic spirit lives on strongly in the nation’s capital, as the Italian-born designer advised designer Lance Wyman
on his 1976 schematic for the Washington Metro, a design that underwent a 2011 tweak without vast changes. To honor D.C.’s role in national history, Wyman included stylized drawings of some major landmarks within The Mall, such as the Washington Monument and the White House, and used The Mall as a center point for orienting travel around the city. The newest rendition even provides a darker green shading for The Mall and this emphasis on government landmarks puts D.C. proper in the limelight, with the outlying suburbs somewhat sidelined—just as in real life. “I had to work very carefully to keep it diagrammatic,” Wyman says. “The bottom line is to keep it as clear as possible.” The color coding, the angled Metro line routes and the system of prominent nested circles representing the stops create a crisp, professional look that has stood the test of time and fits with the proper feel within the nation’s capital.