Monday, October 29

the power of mind mapping or creativity at the flick of a switch

How can a designer find ideas? Pull them out of a hat? Rely on muse?

Introducing the revolutionary idea-o-thing-a-majigger! Instantly produce stellar ideas with little to no effort! Just plug it in and with the flick of a switch you're on your way to great design!

That's just never going to happen. Good solid concepts come through hard work. Period. Here's one of the methods used by designers for ideation.

The method is Mind Mapping (perhaps you're already familiar with this). This is one way to do it.

First let's say we're working on a logo for a restaurant. The Dancing Fiddle. Probably not a very good name but that's what we have to work with. First it's 2 words. Dancing is first so we'll work with that first.

Take a few sheets of paper or more and a pen.

Might as well include colored felt pens. They help organize things.

In the center we write "dancing" and draw a circle around it. Because it's our central idea.

Now comes the fun part. Think of the first thing that comes to mind in relation to dancing - I think of ballet - and draw a line from the circle and write "ballet".

Immediately upon thinking ballet I think of something else. Just so happens it's related to ballet, so I connect it to ballet with a line. Eventually we start to get a veritable map of ideas/concepts.

No sense stopping now! We keep going and use different colors when we branch out into other concepts. Tango. Rave. Fiddle etc...

Pretty soon we will have several ideas. I didn't even finish my mind map and it just took 3 minutes to do it and arrived at 4 different concepts with about 15 sub-concepts. It's just a start though.

If you use this tool regularly you will begin to learn to analyze the map to see reoccurring themes, patterns, contrasts and many other things that will be useful when you start your creative sketching.

And that, my friends, is good design.

Just so you don't forget this I'm giving you the assignment I started. "The Dancing Fiddle". Take 10 minutes and see how many wild ideas you can come up with.

Have fun!

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