Mind Mapping & Concepts

One of the toughest things for newer designers to learn is that concept is king. There has to be a concept behind everything you do. A concept gives your design solution a direction in which to travel. The most successful design solutions for your clients will be the ones that are concept driven. So how do you generate these award-winning concepts? There are tons of different methods for doing that. The one I’m going to talk about today is mind mapping.

mind mapping

Why Mind Mapping?

Mind Mapping helps you to make connections. Mind mapping enables you to build on concepts and ideas, without leaving anything behind. You can keep building and building by adding more branches.

Why Does Mind Mapping Work?

Some prefer mind mapping over any other idea or concept creation method. The reason is that it helps people get going. That seems to be the hardest part of coming up with any concept. To some, there is nothing more intimidating than staring at a blank page. Once you get started, you begin to warm up and get the juices flowing.

Mind Mapping Gets You Thinking About The Project

Forcing yourself to continue to dig deeper is where the good concepts come from. Instead of looking at the massive project and trying to will your way into a great idea, you focus all of your efforts in controlled bursts.

Mind Mapping Breaks Things Down Piece By Piece

Instead of looking at the entire project as a whole, you take it on a section at a time. You write down all of the thoughts or ideas that you can relate to a section of your mind map. Each branch of your mind map can break out into an entirely new section that has numerous branches of it’s own. That’s how you build a flexible design solution that not only has creativity, but that also has longevity. Longevity reinforces recognition, and also gets your client the most bang for their buck.

Here’s An Example

Think about the Geico Gecko. It’s been around for years. Think about how many different variations and directions they’ve taken the gecko. First, he was being confused with Geico, and he was upset. Then, he became their full blown mascot. Every commercial for the past decade could easy be a branch of Geico’s mind map. What’s great about the Geico Gecko is that they don’t have to use him every time, but when he appears, most people know who he is.

Mind Maps Are versatile

Mind mapping enables you to focus on whatever you need to. Your mind map can be topical, or it can be completely conceptual. This flexibility helps you to work through your problems, which help you to find a solution faster, and easier. With a mind map, you can stop at each section of the project and explore it in all directions. A good strategy is to see how many different directions you can take with that part.


Do you use mind maps for developing concepts? If not, how do you generate concepts? Everyone has their own methods. There are tons of techniques out there for idea generation. You just have to do what’s right for you.

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