Mind Mapping technique’s uses in Graphic Design. The most difficult part of being a creative of any kind is idea generation. Why do you think there are so many copy-cats out there? There are several methods available to brainstorm.

Mind mapping has been around since the 70’s, it’s uses and attraction is snowballing. So what is it? And how does it apply to Graphic Design?


A mind map is an intricate web of thoughts, ideas, names, words and images that all stem from one central idea or word in diagram form.

Many designers use Mind Mapping to brainstorm and generate ideas. The loose and visual manner in which a mind map is created is not only a fantastic tool to ‘free up’ creativity, its a great way to communicate to clients, team members and professors while in a design’s concept phase.

MIND MAPPING: Looking onto It

Lets look at a mind map that has a topic that we are all familiar with before looking at a mind map in terms of a design tool.

Minds Mapping Techniques used in Graphic Design

One can see in the Mind Map above, the author has started with a central topic ‘Solving Global Warming’. The main points then radiate outward from the centre. These represent the main points of the Mind Map. Each one of these points sprouts its own branches and twigs. This star-like pattern of ideas is referred to as ‘Radiant Thinking’.


Mind mapping expert Paul Foreman has dedicated an enormous amount of time to the study of mind mapping, in his e-book entitled “Idea Creation”, he shares his philosophy on opening up your mind to the creation of ideas through mind mapping:

Everything stems from a thought
Every thought is a word
Every idea is a thought
Every word is a potential idea
Every image is a potential idea
Every thought is a potential idea
Good thoughts come when bad thoughts stop
Good ideas come when bad ideas go
You flick your brains switch to ‘on’ when you stop over-thinking
Once you still the mind ideas come
Patience allows time for ideas to evolve
Preconceived notions only breed preconceived ideas
Stressing for answers brings stressful results
Stretching your mind is effortless and simple
Saying: “I can’t think of anything” Really means: “I think I can’t think of anything”
Ideas don’t dry up – thoughts do


So, now that you know a little of how mind mapping works. How can you use a mind map while generating design ideas?

We contacted Damien Horan. Renowned graphic designer for international surf brands, Mambo, Volcom, Insight and a successful Freelance graphic designer in his own right.

Damien recently designed the logo and branding for hip new restaurant/bar “Little Avalon” (named after the local surf break). Damien, having lived and surfed in the area for years knew all there was to know about the local surf culture.

Damien worked in conjunction with infamous Mambo graphic designer and artist Jim Mitchel, in developing the concepts and ideas for the bar. Damien knew that the bar had to appeal to the surf culture in order to ‘make it’ in the Avalon scene.

Owner operator Shane Clinton, wanted the ambience of a chic inner city bar, with the familial feeling of local surf shops. It was important that the branding of Little Avalon, combine the culture of city and surf. Not an easy task.

Mind mapping uses in Graphic designing

Damien had received his client brief and used these to define the map’s main branches. The results of his research and images were then applied to the outer branches/twigs. Applying these words and images to a mind map helped create visuals, with relevant connections between the maps branches as well as between the twigs. Creating a somewhat intricate, yet easy to read, visual embodiment of all design aspects that the logo needed to encompass.

Points realised throughout the process:

Typeface must have serifs that represent the organic shape of a wave.
Inspired by a B&W photo of the area the color palette became very dark. Keeping it crisp, black and white were chosen.
Exploring the available typefaces with curved serifs, he was inspired to create his own font.
An abbreviated version of ‘Little Avalon’… ‘LA’ was the locals appelation of the surf break, therefore essential to feature it in the branding.
The ‘LA’ and ‘Little Avalon’ where to remain independent of each other.


Hand drawn sketches for Mind Mapping




Final Logo

More About Mine Mapping and Graphic Design:

Though, this was a lot to share about something new here, still there is a lot more left. We will keep you updated with our blog posts here. Stay tuned, and make the right career choice.

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