How to brainstorm a good idea
Brainstorming is essential when starting a business. Especially for branding a business. You want to stand out from your competitors and to do so you need unique and original ideas. You might need to brainstorm what to name your company, how to get more clients, or yearly goals, all of which you can use mind mapping for, but in this article we’re going to focus more on logo ideas. In this post I’m going to show you how I mind map using an example from a past client, Sung Moon Photography.
The first thing I do is pull out all my notes from the consultation. If you’re working through this on your own, be sure to see the post Nine questions you should be able to answer about your business. You can also sign up for my newsletter, and you’ll get a workbook you can print and fill out. I look at all the words that have significant meaning towards their business and write them out on a piece of paper.
Now the next thing you’re going to do is add words that are associated with the words already written on your page. So for example, I wrote friendly down as a word my client voiced in the consultation. Words that make me think of personable are charming, likable, and pleasant. Once I’ve written all the words I can think of, I go to thesaurus.com and search personable. They recommend affable, amiable and gregarious. I would then add those words to the friendly box. Now, I search for idiom associations. An idiom, according to the dictionary, is a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words (e.g., rain cats and dogs, see the light ). So my next move with this client is to search for idioms dealing with being friendly or personable. Sometimes thesaurus.com will supply these for you, or you could search idioms specifically. In this situation, the thesaurus brought back “White-hat” (as in a person wearing a white hat is the good guy) and “A good egg.” You can already see how this is becoming more visual. Finally, I gather inspiration from one more place. Another word that my client mentioned in his consultation was rare and unique. Aside from finding synonyms for those terms, I also searched for the most rare things in the world. I came back with flying fish, white peacock, red banana, and jeweled squid. Again, it’s very visual and you can start to imagine these as a logo and it helps give a story to your logo.
Keep in mind that no idea is a bad idea and each crazy thought leads you closer to a genius idea. When I talk to people about my work, the usual response is “I’m not creative. I could never be a designer.” My rebuttal is everyone can be creative it just takes practice like anything else. Mind mapping is a great way to practice creativity. Your brain will recognize patterns and each time you do it, you’ll come up with even better ideas.
To recap, here are the steps I take through mind mapping:
Write down all the keywords from consultation or workbook questions
Write down any words you associate with the keywords
Use Thesaurus.com to find word associations
Look up idioms for ideas
Research tangible items that are associated with your keywords
Here you can see the final logo designs created for Sung Moon Photography. We used both a hat symbol (for white hat) and red bananas.
Have you mind mapped before? I would love to hear how it worked out for you. As always, if you need help getting through this exercise, feel free to reach out.