Visual Mind Games : when the mind takes over and goes graphical

Posted on December 29, 2008. Filed under: Designers, English, History, maps | Tags: , , , , |

As most of the readers of this blog, you are already familiar with MindMapping (“carte heuristique”). In anticipation to the meetup of the French visual thinking community (Cafe Carto 2.0, last Dec. 17th in La Cantine, Paris) where all participants were asked to present themeselves via a map, I wanted to look at different “mapping” techniques. The MindMapping meme / school being quite strong in that community (and to some respects in France : see Petillant), I have been revisiting other visual mind games and found quite a few.



Guillaume Apollinaire

Cadavre Exquis by Prevert, Breton and Co


  • Another popular visual mind game is the doodle (“griffonnage” or “crayonnage” in French), that designer Dennis Hwang made a key part of the Google brand. During the last seminar I attended there were a good 5 doodlers in the room (at least that left their doodles behind them …). Not to be mixed up with the very useful meeting sscheduling tool, it is a key part of school age : who hasn’t doodled on his books or notebooks ? Many still do as an adult, during conferences, phone calls, etc… Some psychologists and cogniticians have dwelved on why we doodle, and what it tells about someone’s profile or state of mind (the “alphabet” of doodles.

Google doodles       Doodle notebook


  • Maybe the last game I found is rebus, a visual word puzzle. Like most games, often played in childhood, it enabled me to work with pictures, so that’s the technique I used for my map (see below). I later discovered that rebus generator, but because mine is a mix of French and English … and I had specific images in my mind, I wouldn’t have used it anyway.


You Scie ouate aie mine : Vis sue ali a sion dés cône essence

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