Help me brainstorm!!!

Help me brainstorm!!!

What do you associate with “return”?

By “return”, it can be the action of returning, or whatever emotion that you associate with return. So it’s pretty wide, just throw anything you have in mind.

Please don’t ever analyse this. Instinctive answers are the most prefered.


‘get back’ (return that item to me), enter (on the keyboard), post (return to sender), visiting/travling (travel, I want to return to…) Boomerang (see pic) yo-yo, Shopping (returning an item) - poor quality, dislike, change of mind.

I hope that helps, its quite a tough one.

My first instinct was “return on investment”. What do I get after I put in? … And that connotation actually stayed there pretty long. Some of the secondary responses for me would be ‘returning’ as in returning something that was lost…

that was my first take too

next was returning something to the store something broken, unneeded, bought the wrong thing, a gift, etc.

finally, second leg of a round trip flight, or going home

-going home.

-turning something again that hasn’t been properly turned the first time.

-Going twice in a row during a game of scrabble.


-Shamefully handing something to someone


-Return of the mack

-Letting down mom when you’re bringing back christmas sweaters to the store.


-TCB Taking Care of Business

-Book returns, all night book returns


  1. -or- regift.

  2. China sends new electronics to the US. The US sends electronics-waste back to China.

  3. 50 years: amount of time it will take us to return to the moon.

seeing a loved one leave, closing the door, the garden gate, and thinking: will she ever return.

Michael Jordan.

he leaves, he returns. he leaves …he buys a team…he returns and plays on the team he owns…etc etc.

I am basically trying to find a way to illustrate the concept of “return”. It’s hard because there’s just very few things we do in our lifestyle that “return”. There’s plenty of examples for its opposite.

So I am thinking of 2 ways to do it.

  1. Use something that people associate with “return”(Product sementics)

  2. Invent something to become the icon of “return”.

Of course this is will be my job, but I am using this brainstorm to find clues to what it may be.

Thanks everyone! But keep them coming!!! :smiley:

initial RETURN hings

books (library)
to sender (elvis)
phone call - communication
computer return - function / carriage return
return shot in tennis / ping pong

Things that RETURN

morning glory
seattle rain
migratory birds
return flight


re- again ; implies cycle \ undoing

turn - your/mine (possesion) rotate revolve turn around (corner) u turn

go back again…

thats all i got

-Kids now when they go off to college. The normally return to live with their parents for a year or so.

-My dog. She goes out an roams around on my parents property but she always will return.

-Loyalty- If a person is loyal to a brand they usually return to buy it again and again.

-Enter key on a mac

-The Damn Ground Hog in my back yard. No matter what I do he keeps returning.

Recycling could be an illustration of return.
Composting returns waste into soil.

Nature does it all the time.

Plants producing seeds.

The company Scrapile takes wood scraps in there neighborhood and returns it to consumers in the form of mid-high end furniture.


for an illustration i imagine a symbol variation of the recycling symbol that depicts an oldmachine sprouting flowers-seeds coming out of the flower and the seeds sprouting into a product.

I use the term a lot to refer to the edge surface of any flat piece of material

Mobius Strip

Just like the recycle logo.

Return I think of something going back to a source.

Image wise a big lake with a small stream coming off it , looping round and then rejoining the lake later on.

Or an offshoot of a plant rejoining it later on.

Something like that

a lot of this makes me think
Lion King

The Circle of Life