The main goal of this paper is to understand the formation of hexagonal patterns from the dynamical transition theory point of view. We consider the transitions from a steady state of an abstract nonlinear dissipative system. To shed light on the formation of mixed mode patterns such as the hexagonal pattern, we consider the case where the linearized operator of the system has two critical real eigenvalues, at a critical value lambda(c) of a control parameter lambda with associated eigenmodes having a roll and rectangular pattern. By using center manifold reduction, we obtain the reduced equations of the system near the critical transition value lambda(c). By a through analysis of these equations, we fully characterize all possible transition scenarios when the coefficients of the quadratic part of the reduced equations do not vanish. We consider three problems, two variants of the 2D Swift-Hohenberg equation and the 3D surface tension driven convection, to demonstrate that all the main theoretical results we obtain here are indeed realizable. (C) 2020 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.