What makes our visuals so unique


A visual support system...

The little black duck visuals are unique to any other visual support available on the market. This is a big claim, but we don't make this statement lightly. There is 10 years of research and trial and error, design features, thought and forward planning that has gone into creating each design. Plus the copious amounts of research out there on how effective visual supports are in general. You don't have to take our word for it though, take a closer look at our visual support system and see what all the hype is about.

The biggest difference with The Little Black Duck visuals is that they are a whole support system. Because we are all about how best to communicate effectively, our visuals more than a simple picture. But what does this mean? This means that

our visuals are designed to be used as an efficient and effective form of visual communication that incorporates developmental and communication design theories into a tidy little package.vis8

Our visuals take into account the way you live your life and are therefore available in digital and printed format, they can be used across several devices and come in small enough sizes that printed versions can fit on a keyring or in a handbag, or large enough to pin to your home or school busyboard.

All the visuals created at The Little Black Duck are custom made and can be customised to suit your needs. They have all been tested in real world settings for effectiveness and usability

Our visuals come already using Comic Strip Conversation colours to express emotions and feelings and incorporates design principals that are expressed in the system. We also incorporate elements of keyword sign and basic symbols. By incorporating these elements already within the design each visual can:

  • express more information is a smaller space
  • become more versatile, being able to be used across mediums and environments
  • grow with the person using them


Non-gender specific characters

All The Little Black Duck visuals use non-gender specific characters. This helps the user focus on the content over identifying with, or fixating on the characters gender. It becomes all about the visual then and not their clothes, haircut or gender

Speech bubbles

Comic Strip speech bubbles are used to indicate who is talking, who should be listening, the order of conversations and when conversations are interrupted. They can be colour coded to indicate emotion.


Part of The Little Black Duck Visual Communication System includes a symbol set that can be used to express information quickly without the need to read words. These symbols are based on information we already know, so they are instinctive to use.

Keyword Signs

Keyword sign symbols are incorporated within the visuals. This serves 2 purposes, 1. convey information quickly and efficently 2. creates familarity 3. encourages communication when spoken language fails

Simple Icons

Our system of simplified icons can be used to convey a lot of information very quickly. They can be used as shorthand when doing comic strip conversations and any other form visual communication that utalises speaking and drawing

Colour Coded Graphics

The colours used in our visuals are based on Carol Grey’s Comic Strip Conversations. They are designed to convey emotions and feelings effectively. By using the same system the visual grows with the child and maintains usefulness as they become teens.

Facial expressions

Our facial expressions are clear and simplified for easy recognition. Some expressions are over exaggerated to express the emotion behind it. Combined with a colour coding system you gain a powerful too for communication

Thought bubbles

Thought bubbles are used to express thoughts, these can be colour coded and contain symbols or icons. Thought bubbles help develop theory of mind as the use r learns that people are not always thinking what they are thinking