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visually telling the time

I designed a set of visual aids to help educate parents I did this for Catholic Care NT In 2018

Project background

As part of a series of work for Catholic Care's family support program, I was asked to design a set of graphics which would be used by the social workers on site to help new parents and families establish routines around traditional meal and bedtimes to support the development of healthy children.

Problem / Why

New parents often didn’t have a strong concept of care for children, often distracted by drug, alcohol or other family reasons. Catholic Care’s mission was to re-educate or show new families how to care for their children.

“What we need is a picture form medium for adults and parents to:"

• Promote conversation around family routines.

• Understand eating patterns and types of food families eat daily.

• What times families eat throughout the day.

• Bedtimes for children and parents.

• Telling the time for breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner, bedtime.

design prototype Mapping points on an arc to represent sunrise to sunset

Concept / Ideate

I explored a couple of options but with the vast majority of families inibality/limited ability to read or speak English, a simple yet effective picture form with minimal wording was the preferred deliverable.

Other Considerations

• No internet access (Print only project)

• Low quality / at home printing.

• Black and white photocopies.

• The families couldn’t tell the time (analogue or digital).


Using the sun image was an easy concept for everyone to understand - It's position, the shadows it casts and the changing colour of the sky throughout the day are a universally understood way of telling the time.

I provided a few different options with the preferred look which was colourful, approachable and family friendly. The chosen concept kept the focus on sun position and shadow while the landscape was representative of the surroundings in NT.

design prototype Illustration style inspired by children's cardboard cut out craft projects.
chosen concept Chosen concept


I delivered 7 screens (as high res PDFs to be printed and laminated) which represented different times throughout the day. These would be used for teaching purposes and hung around classrooms and given as handouts in conjunction with other information about developing healthy meal and feeding habits.

In the final design, I included the name of the associated meal times as well as small visual cues to introduce the idea of an analogue clock face and the relative position of the hands to where the sun might be in the sky

design prototype A copy of the final images in use