This paper discusses the value and interpretive risks when using iconography for system understanding using the rich picture tool. It is suggested that a visual language of pictures offers a way of global communication that far exceeds the limitations of text and speech. We argue that a simple graphic can be rapidly communicated, processed and transmitted within a large and culturally diverse audience in a way that is unique to graphic images. We suggest a natural intrinsic grammar belongs to the rich picture in terms of relationships, shape, connectors, context and sub-boundaries.