Data Visualization

How to Build a Beautiful Venn Diagram

Jordan Turner
July 15, 2021
 min read
How to Build a Beautiful Venn DiagramHow to Build a Beautiful Venn Diagram
Table of Contents

If you’re used to giving presentations, you’re no stranger to data visualization. Charts, graphs, and diagrams, oh my! Data visualization is at the forefront of most business decks because it helps illustrate different metrics and statistics in a more digestible way. And by digestible we mean your audience is actually paying attention to and retaining the information you’re presenting to them (instead of dozing off). In fact, 47% of designers create presentations to simplify complex information through visual context. Cue data visualization. 

Sure, using a graph to package your content sounds great in theory, but a lot of presenters struggle to find the right graph or chart. And using the wrong graph for your data is almost worse than using no graph at all. If you’re not laying out your information properly it’s going to be hard to understand on the receiving end, which means all your efforts were wasted. 

The first step in data visualization is understanding different charts, which one is best for your story, and what will make your data look good. The second step? Making it beautiful. In this blog we share everything you need to know about one of the most versatile and popular diagrams—the Venn diagram— and how to make it beautiful with little-to-no design experience. 

What is a Venn diagram

The Venn diagram has been around for ages. Swiss mathematician, Leonard Euler, is the mastermind behind the original Venn. Euler used the overlapping circles to depict the four categorical propositions of syllogism— The Universal Affirmative, The Universal Negative, The Particular Affirmative, The Particular Negative— and to represent logical conclusions. This model was used by mathematicians, scientists, and philosophers to help tell their story and make sense of their findings. 

Fast forward to the modern day Venn. The diagram as we know it in 2021 was reinvented by yet another mathematician, John Venn. He proposed to change Euler’s diagram in 1880 in his article “On the diagrammatic and mechanical representation of propositions and reasonings.” But still, it wasn’t officially coined as the Venn diagram until 1918 by the American philosopher Clarence Irvin. 

Today, it’s one of the most commonly used diagrams. Venn diagrams were created in an effort to effectively depict relationships between different groups of information. In their simplest form, they’re overlapping circles or other shapes to illustrate the logical relationships between two or more sets of items. And they’re wildly popular for all kinds of presentations. 

Venn diagram use cases

Venn diagrams are commonly used in business presentations, for sharing statistics, and for mapping out probability. You might use a Venn to identify qualities in your ideal employee candidate, different target audience demographics, the relation between two concepts like art and science, brand evaluation, or product-market fit. The Venn is extremely useful and versatile but it’s still important to know how and when to use it.

How to make a Venn diagram beautiful

Charts and graphs can be complicated if you don’t know what you’re doing. Here are five things to keep in mind when making your next Venn diagram.

What’s your key takeaway?

Before you get started, ask yourself what you’re trying to showcase. Your Venn diagram should clearly illustrate commonalities or differences between two sets of data, customer personas, survey results, competitive analysis, etc. Decide what your key takeaways are before you start plugging in your content.

Choose your colors wisely.

Venn diagrams are simple in nature, but you can still juj them up and add branding. While your colors should match the overall theme of your presentation, you can select different colors to represent each set of items. Play around with lighter-colored circles and darker backgrounds, or vice versa. 

Make sure your text is legible.

Experiment with different colors, but make sure your font has a nice contrast so that it’s legible within the circles. Stick to a basic font so that your audience can immediately identify what each circle in the Venn diagram represents without having to squint or strain their eyes. 

Use icons or images where you can.

A Venn is significantly easier on the eyes than if you were to list the same information out in plain text. That said, people are visual learners, and a bunch of overlapping circles on the slide might not be enough. Use relevant images or icons on the slide where appropriate to take it to the next level. 

Consider using more than one.

While less is more on each slide, don’t be afraid to use more than one Venn diagram to drive your point home if you have multiple variants or items to break down. A series of Venns can be extremely powerful to tell your story more effectively. 

Try a Venn diagram template

If you still don’t know where to start, there’s a template for that. Our biggest tip for creating a beautiful slide is to use a Venn diagram maker. The right Venn diagram template can help give you a starting point so that you don’t have to start from scratch. Simply pick the template, choose your theme, add your content and watch the diagram adapt with design best practices borrowed from the professionals. If even a blank template feels too daunting, we have an entire inspiration gallery filled with pre-built slide templates— including Venn diagrams— to help inspire your story. 

Jordan Turner

Jordan Turner

Jordan is a Bay Area writer, social media manager, and content strategist.