What is Venn Diagram

Know it All about Venn Diagram

Part 1: What is Venn Diagram

a Venn diagram "is a visual diagram composed of two or more circles and is used to illustrate logical relationships between sets of items." The circle or ellipses overlaps each other to create different sets of relationships. Some of the key terms that you should know about Venn diagrams are:

  • Set: In a Venn diagram, a circle refers to a set
  • Union: This refers to the intersection point where two processes/circles meet. For example, A union B shows the overlapping of two circles, A and B.
  • Universe: This refers to a rectangle in which these circles are typically sketched in, and it denotes all relevant data. For example, you want to find out the birds that can fly; therefore, all birds with wings will represent the universe from which you derive your comparison.

Part 2: History of Venn Diagram

Venn diagrams first appeared in 1880 in the Philosophical Magazine and Journal of Science, in a paper entitled "On the Diagrammatic and Mechanical Representation of Propositions and Reasonings," by John Venn. The paper was about the "different ways to represent propositions by diagrams."

The interesting bit is that John Venn isn't the actual father of Venn diagrams, and in fact, he never named it after his name. Instead, John is the one that surveyed and formalized their usage, meaning they are slightly associated with Venn. Originally, Venn had named it "Eulerian Circles," but later in 1918, Clarence Irving Lewis used the term "Venn diagram" in his book A Survey of Symbolic Logic.

Interestingly, the Venn diagram has been in use since the 18th century, with Leonhard Euler being the original inventor, and that's why Venn had named it Euler diagrams before its evolution. In the 20th century, further development in Venn diagrams occurred, with David Wilson Henderson's 1963 proposals being the key development. Furthermore, in the 1960s, it was included as part of set theory as one of the new math movements.

Part 3: Advantages and Disadvantages of Venn Diagram

What are the benefits of using a Venn diagram, and why should you use it?

Like any other visual representation diagram Venn diagram also has its benefits and limitations, and we are going to highlight some here:


  • It is suitable for visual learners since it allows individuals to visualize relationships and concepts.
  • It is ideal for use when you're analyzing overlapping concepts
  • Helps in information retain thanks to its colorful nature that helps people associate specific information with a particular color.
  • It helps represent complex thought more understandably by distilling it.


  • If many classes/objects are being compared, a Venn diagram becomes more completed to handle and interpret.
  • It has limited expressive power. What this means is that, with the Venn diagram, there are several pieces of information that cannot be accurately represented. Even though you can introduce other simples to help represent those pieces, it doesn't actually solve it all since some information cannot be represented.

Part 4: What is a Venn Diagram Used For?

It is normal to wonder where to apply/use this diagram, considering its incredible benefits. Luckily, a Venn diagram has a wide use making it ideal for use in several fields, including:

    a) Business field

    Nowadays, every business set-up tries to utilize any influential and analytical tool that proves to be beneficial in any way. Therefore, this makes the Venn diagram a perfect tool since it can be applied in several business-related activities, such as marketing. It can be used in the marketing field to compare and contrasts products and services as well as to analyze several strategic plans.

    Other applicable places in the business field include competitor analysis, product comparisons, and decisions making.

    b) Education Field

    A Venn diagram can be used in the educational field to complete or achieve different goals. For example, you can use it to study how languages relate or differ in terms of pronunciation, vowels, alphabets, etc. This diagram can also be used when studying similarities and differences of two items, animals, etc. For example, it can be used to explain math concepts like unions, sets, and intersections.

    Furthermore, when it comes to arguments and conclusions, a Venn diagram has proven to be efficient in determining logical grounds. It helps create deductive reasoning, which is essential in deciphering what is logically possible.

    c) Technology & Engineering filed

    This diagram has also proven essential in the technology field, such as computer science or app developments. For example, when using or developing a computer system, a geek and programmer can use this diagram to get or create a clear picture of computer algorithims.

Conclusively, this diagram can be applied in other fields apart from the one listed above so long as they prove to be a relevant analysis or study tool.

Part 5: Types of Venn diagram

There are several types of Venn diagram, but in this post, we will discuss the three main types:

  1. Two-Set Diagrams: This is actually the simplest type of Venn diagram both in designing it as well as interpreting it since it only comprises two circles or ovals.
  2. Three-Set Diagrams: This is a Venn diagram made up of three circles. Its idea is still simpler, and it helps show comparisons between three different available categories.
  3. Four-Set Diagrams: This type of Venn diagram comprises four overlapping circles or ovals, which helps compare four different sets.
  4. Five-Set Diagram: Finally, the last type of Venn diagram is distinguished by five overlapping circles or ovals. This is the complex one of all other diagram types since it includes sets with different components in each set that need to be illustrated. This type is suitable when comparing five elements; however, it can easily become so cluttered if you're not careful.

Part 6: Common Symbols of Venn diagram

Apart from a circle representing a set, there are three main symbols used in seven diagrams: the union, intersection, and complement. So, let's see what each of these symbols stands for and how to use them.

  • 1. Union
  • The Venn diagram below shows the union of A and B, or A ∪ B. So, what does this mean?

    Let's say this diagram compares features of a car and train, so taking circle A to represent a car and Circle B to represent a Train. Therefore A ∪ B will represent all the features that both car and train have.

    A ∪ B

  • 2. Intersection
  • The overlapping area between both circles represents the intersection of A and B, or A ∩ B.

    So, using the same example used above, the A ∩ B will in real life mean common features that a car and a train have, such us both can facilitate safe and luxurious travel.

    A ∩ B

  • 3. Complement
  • Finally, here comes complement, which can also be noted as an absolute complement. This symbol can be denoted by A^C=U/A.

    Using the same example again, the absolute complement of A is everything in B, excluding what is in the intersection area.


Part 7: Tips for Creating a Professional Venn Diagram

Wondering how to make an awesome Venn diagram? Follow the tips below to learn how to create a professionally designed chart:

  • The first and essential tip is to avoid cluttered graphics. Ensuring a clean look when designing your diagram (even when adding descriptions outside the overlaid zones) gives it a professional look.
  • Be creative. Play with symbols or use icons etc., to give your graphics that much-needed better and comprehensive look. Furthermore, you don't have to stick to ovals or circles only; play with other relevant shapes.
  • Use legible fonts: color and fonts influence the readability of a diagram. Therefore, you must use the right fonts that are readable but don't forget to pay attention to typography spacing, size, and other relevant factors.
  • Use the right colors. In fact, to create an attractive and understandable diagram, you will have to give each sets a different color. To encourage viewers to take the action you want, you should choose appropriate colors after reading the psychology behind them.


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  • Part 8: A Example of Venn Diagram

    Wondering how to make an awesome Venn diagram? Follow the tips below to learn how to create a professionally designed chart:

    • Union of sets: In this diagram the union shows all characteristics that exist in both plants and animals.
    • Intersection of sets: This part of the diagram depicts only the common characteristics, such as the nucleus, cell, membrane, and cytoplasm.
    • Complement of a set: An absolute complement of animals depicts every element that is unique only to plants, such as rigid, rectangular, cell wall, and chloroplasts.

    professionally designed chart

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