## 31 Jul What is a Venn Diagram?

A Venn diagram uses overlapping circles to represent the relationship between two or more sets of items highlighting how items are similar or different. Within each set of objects or entities there are some commonalities allowing the sets to intersect. The overlapping area of the Venn diagram is called the ‘intersection’.

The example below originally created by Stephen Wildish shows the intersection between these three ingredients is pancakes!

Venn diagrams are powerful in their simplicity and are great for comparing things visually and for being able to quickly identify overlaps.

English logician, John Venn, popularised the Venn diagram in the 1880s. Venn diagrams are also known as logic diagrams or set diagrams and were invented for a branch of mathematics called set theory.

Venn furthered the work of Leonhard Euler, a Swiss mathematician who came up with a simple way to represent two common concepts known as Eulerian Circles to represent the relationship between two sets:

“All of X is Y”

“None of X is Y”

Venn furthered this basic concept to include “some of X is Y and some of Y is X”

The Venn Diagram is now widely used to show relationships between sets and is used to represent the intersection of two ideas (beautiful.ai).

As well as being an incredibly useful tool for visually representing data, Venn Diagrams have become a bit of a staple of the ‘meme’ chart toolkit too. We’ll be writing more about this soon so stay tuned by subscribing to our blog to learn more.

You can create your own Venn diagram on The Big Crunch here.

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