How to create a pictogram: 12 steps (with pictures)

How to create a pictogram: 12 steps (with pictures)
How to create a pictogram: 12 steps (with pictures)

Pictograms represent an excellent support for interpreting data. In a presentation, report or to illustrate a point, pictograms provide a visual representation of information and numbers. Creating a pictogram is an easy way to add color and fun to a data presentation.


Part 1 of 3: Collect data

Make a Pictograph Step 1

Step 1. Choose a source for the data that the pictogram will represent

You can collect your own data by interviewing people or producing quantified data or you can use data that has already been collected.

  • Get information from online sources to collect data on the topic of your choice.
  • Ask your friends and family to answer your questions and collect data from people you know.
Make a Pictograph Step 2

Step 2. Make a list of all the data you have collected

Compile all the data and numbers into one list.

Organize your data in tabular form, with each item labeled and explained

Make a Pictograph Step 3

Step 3. Review your numbers

Make sure you have collected enough information to answer the question or present the information your pictogram should represent. If you are collecting information by region, make sure you have collected data from different regions to represent your data accurately.

Part 2 of 3: choose symbols

Make a Pictograph Step 4

Step 1. Describe what your pictogram represents

Briefly describe in writing what people should understand when looking at your pictogram. The description will help you determine which symbols you should use and ensure that you have made your pictogram correctly.

For example, "the number of pecans harvested in different regions in 2050"

Make a Pictograph Step 5

Step 2. Assign values ​​to the symbols

Define a numeric value that will be represented by a particular image. Using whole numbers, such as 10, 100, or 1000, is a good place to start.

  • Use different images to represent higher or lower values. A pecan nut can represent 1 million kg.
  • Use an image fraction, such as half a pecan nut, to represent a fraction of the total value. Half a pecan nut is equivalent to 500,000 kg.
Make a Pictograph Step 6

Step 3. Match your data to your symbols

In your data list, determine the images you will need to represent each group of data. Write down what you are going to draw to represent each piece of data collected. If you know that 7.5 million pecans were harvested in Georgia, you will draw 7.5 pecans.

Part 3 of 3: Create a pictogram

Make a Pictograph Step 7

Step 1. Decide if you are going to draw your pictograms or print them

A pictogram can be created using software such as Excel.

  • Drawing a pictogram by hand opens up endless possibilities in terms of creativity.
  • Making a pictogram with Excel is an easy way to create a professional chart.
  • Enter your data into an Excel spreadsheet.
  • Select your data and insert a histogram.
  • Click on the histogram and select To fill.
  • Select Fill image or texture and choose Clip art as the source of your image.
  • Click on Stack (stack) to change bars to images.
Make a Pictograph Step 8

Step 2. Draw and label the axes of your graph

A pictogram is a form of a graphic and has labels on the sides and bottom to explain what is depicted. The axes of a graph are a vertical line and a horizontal line that serve as the outer limit or margin of the graph.

  • Label an axis according to the category of data collected, for example “Regions”.
  • Label the other axis according to the type of data collected, for example “Number of pecans harvested”.
Make a Pictograph Step 9

Step 3. Draw symbols on the pictogram

From the data table you created, use images for each category of data.

  • Draw the symbol corresponding to each number to represent the data you have collected.
  • Be sure to use the correct symbol, whether full or partial, to represent each digit correctly.
Make a Pictograph Step 10

Step 4. Label each category of data

Under each graph, write the source of the data. Indicate the name of the region under each bar of the graph.

You can also write the number represented by the image to make the image more meaningful and easy to understand

Make a Pictograph Step 11

Step 5. Include a legend in your pictogram

In one corner of your pictogram, draw a caption that will tell the reader what each image represents.

  • Make sure that each symbol used in the pictogram is represented in the legend.
  • If you are using partial symbols, for example half a pecan nut, define how much is represented by this partial symbol.
  • Label the legend, so readers know it is a legend and not an additional category of data.
Make a Pictograph Step 12

Step 6. Use your pictogram to explain your data

If you are giving a presentation or making an informative poster, using pictograms is a quick way to represent a large amount of data. A well-made pictogram makes it easy for people to understand and compare data in the blink of an eye.


  • Draw all of your symbols the same size to avoid confusion as to what each symbol represents.
  • Be sure to label each category to show what your pictogram represents.
  • Review your pictogram to make sure it accurately describes the data you want to represent.

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