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How to Make a Pictograph?

Last updated date: 24th Apr 2024
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Introduction to Pictograph

Before answering that question, we first need to understand what a pictograph is? Why is it used? Why does the tedious work of pictorially representing data (large sets of information are often called data) when there are easier ways to classify data?

Have you seen ad commercials using attractive pictures marked on graphs to show how many people are satisfied with their products? It’s a pretty common sight!

In this article, we are going to dive into the basics of a pictograph or pictogram, and understand how it’s done and represented.

Pictograph on a Commercial

Pictograph on a Commercial

What is a Pictograph?

Pictographs are a form of representing data through pictures in the form of a graph (the name says it all!) It often has a key to understanding the data illustrated.

The pictures or icons used are of the same type and size. Fractions of these icons are also used to display one-half, one-third of the given data.

It is one of the simplest ways of showing data in a very interactive manner. Kids find pictographs very entertaining and help them learn faster.

Pictograph Representing Burgers eaten by Children

Pictograph Representing Burgers eaten by Children

How Can You Make a Pictograph?

The process of making a pictograph is a few simple steps. Looking into them in a detailed manner may make it seem like it’s a huge process, but once you get a hang of how it works it’s going to be super easy.

Step 1: Collect the data that has to be put in a pictograph or a pictogram. This can be done by simply gathering the data of what is required.

Step 2: Arrange the gathered data in an organised manner to understand it better. This step is pretty important so you know what goes where (Putting the data in the form of a nice table helps!)

Step 3: Look at the data and choose an appropriate symbol. This is a fun step, you get to choose symbols that represent the data. A clock or an hourglass can be used if your data is based on time.

Step 4: Assign a Key. It is kind of important to not forget this step. Data is often huge chunks of information, you can’t obviously draw 1000 apples on a pictograph. That’s a lot of work and kills the whole point of representing the data! A key is like a fixed value given to each symbol. In the previous case opting for 1 apple symbol=, 200 apples would be suitable.

Step 5: Start marking the pictograph by making appropriate columns and rows. Usually there are 2 columns giving the category (how organised is the data) and the actual pictogram. The number of rows depends on the number of data that needs to be interpreted.

Step 6: Don’t forget to put up the key for an easier understanding of the pictograph. Also, check everything before you’re done with the pictogram.

Pictograph Representing Watch Sales

Pictograph Representing Watch Sales

Solved Example

Let’s understand how a pictogram is done better by looking into a solved example.

A farmer produced the following amount of tomatoes in the first six months of the year








No of tomatoes







(Now, usually pictographs have a set of questions that you will be expected to answer from what is given in the pictogram itself. We’re, however, skipping that here as the scope of this article is to understand how to make a pictograph)

Steps 1 and 2 are already done and given in the question, jumping to step 3 assigning the key.

1 🍅= 200 tomatoes

We are going to represent the months vertically and the number of tomatoes produced can be shown horizontally.

Solve tomatoes Question

Solve Questions

The data can be understood per the reader's needs from the pictograph.

Answering a few questions based on the above-illustrated pictograph will give you an idea of how to read a pictograph.

Understanding the key of the pictograph is important, relating it to the actual data shown helps us read a pictograph easily.

Q1. What does the above pictograph represent?

Ans: Number of tomatoes produced by a farmer in 6 months

Q2. Which month had the maximum number of tomatoes produced?

Ans: January, May

Q3. Which two months have the same number or tomatoes produced?

Ans: January, May

Q 4. Which month had the minimum number of tomatoes produced?

Ans: June


Pictograph is a pictorial representation of data where the data is arranged in the form of a graph using symbols and a suitable key.

Steps involved to make a pictograph include Collecting the required data, Arranging the data in an organised manner, Choosing a symbol to represent the data, Giving a suitable key, Arranging the appropriate data in the pictogram, Reading the pictograph along with the key to ensuring that the data is represented in a correct manner in the pictogram

FAQs on How to Make a Pictograph?

1. What types of data can be interpreted in a pictograph?

Usually the frequency of a particular data is recorded in the data and can be represented by a pictograph. Frequency can be otherwise explained as the number of times a particular event has occurred in data. In our solved example we have displayed the number of tomatoes produced in 6 months with the help of symbols and a key for reference. Pictograph is commonly used by companies to show their sales or production per year.

2. What are the advantages of using the pictograph?

  • Pictographs help kids learn visually in an easy manner

  • They make learning interesting and entertaining

  • They help represent large amount of data in an organised manner

  • They help in correcting and re-organising data easily

  • They introduce children to the idea of data handling with an easier concept.