Using icons to add visual interest to a table


When I write reports I typically only include the most useful/pertinent information in the main body. Detailed information and data tables live in appendices. That way if a reader DOES want the nitty gritty, they can flip to the back and get what they need but all of that extraneous info doesn’t bog down the average reader.

Recently I was including a table of demographic data in an appendix and was looking for ways to add visual interest. Sure, you could just put a boring old table like so:


You could tweak the borders to make it look less ugly:


Nope, not punchy enough.

I had put so much effort into making the main body of the report visually interesting that I wanted to carry this into the appendices. I headed over to and grabbed some icons, added some color, and boom:


I think this much improved and it fits with the main body of the report.