Visually Blog Visually Marketplace Designer Spotlight: ChartGirl | Visually Blog

Visually Marketplace Designer Spotlight: ChartGirl


published on May 17, 2013 in Conversations

Visually’s Marketplace connects thousands of designers with clients seeking to commission infographics and data visualizations. Every week, we feature a member of our designer community here, on the blog. If you are interested in participating, please contact us at blog[at]

Name: Hilary Sargent
Age: Old enough to have not had email in high school.
On Visually: Chartgirl
Investigative Experience: 10 years

1. Tell us a bit about yourself: how did you get into design, and how long have you been doing it?
I think calling myself a ‘designer’ is a bit of a stretch. (Designers nod in unison.) I do ‘design’ my charts, but my background is really in investigating things. I’ve done everything from newspaper reporting and competitive intelligence to political opposition research, private investigations and litigation support. My website — CHARTGIRL.COM — was really born out of a need to understand and explain complicated things I was investigating.

2. In 7 words or less, describe your style.
I guess I hope my charts are: smart, helpful, funny, thought-provoking, interesting and timely.

3. If you could take a seminar with one designer or artist, dead or living, who would that be? Why?
Mark Lombardi. Hands down, no question. I did do Ed Tufte’s seminar a month or so ago and found it fascinating, but my dream would be to bring Mark Lombardi back to life and ask him a million questions. (Lombardi was an artist and researcher who made diagrams of political corruption scandals and the like.)

4. What’s your favorite color? Why?
I don’t have a favorite color. I like stripes.

5. What is the biggest mistake you’ve made in your work and what did you learn from it?
Spending almost four years working at an incredibly depressing place. Steer clear of law firms and other places where people lack a sense of humor and an imagination, or both.

6. What about your biggest achievement? Tell us about the project you are most proud of in your career so far.
I guess having ChartGirl making TIME’s 50 Best Websites of 2013 would be the highlight.

7. Who should we feature in this space next?
Sam Bradd.