Interview by Noah Davis (@noahedavis). A freelance writer living in Brooklyn, Davis has written for The Wall Street Journal, New York, and Sports Illustrated.

Julia Vakser Zeltser and Deroy Peraza met on the first day of class at Parsons New School of Design. The duo's "friendly rivalry" eventually spawned Hyperakt, the Brooklyn design firm that specializes in working with clients who are changing the world for the better (the Ford Foundation, Good Magazine, and TED to name a few). The studio, which celebrated its 10-year anniversary in late 2011, creates groundbreaking data visualizations as well as beautiful, skillfully rendered layouts that promote the common good.

The principals talked to Complex about the advantages of limiting their focus, the value of infographics, and how two people trained as illustrators have come so far in the design world.

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