I wanted to see how far I can take the styling of the Silverlight toolkit charting controls. To answer my question, I turned to Excel and picked one my favorite chart themes:
The challenge was to see if I can reproduce the same look with the Silverlight toolkit charts. I created the initial charts in Visual Studio but all the styling happened within Expression Blend SP1. I am very pleased by the degree of flexibility the charting preview bits offer. You can change pretty much everything: the chart plot area, the legend, the axis...etc. The design experience in Blend is still a little bit complex and cumbersome but I know that this something that is being actively addressed for future releases.
Here is the a screenshot of my Silverlight Application:
Creating this look required me to alter pretty much every style that the charts exposed in one way or the other. As I mentioned before, for a first time user, this can be tricky. To make it a little bit easier (at least I hope), I prepared this guide that walks through all the steps in Blend to produce such a style:
You can download the sample project here