Visual.ly, the social network for all things visual, has just unveiled a design marketplace where “marketing gurus, data nerds and design junkies” can get together to work on data visualization projects and, more importantly, where designers can connect to paying clients.
Launched in private Beta in 2011, Visual.ly’s community has grown to 35,000 designers who create everything from simple infographics to interactive and motion graphics.
Those who are selected by application for the Visually Marketplace will be connected to brands, companies, and agencies who want to commission a custom data visualization.
“We have clients that will require both design and data analytics/journalism,” Visual.ly creative director Jess Bachman told SocialTimes in an email. “If we don’t have someone available who can do both, we will put two people together to get the job done. So an applicant does not need to be an analyst, although it helps, and the most experienced designers we have often end up building out that skill set.”
All communications will take place in Visually’s Project Center, where the designers can use the Project Timeline tool to let their clients know when they’ll be finished. Once the work is completed, the designers will get a payment through PayPal or ACH.
Previously, designers could submit their best work on the site for free for other people to browse. While the images were sharable, embeddable, and always linked back to the creator’s website, there wasn’t a way for companies to directly commission new works.
Instead, Visual.ly had a couple of free tools for making infographics out of information from Twitter and Facebook, like the “Life of a Hashtag” and “Twitterize Yourself” templates. The company also had data partners for creating more in-depth visualizations for use by publishers like CNN and The Wall Street Journal.
Now the marketplace that the company has been privately testing for the last month is open to the public, bringing data visualization (and profits) to the masses.
Post updated at 12:30 ET.