Visually Launches Marketplace to Let Brands Commission Infographics

The infographic and data visualization market is booming, with companies tackling everything from visual reports for marketers to DIY infographics. Today visualization platform Visually announced the launch of its Visually Marketplace, which helps connect brands, agencies and anyone who wants custom visualizations or infographics with designers, journalists, and analysts who can bring their ideas to life.

Visually launched in 2011, and debuted an updated version of its platform in July to help people discover infographics, and to give designers a better way to showcase their work. Until today the community allowed designers to post their designs, get feedback, and browse through designs from over 40,000 designers. Today’s marketplace launch means brands can commission designers for custom work, and process payments through the platform.

Founder Stew Langille said the company has been working with clients including The Economist, Cisco and Smirnoff to test the new marketplace platform. “Marketplace allows us to bring together brands, publishers, and non-profits, and anyone who’s looking to create infographics and data visualizations,” Langille said in an interview.

Brands start by outlining their project – a working title, the main point they want to get across, formats and graphic styles they prefer, plus any data they want to include (either as an upload or a link to Google Docs, though Langille said they’ll be adding support for other datasets). The company then connects the brand with one of their almost 1,000 certified designers, who are approved based on their existing work on the platform, and are reviewed by Visually’s team. Once connected, designers and brands are given a Basecamp-style online workspace where they can discuss details, post versions, and give feedback. Right now Langille said brands can go from requesting an infographic to a finished product in 14 days or less.

Right now each infographic is $1,495, which includes two revisions (brands can purchase more revision credits, the price of which are based on an hourly rate determined by the designer). Brands pay up front on the Visually platform, though Langille said they’ll be adding different products, from smaller graphics to larger-scale offerings, so they’ll be updating the pricing levels and structure accordingly. Visually takes approximately 20 percent of the fee, with the rest going to the designer.

“We want to really democratize the industry. I think by removing the agencies out of the way, and allowing commissioners to connect directly with designers, journalists, analysts, and potentially developers they get the majority of the revenue…and we’re just covering the pain of processing, the workflow, the data integration,” Langille said.

Next the company will also be adding the ability to bring journalists, researchers and analysts into the mix, so a company can outline their goals, and Visually can take care of sourcing data and crafting a story around that data. Once that launches, the infographic fee will be divided between all involved parties, rather than just going to the designer. Langille said the solution is still mostly targeted to larger brands, though as they add different visualization options they expect to also cater to SMBs who might only want to spend a few hundred dollars on a visualization.

Langille said if a designer doesn’t deliver on the promised infographic, or goes MIA during the design process, the company will replace them with a different designer. For clients who aren’t satisfied with the finished product, Langille said they’ll work with them and the designer to resolve the issue “We’re guaranteeing on both sides of the equation.”

As for people who want to create their own infographics, the company still has its Create tool, which lets people create visualizations based on their Facebook or Twitter accounts. When it comes to visualizations from custom data, commissioning someone in the marketplace or using a create-your-own-infographic tool like Infogram is still the best solution. While the one-price-fits-all approach might be too strict for some companies’ requirements, it’s a good start for anyone looking to create a custom infographic who doesn’t have the in-house talent or the budget to go to an agency or hire a designer.

 

Erin Bury

Erin Bury

Erin has covered startups and technology for over three years in publications including Sprouter Weekly, The Globe and Mail, Business Insider, Mashable, and VentureBeat. She also writes a regular startup column for the Financial Post, and is a technology expert on CTV News Channel. Before BetaKit Erin worked as Director of Content & Communications at Sprouter from its launch in 2009 until its acquisition by Postmedia Network Inc. She was recently named one of Marketing Magazine's 30 Under 30 in 2012.

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