Desktop Publishing (DTP) and Translation Services
Desktop Publishing (or DTP) is the process in which almost every company produces their presentations, brochures and other marketing materials. In the simplest terms, it’s using a computer to create and design documents. Your design team will use programs like Adobe InDesign or Microsoft Publisher to create something eye-catching, but as an international business you’d like to share these materials in as many different languages as possible. This is often easier said than done.
Integro has seen a recent rise in the amount of translation agencies offering DTP integration. It’s an attractive option: your documents can be translated as well as formatted in one step. Your company can receive material that is ready to print and send out all over the world. Beside speed, there are many reasons why integrated DTP services could help your marketing strategy.
The most important step for DTP integration is to provide your ‘design file’ for translation. This may be a simple .docx or an .indd, but PDFs are notoriously difficult to work with and even the best OCR tools make mistakes. Many of the translation tools that companies use have been developed with DTP in mind, so the tool will extract the text from your file and re-insert the translations. Translating directly from the design file will provide an excellent basis for the agency’s design team. The design teams then take cues from the source document to modify layouts, fonts, sizing and much more. If you’re looking for a long-term collaboration with your translation agency, it’s also worth establishing design guidelines with their team so they can make those tough calls in tight deadlines.
In terms of spatial constraints, you should be mindful that text can grow anywhere from 5% – 40% when it’s been translated, depending on the language. Formatting that was perfect in one language is no longer perfect in another, and it may be hard for a design team to make heads or tails of it. Think of character languages like Chinese or Japanese – these languages have different line spacing conventions and can even be written in multiple ways.
You’ll also probably run into difficulties with your fonts. Many character languages won’t be available in your favourite fonts, much less so if you’ve developed a specific font for your brand. But it’s not as easy as selecting a font that looks similar to your existing font. You should keep in mind that there are typography standards in each language. While your font may invoke a certain professionalism with its sleek and minimalist look in English, a similar-looking font might make a Japanese audience think of something out of a cartoon.
Another problem that is often seen is the use of text in images. If text is not editable with a text tool, then it won’t be picked up by the agency’s tools. This applies most often to tables, charts, graphs, and branding. If you, or your designers, are aware that there is text saved as an image, it’s best to flag this to the translation agency so they can manually input this content.
With these considerations in mind, you can see why integrated DTP is becoming more and more popular among translation clients. Get in touch to see what solutions Integro can offer your company.