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Desktop Publishing, layout & multilingual typesettingDesktop Publishing is the process of creating and designing web and print ready documents.

When content is translated into foreign languages, this process is often referred to as multilingual typesetting, where special attention is paid to layout, fluency, typography, and graphics.

Nowadays, publications are no longer produced only in printed form by professional printers. More often than not you will also be looking to publish content digitally to address your customers online.

And, depending on your plans, there are other factors to consider: the color scheme, for example, which is one of the main differences between digital and print design. While modern computer and smartphone displays mix colors based on the RYB (red-yellow-blue) model to produce the correct presentation, printers and plotters work with CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) to create the print output.

Choosing the right settings helps minimize the risk of printing errors: Print proofs of documents are sold by printing companies as an additional service to give you peace of mind. Without these proofs it is your responsibility to ensure print readiness, with the added risk of potentially costly misprints.

With translations in particular there are pitfalls already at the design stage. Here are some tips on how to avoid them:

  • Can the typeface depict the target language characters?
    The document may look great in the source language. But this is no guarantee that your preferred typeface can also handle the special characters of the target language – an important point to remember, especially where different character sets are used to produce the translation, as is the case with Arabic, Chinese, Japanese or Russian, for example.

  • Is there enough space for text expansion?
    As a rule of thumb, it is best to leave approx. 30 % of the available space free for potential text expansion. This helps to avoid time-consuming post-editing work on the target documents due to overset text. How much the text will expand or contract in translation depends largely on the language pair involved. Especially with Romance languages a high degree of expansion is to be expected.

It is therefore best to allow for file preparation before beginning with the translation. In this way, costs are incurred only once, at the start of the process, instead of multiplying at the end of it in line with the number of target languages. The more target languages you are planning to use, the more cost-effective a one-time preparation for all languages will be.

Are you currently planning to publish any advertising material, reports, or leaflets and are you unsure about how to proceed? No problem! You are always welcome to contact us for a professional consultation and to ask for a no-obligation offer.

We are here for all your desktop publishing, layout & multilingual typesetting needs.