Multilingual Desktop Publishing

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multi-language DTP service you can rely on

Your multilingual content requires well-planned design and layout to ensure maximum impact in every target language, while retaining the overall brand consistency.

It is important to consider design elements that can vary greatly from language to language, such as typographical rules and spacing requirements. Speak to Etymax’s experienced artwork team to ensure your multilanguage artwork versions create optimal results for each target market.

Here are the key considerations for designing artwork that is intended for publication in multiple languages, including design elements that can cause issues from language to language:

Translation between languages often results in text expansion or contraction, depending on the source and target text. Certain languages like German or Polish can expand by as much as 30% in relation to source English text, while character-based languages like Chinese can contract by 30% or more. This means that the design layout should be flexible enough to accommodate:

  • longer text without looking cluttered
  • shorter text without looking empty

Where the layout is less flexible – such as text within a graphic – font sizes may need to be adjusted or an abbreviated version of the word used.

Alternatively, our team can strategically revise the text by removing content and prioritising essential parts of the text. They may also shorten headings and captions to fit the available space within the artwork. We also make necessary adjustments to other formatted elements to maintain layout integrity and ensure optimum visual appeal and consistency across all language versions.

Some languages (like German or Dutch) have much longer words than English. When space limitations require these words to be split over multiple lines, they must be configured to break in the correct places. Where words are split in the incorrect place, it can look both jarring and unprofessional to the reader.

Many fonts do not support non-Latin alphabets (like Greek or Russian) or special characters (accented letters like Ş or Ć). Where a character is not supported, it will either not display, or will default to a different font which does support it (meaning it appears in a different font to the rest of the word). Fonts should therefore be chosen carefully at design stage to accommodate languages with special letters, to retain consistency with the brand’s design guidelines as well as all finished language versions.

Some languages (e.g., Arabic, Hebrew or Urdu) have text which reads right to left. Etymax’s artwork team will reverse all artwork (text and graphics) as well as consult with you over any images that may require modification for maximum cultural suitability.

You can also choose from a full range of multilingual fonts for languages such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. 

Working with design software such as InDesign 2023 and Adobe Illustrator 2023, Etymax’s artwork and DTP teams work within their specialist languages to guarantee an expert design service across all language combinations.

For the full list of the languages covered by Etymax’s DTP service, please click here. Our friendly support team are happy to talk through any translation requirements you may have.

Certified translation agency you can trust.

Get in touch about your project.

Request a quotation or get in touch with our team to discuss your requirements. We look forward to helping you with your next project.