Desktop publishing (DTP) combines translation and design expertise in the production of multilingual documents. Translating text impacts the visual design of any document, potentially creating inconsistencies or completely breaking core design elements, such as layouts.
DTP helps you deal with the impact of translation on visual elements by combining language and design expertise. Enabling you to achieve 100% translation quality while maintaining control and consistency over the design of your resources.
What is DTP work?
Desktop publishing allows you to translate print and digital documents without breaking the visual layout and design. When you translate text, the length of words, sentences and paragraphs either expands or contracts.
This disrupts the layout and balance of a document, which is problematic for anything relating to graphics, such as: posters, infographics, diagrams, social media posts, etc.
Imagine you’re translating a novel into multiple different languages. Within the books themselves, text expansion/contraction probably isn’t a concern, as some versions will simply have more pages than others.
However, the front cover of the book is a different matter entirely. Here, translation affects text length, layout, font sizes, font styles, visual balance and almost every aspect of design. DTP incorporates language and design experts to overcome these disruptions and produce consistent results in every language version of your document.
Any company that publishes documents in multiple languages will need professional DPT services to some extent. Given the breadth of DTP, we can’t cover every scenario where a business might need it, but we can look at some common, specific examples to illustrate its use cases.
When translating any marketing documents where visual design plays a key role, you’ll need to work with DTP experts. This includes posters, leaflets, ads (digital and print), social media content, landing page designs and plenty more.
If you’re launching physical products in multiple language markets, you should include DTP in the packaging design process. You’ve got limited space to work with, and translating the text on packaging will place additional design constraints on layouts, sizing, positioning spacing, etc. – basically every design choice.
Creating engaging learning experiences in multiple languages is a challenge. This is one of the more complex DTP project types, as every design choice has an impact on the wider experience. For example, text expansion can also affect reading speeds and information retention, not only the visual design.
Designing multilingual web and digital experiences can provide more leeway than something like product packaging. With most digital experiences, you have the benefit of unlimited vertical space, but you still have the confines of width – and the complication of different display widths to deal with.
You also have more technical factors to consider, such as UI design, language selection, font support, accessibility and plenty more.
In the gaming industry, DTP can play several roles throughout the development process and marketing of individual titles. For example, translating early design materials like mock-ups allows you to deal with any translation issues early on, saving you the headache of having to deal with it during the core development cycle.
Later, DTP will also play a key role in translating marketing materials. This can include posters, ads, social content, app listing pages, packaging, signage and a wide variety of assets, depending on the campaigns in question.
Whether you’re in the data business or you simply need to publish reports for investors, staff or customers, DTP is crucial for translating any visual data content. Reports, surveys and case studies should always match the voice and style of the publishing brand – a key consideration in any translation project.
On a more technical level, translating graphs and other data visualisations brings other challenges. Aside from the potential impact of text expansion/contraction, you also need to consider the interpretation of visual elements like symbols, icons, colours, etc. with each target market.
If you’re dealing with digital documents in your next translation project, you probably need desktop publishing services to maintain design intent and consistency. Our DTP team can help you implement a translation strategy seamlessly into your workflow.
Complete the form on our contact page to discuss the specifics of your next project and one of our specialists will get back to you.