Ever heard of desktop publishing? We have witnessed and are still witnessing a digital editorial revolution. But in what sense? What has evolved? Where does the attention go in an activity like this?

A short bio on desktop publishing

Towards the end of the 1970s, John Warnock in collaboration with Martin Newell developed a standard page description language for the first laser printers: PostScript. The format thus took advantage of a sophisticated flexibility in the graphic management of the protocols. Other layout software programs followed, such as Adobe in 1982 and PageMaker in 1985. The way was officially opened to a real editorial revolution, that of desktop publishing, which is still underway. Every year we see the creation of new programs and updates that allow a graphic designer to create entire web pages using pre-packaged software templates. Among the most famous are Photoshop, Illustrator and Frame Maker.

The digital evolution has brought about substantial changes and simplifications both in terms of content and above all in modeling and structure.

What does desktop publishing have to do with translation services?

DTP (desktop publishing) is one of the fundamental – and crucial – steps in a translation project. When we have to prepare multimedia or editorial contents – in paper or digital form – whose destination address is abroad, we must take care of the purely linguistic part of translating the contents, but also of their graphic layout, of how they are layout and structured.

Many companies ask us for a DTP translation service for the composition of advertising flyers or leaflets, or for the printing of brochures and leaflets for international trade fairs, or for the publication of manuals and the production of product catalogues.

When adding a blog post on your foreign site, you will need to localize the original content based on the target audience, whose language and culture is different from yours. A translator specializing in Arabic will know if, for cultural or lexical reasons, there are some topics or words that you would be better off avoiding or adapting. On the other hand, your post needs to be adapted to the page. Elements such as layout, margins, borders, images, tables, all need to be formatted so that the entire page is clear and clean.

Some studies show that in the translation from German to Chinese there is a remarkably high “linguistic contraction”, while from German to Italian there is a linguistic expansion of around 30%. Desktop publishing allows you to check text lengths in translations and provides you with all the tools necessary to align the text in a uniform layout, without having to give up parts of text or graphic elements. After all, the eye wants its part! In order for your promotional flyer in paper form or rather a post on social media to become a transactional touchpoint, its layout must be studied to perfection!

A factor to take into consideration is also the cultural challenge. This means that it is also necessary to study the usage habits and preferences for the use of mobile devices and apps, and therefore to layout the translated contents also based on the publication platform or social network.

In the DTP translation service, the translator therefore works in symbiosis with the graphic designer. While the former transposes into the language by playing on style and syntax, the latter simultaneously manages the font and character size in the best possible way in order to fill the page and remain within the permitted margins. For example, the graphic will be able to adapt the line spacing between lines, in case it needs to be increased in the presence of Chinese characters.

Our agency is also equipped to carry out audit work. It means that in order to avoid any typing errors or distractions, the final content is further subjected to in-depth analysis and review work.

Can the client supervise the desktop publishing operation?

Absolutely yes. Our goal is to create products that meet your expectations. The client is contacted for every proposal or measure put forward by the graphic designer or the translator himself. Even before the transposition and layout, we will indicate in advance the possible alternatives to be implemented, in consultation with the professionals involved.

LingoYou offers a professional layout service for translated content perfectly in line with the reference layout!

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