When translating print or digital media such as brochures, catalogs, ads, or posters, you’ll typically need multilingual DTP (desktop publishing) services as well. The new language will change the look and layout of your design.
If you require multilingual DTP services, our project manager will ask you for the native design files. A typical InDesign DTP package will include:
Did a vendor outside your organization design the English-language source? They should have provided all the native design files. The deliverables of a project should always include the native files. You have the right to request them, even if you do not work with this vendor anymore. If you only have a .pdf of the final design, our multilingual DTP operators will need to re-create the design files from scratch. This will increase costs and turnaround time.
In this context, a “font” is the digital file that is required to generate the characters in your translated text. Like all digital files, a font may be subject to copyright restrictions.
Multiple scripts in the same font
If the source document was created using popular fonts included with the authoring software, don’t worry. Programs like Microsoft Office and Adobe InDesign come with a selection of fonts. Many of these will have international versions that include suitable fonts for each language. We work with native-language DTP professionals because they are well-prepared to switch from one language to another within the same font family.
In some instances, a company’s designer has licensed a unique font that is not included in the base software package. The font’s EULA (end user license agreement) will describe limitations on transferring the font to a vendor. Some EULAs stipulate that only a certain number of machines can use the font. Others might specify that all machines licensed to use the font must be owned by the licensee. Others allow a third party vendor to use the font for the licensee’s communications. Your design department can explain to you what the license allows.
If the license forbids transferring the font to a third party under any circumstances, you have several options:
Remember: licensing a font means licensing the digital resources required to create and manipulate text using that font. Therefore, if a DTP provider uses a font that you do not license, they will not transfer the font to you. Instead of receiving a “live” set of files that you can manipulate or change, you would receive files for which the text has been “outlined.” Outlining “freezes” the text to protect the layout (much like a .pdf of a Word document “freezes” the text of a Word document so it can’t be edited). If a non-outlined text is opened on a computer without the correct font installed, the program will substitute a default font and ruin the formatting. That’s why we always recommend outlining for Asian language DTP deliverables.
Before releasing the native files, we will send you a .pdf as a proof and ask for a signed approval form. If you need changes, ensure these are clearly noted. If you request more changes after the final delivery, the revisions will incur extra charges. After we receive your go-ahead, we package and release the native files in the format most suitable for your print/design department’s needs.
Reaching multilingual markets requires translation of branded materials. The look and “feel” of the documents will impact how they are received. Your language services partner should work with you to ensure the look of your material is consistent, attractive, and suitable for meeting your needs with foreign audiences.