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  • Writer's pictureAna Catarina Lopes

Translation and design – a tailored relationship

Translation can make or break a design. Design is what makes your brand recognizable just with a glimpse, what makes consumers associate your product with the feeling you want to convey, and what makes your brand, well, your brand. In this article, I analyze how translators and designers can work together to achieve outstanding results.

Translation and design – a tailored relationship

If you are looking to expand your business into the global market, localization and cultural consultancy are key elements to make it a successful move. In this process, design is as important.

That’s why your chosen linguist should be involved in the design set-up of your site, packaging, or social media marketing.

Designing communication

Translation is a critical aspect to consider when designing the user experience. An accurate translation can make the difference between an average website experience and one that feels amazing. And by accurate, I mean, a translation that conveys the same message, feelings, and concepts to your clients, no matter where they are located or what language they speak.

CTA buttons, cultural references, and measurements are only some of the aspects that you have to take into account during the localization process, but you also need to make sure that these elements fit the intended design, and that the design won’t be affected by the changes implemented.

Also, your website should use a Unicode font that allows for characters with accents, or that can be read in both directions (left-to-right and right-to-left), depending on the target language.

Designing feelings

Design is a fundamental part of the user experience – it is part of what makes people relate to your product.

This is why it is so important to get your cultural consultancy done right, so the localization of your content does not defeat the purpose of your design. Colors, symbols, images, and concepts are all things that can have different meanings depending on the country or language you are targeting.

Black can mean sophistication and luxury in some places of the world, but in others, it can be associated with negative feelings or situations such as evil or death. Some numbers are avoided in some cultures because they represent bad luck, or even death, such as the number four in Japan and the number thirteen in many western cultures, while in others, it is regarded as a lucky number.

Designing your brand

Regardless of how well-established your presence is in your home country, you might find yourself having to rethink your brand when entering a new marketplace.

Several companies have to do a complete rebranding for international marketplaces, whether due to pronunciation, translation, or legal issues with product names or the cultural meaning of their logos or mascots abroad.

Putting your localization and designing team to work together is a clever move that can save you a lot of time, money, and cultural faux-pas when launching your brand in a new market.

A tailor-made approach to a specific audience will ensure that your brand communication is done right and targets the right audience, boosting your conversion rates, brand recognition, and overall marketplace presence.


About the author:

Ana Catarina is an English to Portuguese translator specialized in Healthcare and Marketing. She helps foreign companies to launch their brand and products in the Portuguese market by translating, localizing and transcreating their client-targeted contents to make them appealing to the Portuguese public.


Med & Mark - A blog about medical and marketing translation
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