Designing in a Multitude of Languages

wo associates of mine are a husband and wife print book production team. They do a lot of work for the World Bank and NATO, which means their publications go around the world and are printed in a multitude of languages, from English to Spanish to French to languages I’ve never head of.

This is exciting. But as I listened to one of my associates go through the process of changing a print book from one language to another, I realized just how complex a job this is.

Background on the Print Books

Periodically my associates ask me to critique and hopefully improve their layout or cover design, color usage, fonts, etc. So I have a grasp of the overall kind of work they do.

Most of the books are perfect-bound texts upwards of two hundred pages in length, with an 8.5” x 11” format (or the closest international page size). The book interiors are text-heavy, but they do include numerous charts and graphs as well as some photos.