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Charging for layout/DTP
Thread poster: Silvina Dell'Isola Urdiales

Silvina Dell'Isola Urdiales  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:45
Member (2003)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
Aug 27, 2005

Hi friends,

I've been asked to give a fee for DTP/layout, separate from the translation rate, since the source files given by the client are in pdf format.

I suppose it's more convenient to give a fee per word instead of a fee per hour...

Do you agree with me?
Which is your "policy" in such cases?

Thanks in advance!
silvina


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 18:45
English to German
+ ...
It is normally per page or per hour Aug 27, 2005

and almost never per word AFAIK. Rgds Brandis

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Silvina Dell'Isola Urdiales  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:45
Member (2003)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
And plus a % ? Aug 27, 2005

Brandis wrote:

and almost never per word AFAIK. Rgds Brandis



Hi Bradis,

--- YES, but it's more difficult for the client since I'm not working in-house

I've been browsing a similar topic on pdf files, I've discovered some collegues usually charge 20-30% plus the normal translation fee...

[Edited at 2005-08-27 10:47]

Thanks!
s

[Edited at 2005-08-27 10:47]


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Ahmad Hassaballa  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:45
Member (2005)
German to Arabic
+ ...
Per Page Aug 27, 2005

Ciao Silvina,

In most cases charging per page is better.

Kind regards,

Ahmad Hassaballa
English/German/Arabic Translator
DTP Specialist


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Astrid Elke Witte  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:45
Member (2002)
German to English
+ ...
I have never heard of charging extra for a .pdf document with layout before! Aug 27, 2005

Hi Silvina,

Are you new to the job? The agencies normally dish out .pdf documents for translation, and they normally expect an identical document back. I never heard of charging extra for that before.

However, if the agency, in your particular case, is offering extra, take it as a bonus!

Astrid


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Silvina Dell'Isola Urdiales  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:45
Member (2003)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
it takes more time.... Aug 27, 2005

Astrid Elke Johnson wrote:

Hi Silvina,

Are you new to the job? The agencies normally dish out .pdf documents for translation, and they normally expect an identical document back. I never heard of charging extra for that before.

However, if the agency, in your particular case, is offering extra, take it as a bonus!

Astrid



--- Hi Astrid,

I'm not new at all... but I was asked to give a fee - and this is not even the first time
Consider the fact that the process of translation is longer with pdf files....


s


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xxxBrandis
Local time: 18:45
English to German
+ ...
exceptions are Aug 27, 2005

Quoting Astrid
"The agencies normally dish out .pdf documents for translation, and they normally expect an identical document back." This is called standard DTP and not considered as DTP Art. Developing an absolute new layout is different, here one should charge some extra 20-30% as it takes additional amount of work. But this is pre-agreed and recalculated either into hourly price or page pricing. Best Brandis


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Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:45
Member (2004)
English to Italian
20-30% extra Aug 27, 2005


Are you new to the job? The agencies normally dish out .pdf documents for translation, and they normally expect an identical document back. I never heard of charging extra for that before.


I don't think agencies can supply you with a PDF file and expect a matching translated file back! This is one of the reasons why I stopped working with some agencies. Do you mean it takes you the same amount of time to translate a Word file with no formatting as to convert the PDF file and then reconverting it back in the exact format? I doubt it. It's time consuming and in my opinion it's DTP. You should charge extra for that. They are taking the p***, if you ask me. It's an extra job they should pay for or get a DTP person to do it for them. I'm sure they are laughing all the way to the bank.

Giovanni


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Silvina Dell'Isola Urdiales  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:45
Member (2003)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
a fair DTP rate Aug 27, 2005

Giovanni Guarnieri MITI, MIL wrote:


Are you new to the job? The agencies normally dish out .pdf documents for translation, and they normally expect an identical document back. I never heard of charging extra for that before.


I don't think agencies can supply you with a PDF file and expect a matching translated file back! This is one of the reasons why I stopped working with some agencies. Do you mean it takes you the same amount of time to translate a Word file with no formatting as to convert the PDF file and then reconverting it back in the exact format? I doubt it. It's time consuming and in my opinion it's DTP. You should charge extra for that. They are taking the p***, if you ask me. It's an extra job they should pay for or get a DTP person to do it for them. I'm sure they are laughing all the way to the bank.

Giovanni



---- Ciao Giovanni,

I completely agree with you, apart the fact of using a CAT tool which can speed up your work and so if you already has a Word or Office file is less time consuming, I think that there is a difference between supplying a simple non-formatted Word text and an edited one...

grazie!
s

[Edited at 2005-08-27 12:05]


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xxxMarc P  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:45
German to English
+ ...
Giovanni is right Aug 27, 2005

DTP layouting is a professional service requiring professional tools (Quark, Framemaker, Pagemaker, etc.) and professional-level familiarity with them, and should be left to DTP professionals.

As for being provided with a PDF file in the source language and being expected to recreate another with identical layout in the target language, this is the electronic equivalent of being asked to provide a translation of a novel ready-printed and bound.

Marc


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Klaus Herrmann  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 18:45
Member (2002)
English to German
+ ...
An Amen plus a note Aug 27, 2005

MarcPrior wrote:

DTP layouting is a professional service requiring professional tools (Quark, Framemaker, Pagemaker, etc.) and professional-level familiarity with them, and should be left to DTP professionals.

Amen.

As for being provided with a PDF file in the source language and being expected to recreate another with identical layout in the target language...

That's where the trouble starts. An identical layout often violates typographic rules and common practice of the target language.

[Edited at 2005-08-27 17:27]


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Roberta Anderson  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:45
Member (2001)
English to Italian
+ ...
my experience handling DTP requests Aug 28, 2005

Hi Silvina

I often do DTP work for clients, and apply the following conditions:

- just dtp, using translated text supplied by the client and source layout files (not PDF!) supplied by the client: per page fee, according to complexity of layout
Before quoting, I ask for a sample file, and check it for use of style sheets, master pages, image positioning, space available to accomodate copyfitting issues, etc, to establish how much "manual" work is needed, and therefore how time-consuming it would be; in other words, to establish the per page fee, I work out how many pages per hr I'd be able to handle.

- translation + dtp, on source layout files supplied by the client: my translation fee +30-50%, depending on complexity of the layout (see above)

For both of the above cases, I check with the client what actions I can take to handle copyfitting issues, such as: can the layout accomodate extra pages? can I adjust tracking, and to what acceptable level? can I adjust type size & leading, and to what acceptable level? (here the answer is usually No); can I adjust margins? (again, usually No); is the translated document going to be printed using the same color separations as the source, so that no color items should be moved and the translated text has to fit in between them? (usually Yes); do I have to stick to exactly the same page-per-page text contents?... And of course I ensure I have access to all source files used and to the correct fonts.

I also make sure that the timeframe and the fee cover a client review cycle: layout delivered to the client > comments received back from client > changes implemented and files sent for client approval > client approval; should the client at this stage come back with further change requests _not linked to his original comments_, then any further work is handled on a per hour basis.
It's important to establish this at the onset.

Another thing that affects the fee bracket is whether the client wants back final, high-res PDF's ready for print, or the source layout files. (In the first case, be aware that any printing problems will be your responsability... if you have no experience setting up options for high-end printing, stay clear of it! In this case I normally send out a sample page, so they can test it on their system and if necessary I talk to their print guys and iron out any problem before final delivery)

I very rarely do DTP when the source is just a PDF - it's much more time-consuming and there are usually problems related to fonts used, unavailable high-res images, which would affect the result and which the client might not be ready to understand/appreciate. Plus having to setup from scratch master pages, styles, layout grids etc. On the rare occasions that I "had to", and only on simple docs, I warned the client at the onset that as the source layout files were not available, I would do my best to recreate the layout but that there would be some differences. And I added another 50-100% to the dtp fee (again, depending on complexity of layout).
In fact sometimes, just mentioning the likelyhood of discrepancies + the higher fee, the source layout files magically materialise!

Design fees, i.e. creating a completely new layout without using as basis an existing document (whether as PDF or layout format) are another thing altogether, with much higher fees. DTP skills alone are not sufficient here, you really need experience/background as graphic designer. So I stay well out of it!

Cheers,
Roberta


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xxxNicolette Ri
Local time: 18:45
French to Dutch
+ ...
Agree with Roberta Aug 28, 2005

With some remarks:
- for DTP you need special tools (like QuarkXPress): this software is very expensive
- most DTP specialists earn more than translators and are paid by the hour (60 € is not uncommon) or by the day (!!)
- complicated DTP takes lots of time, sometimes more than translating
- why re-create a layout if an original exists? The only reason that I can imagine is that your client wants you to do the work of the DTP specialist, and cheaper of course.


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Silvina Dell'Isola Urdiales  Identity Verified
Italy
Local time: 18:45
Member (2003)
Italian to Spanish
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
difference between standard editing and DTP Aug 29, 2005

Roberta Anderson wrote:


Design fees, i.e. creating a completely new layout without using as basis an existing document (whether as PDF or layout format) are another thing altogether, with much higher fees. DTP skills alone are not sufficient here, you really need experience/background as graphic designer. So I stay well out of it!

Cheers,
Roberta



---- CIao Roberta,

Thank you very much for your comprehensive intervention that has made the question clear to me.
Rereading the client's letter, I've realised that he correctly makes a difference between standard editing and layout/DTP, which is costly, requires specific graphic design professional software and doesn't consist only in reproducing the standard editing in Word.

Consequently, since these are two different types of jobs two different fees should be applied

Best Regards
silvina

[Edited at 2005-08-29 08:16]


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Robert Tucker
United Kingdom
Local time: 17:45
German to English
+ ...
Scribus Aug 29, 2005

Nicolette Richy wrote:

- for DTP you need special tools (like QuarkXPress): this software is very expensive


Scribus is free. Current install on Windows is with Cygwin, but a supported Windows version may soon be available.

From their website: "Work is on-going to make Scribus more platform independent and alpha quality builds of Scribus are already working on Win32 and Mac OS X. A native Mac OS X build is available here: http://aqua.scribus.net "

http://www.scribus.org.uk

I have not tried Artstream myself, but looking at:

http://www.mediascape.com/artstream-2.html

it looks as if they are prepared to supply information about its use on Windows. (Whether this is just with Cygwin I don't know.)

[Edited at 2005-09-01 15:10]


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