Off topic: Translation and Graphic design
Thread poster: Philippe Danjoux

Philippe Danjoux  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:22
English to French
+ ...
Oct 11, 2010

My partner and I were wondering about the opportunity to work together, I as a freelance translator (as I did for nearly ten years by now), and she as a graphic designer. The question I'd like to submit, then, is what a graphic designer (Web, print and the like) could add to the work done by the translator. Do translation agencies resort to the services of graphic designers and for which services.

Does anyone has any idea about this ?


Simone Linke  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:22
Member (2009)
English to German
+ ...
Direct clients? Oct 11, 2010

I think you're focusing on the wrong target group here (could be wrong though).
Imho, you'd have a nice service package to offer to end clients: your partner could create their corporate design or marketing materials, brochures, logos, whatever, and you could offer translations right with it.
Ideally, your partner would have some Web design skills, too.. or maybe you have a third acquaintance who does?
Then you could offer the full package: layout/design of materials + Websites, proof-reading/composition of the texts, and translation into more languages.

Not sure if you have all of the skills needed for this, but you seem to have at least some of them. If necessary, find the missing skills in a third partner, and then good luck!


Tomás Cano Binder, BA, CT  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:22
Member (2005)
English to Spanish
+ ...
Probably not enough volume of work? Oct 11, 2010

We in the office are three translators and one person who has excellent design and DTP skills, but we don't exploit her abilities full time and she does other tasks, which she carries our beautifully all the time, by the way.

I reckon we are using her design/DTP skills for about a fourh of her working time. If you extrapolate these figures, you will see that, being a single translator, you will probably not be able to keep this person occupied for more than 10% of her working time. She will probably have to look for design work on her own, and independent from your translations.

An alternative is to do intensive marketing among your translation customers and expect that they will outsource some of their multilingual design work (i.e. doing the design work associated to the work of more translators and in languages she does not understand), but our experience is that agencies are reluctant to outsource this kind of work and prefer to keep it in-house.

Quite honestly, based on my experience working for a number of top-quality agencies, you will not have enough work to keep your designer busy. As Simone suggests, your best shot is to do intensive marketing with design-intensive customers, like editors, web companies, etc., and hope to have luck in finding multilingual design work with them.

To me your idea sounds a bit like uniting an architect and a printing shop: does the architect print a lot of things? Yes. Will a single architect keep the printing shop busy? No.

Good luck!


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