Infographics have taken over the world.
(At least, it probably seems like it if you’re involved in marketing localization or graphic design. Or if you’ve visited the Internet at all in the last hour.)
Bite-size chunks of visual data are easier to consume. They’re also friendlier to the eye. For businesses, it makes sense to include them since high-quality infographics are 30 times more likely to be read than text-only content.
The massive popularity of infographics is reflected in the number of Google searches around the globe, with Singapore, Bangalore and San Francisco holding the top spots, according to Mashable.
If your marketing group has produced infographics, you might be ready for the next step: localization. Let’s explore some important elements of a marketing localization project that involves infographics localization (while keeping in mind that a lot of this advice pertains to graphics localization as a whole, too!)
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How your infographics will be used
When you first bring your project to your language service provider, they should ask you how you intend to use the end product. Will it mainly exist online in digital form? Or will it primarily be printed out?
Knowing this helps us understand your requirements, which then informs the localization process. For example, if we know upfront that you need a print-ready file, we can make sure that the end result is in high resolution.
Where and how you created them
The tool you used to produce the infographics also matters. Did a graphic designer create them in-house using a program like Photoshop? Did your marketing team avail itself of an online infographics creation tool? If so, which one? Online services sometimes limit you as to the file format you can save your work in. For example, you might be able to save the file in .png or .pdf format only.
We also want to know the logistics behind editing the infographic later on as part of the marketing localization process. How can you export the file—as a print-ready version or screen-ready only? If changes need to be made, does the program allow you to open the file and save it as a new version—or do you have to start all over with the design, which would obviously take longer?
Keep in mind that we can work with any file type, but a large or complex infographic will require more processing time. Flattened image files such as .pdf also require more work since we have to go in and extract the pieces and then potentially re-create them.
- Always provide us with all of your source files—everything from your chosen font to the Excel spreadsheet in which your infographics data reside to the layered graphic file itself
- A good guideline: If it’s not a source file, it’s probably not (easily) editable for us
- Consider compiling a graphics style guide if it makes sense for your needs, which spells out preferences like point size, font and margin sizes—to speed up marketing localization projects
- OpenType fonts are generally more widely used, and can make it easier for us to preserve your chosen font during localization
- Avoid embedding text in your infographics file; keep each component in a separate layer
- Allow for extra white space in your design to accommodate expanded line lengths after copy is translated
The global nature of infographics
By their nature, infographics are to a large extent already global. The image-driven, visually clean presentation of data appeals to many audiences across the globe. People are generally drawn more to images than text, after all, which is an important insight when heading into marketing localization.
Still, you’ll need to be aware of how your various target cultures will react to your infographic designs. Let us know if you’d like us to consider internationalization issues before localization starts—we can evaluate the following issues and others when requested.
Cultural appropriateness considerations
- Not everyone reads left to right; you may need to change how your data is laid out for certain audiences
- Some cultures have very specific expectations on how men and women are depicted in images—be sensitive to this
- You may want to consult the ISO graphical symbols, a list of researched universal icons that have been shown to be safe for global use
- Different cultures also tend to prefer different colors; for the greatest impact, try to match up your color scheme with your target market’s preferences
As you can tell, the visual simplicity of infographics belies the fact that there is actually a lot to consider when adapting these tools for different audiences.
We’re curious—are infographics part of your own marketing localization strategy?