Billingual Text Sizing Issue

New Here ,
Apr 20, 2009 Apr 20, 2009

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Hi

I am having this problem with a logo that is in french and english. The french text equivalent is probably another 50% or so wider than the english. The English text fits nicely under the logo but the problem is that the client wants the text to fit under the graphic of the logo both the english and the french and not stick out. Is it just me or isn't that defying the laws of space and time or something. Am I missing something obvious here?

How can two things of different lenghts occupy the same width while maintaining their aspect ratio? Isn't there some sort of layout bible we can look this up in? My only thought might be to add more space between the short words but I think that will look like crap.

Any good ideas?

-BlackPeregrine

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Enthusiast ,
Apr 20, 2009 Apr 20, 2009

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I'd think you'd want to use a condensed version of the font for the French.


Now, I mean a real designed condensed version, not just squished. If it doesn't already exist, somebody with a bit of typeface design experience could design the needed letters.


Now, that's an "ideal" solution. You time and/or money constraints may makr it impractical.


What exact font are you using, and what are the words or phrases (both English and French)?


Cheers,


T

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Contributor ,
Apr 20, 2009 Apr 20, 2009

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A couple of things come to mind.

If the text is for a new logo, or a new slogan, could one of the

languages be translated differently and still produce the same meaning?

In normal use, will the two logos ever appear juxtaposed next to each

other? If not, variations would not be noticeable.

Depending on how different the lengths of the two strings are, one or

the other or both could use condensed or narrow or expanded or wide

versions of the selected font. Or you could alter the inter-letter

spacing instead of or in addition to changing the inter-word spacing).

These approaches would work if the two text strings are 10% different,

but not if one is twice the length of the other.

If there's a significant difference, on the order of 2-1, the longer

might work better as two lines of text, one over the other. This is

the method used by some companies and universities; often where the

first line is the parent organization and the second line is a

specific sub-group. I believe that GE does this for language differences.

Some organizations use different logo layouts for different languages

- particularly where there are, say, German and Chinese variants,

where the German words consume dozens of character spaces and the

Chinese equivalent is one or two.

You could ask your clients to sketch what they thing it should look

like in the two languages so they can see the difficulty!

- Herb

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Participant ,
Apr 21, 2009 Apr 21, 2009

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If this company is active in Quebec, then DO NOT take the advice of others and make the French text condensed. The Quebec language laws state that in Quebec, the French must not be smaller than the English, and condensed type might be taken as being so (smaller in width).

I have spoken to some translators who claim that French text running excessively large is often a case of shoddy literal translation. They claim to be able to translate most works in the same amount of space. That might be an option, although if only a catch phrase in a logo, the options for alternate text might be limited. Finally, there is the option of making the French text run over an additional line, if that will solve the problem.

Don

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 23, 2009 Apr 23, 2009

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I have spoken to some translators who claim that French text running excessively large is often a case of shoddy literal translation.

Text expansion is pretty common in translation. There's a difference, here, between shoddy literal translation causing ludicrous expansion and good translation causing perfectly reasonable expansion. Every once in a while, you'll find someone who is simultaneously a good translator and a good copy-editor, and these rare people can sometimes do logo translation that does not require logo redesign or use of condensed fonts. However, for the most part, assertions like this:

They claim to be able to translate most works in the same amount of space

are garbage. In my limited experience, prevention of expansion in EN->FR translation requires liberal rewriting on the part of the translator. Safer to simply re-write in-language.

This is entirely outside the range of the OP's question, but assuming that the text under the logo is a tagline of some sort, it should probably be re-written in-language by some Francophone ad/marketing/copywriting type, and perhaps reviewed by a translator familiar with the English tagline.

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