Why flags founder for multilingual website navigation

Flag icons are a bad choice for language navigation within websites. We explain why, and look at some better options, in the first of our series on multilingual website design.

The internet has allowed an explosion in multilingual communication. Previously companies or organisations had to produce printed publications in a limited range of languages and physically get the right language version in the right place. Now a website can easily be translated into several languages, preferably by a professional translator of course.

But what is the best way to show site users how to switch between languages? Continue reading “Why flags founder for multilingual website navigation”

!EMOCLEW – Garbled London Greetings Strike Yet Again

When London made its bid to host the Olympics, one point was made over and over. London is a city of the world. London is a multicultural city. More than 300 languages are spoken in London. Come to London, and you’ll find the world. And so on.

And so the Olympics came to London. People have been coming to London from all over the world. From all over the world, people have been watching London.

And when is the worst time to fall flat on your face? When everyone in the world is watching. Continue reading “!EMOCLEW – Garbled London Greetings Strike Yet Again”

Arabic typesetting: fonts of wisdom

Arabic typesetting London samples

The business demand for any particular language can ebb and flow but, perhaps not surprisingly, one that’s busier than ever is Arabic. After all, Arabic is the official language of 26 countries, the first language of nearly 300 million people and a second language of nearly 280 million more. Our studio often find themselves working away on several Arabic typesetting projects at any given time. Given this expertise, I’ve been reflecting on the broader history, my pick of professional Arabic fonts and how the field is developing.
Continue reading “Arabic typesetting: fonts of wisdom”

Oh! What a lovely translation design

I came across this picture gallery of classic movie posters, as part of a recent Guardian article called ‘The Story of O’, a diverting little piece about the letter O in type and design.

Designers would probably start thinking how about how the ‘O’ cleverly combines textual and visual representation to deliver a single message, as with this poster for The Simpsons Movie:

English poster for The Simpsons Movie

We, on the hand, tutted knowingly, Continue reading “Oh! What a lovely translation design”