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5 Factors That Affect the Cost of Desktop Publishing

When you’re about to start another translation or localization project for your clients, there are multiple aspects to think about. One of them is making sure your clients receive translated files in the appropriate format, carefully adjusted to the specifics of the target language and locale through the desktop publishing service. And, as any aspect of translation and localization services, DTP also has its price.

As in any business, also as a leading DTP provider, we frequently receive the questions related to price. It’s no surprise there, as we, as customers, always want to know what a certain product or service will cost us, same here. Before you decide which desktop publishing provider to choose, it’s helpful to consider 5 factors that significantly impact the price of DTP.

Desktop Publishing Resources

How much do you invest in your team? This is probably a significant sum of money and number of hours put in to train, equip and build a solid team of localization professionals. This is something any business owner worth their salt knows and considers.

This is exactly the case in desktop publishing companies. We do, occasionally, hear statements like:

“Oh, DTP? So, you play around with fonts and images, right?”, or

“Anyone in translation business can do it, what’s the problem?”.

There’s no problem, really. The only questions is:

Do you want your translation to be done, or do you want it done right?

Translation does not only mean working in CAT tools, checking the translated content and reviewing the texts. When your client sends a new project your way, whether it’s multimedia localization, technical translation, audio/video or e-learning localization, they expect to receive a finalized product. It means content that is fully and thoroughly adjusted to the target language or languages including any aspects connected to culture, region, tradition and other potentially sensitive matters. This also means making sure the layout, the subtitles, or voice-over matching the needs of your customer’s. Your client’s content will be their strength or their weakest link in their global markets conquest. Which it is, depends very strongly on the quality of translation you deliver. This also mean the quality of DTP you engage in the process.

The DTP professionals need to be trained. Not just once at the beginning of their career. They need to continually develop their skills, train in the use of new tools, that appear on the market almost by the minute.

They also continually improve their efficiency, which is connected to their growing experience. An experienced, skilled and able to continually develop, available and responsive desktop publishing professional isn’t someone you just find. You need to invest in them, otherwise you risk having mediocre specialists at your corner that will not guarantee you the quality you promise to your clients.

Are you ready to invest and build a separate team dedicated solely to the DTP projects?

There is one option to save on this and to be able to invest this money differently, saving a lot of it in the process: working with an experienced and well equipped DTP provider that offers you the services you need and has the trained resources, taking the burden of having additional tasks added to your team off your shoulders.

Desktop Publishing Tools

You may have the greatest translators and localization engineers in the world, but without the proper CAT and other localization tools you would be lost. The same goes for desktop publishing.

In order for the DTP project to be handled correctly, you need trained, skilled and customer-focused desktop publishing professionals. And they need their tools.

One DTP professional’s set of tools may cost up to €6,000 to €7,000 per year. And this is just for one person’s station. To provide DTP service for multilanguage project, you would need at least 7 fully equipped stations with experienced professionals, assuming you want to deliver a ready product on time and without jeopardizing its quality.

Desktop publishing tools, just as any aspect of modern technology, are constantly developed, improved and new ones appear in the marketplace. This means, you need to upgrade your game as well.

There are also tools that are less common, but there are customers, that prefer them. They also need to be invested in. This means another cost of €2,500 per 1 license.

Apart from the dedicated to DTP tools and software, you also need to think about supporting tools, such as PDF to DOC converters, transcription tools, tools used to extract text for translation from graphics. This means another €2,500 to be paid annually.

Having the DTP tools and software together with all the supporting equipment is one thing. Knowing how to use them is another. Again, it is important to build a team of professionals who are able to fully assess which tool to use, adjust to their customer’s preferences and needs and work out the perfect solution to deliver translated technical documentation, multimedia localization, or multilingual e-learning content on time.

When you sum all that up, is still less than what you will pay when you decide to use the services of fully equipped DTP provider with inhouse resources?

Availability and Response Time

DTP tools, professionals with proper training are crucial to your translation project’s successful delivery. Here is, however another aspect to consider: availability and response time.

As you know, each translation project is different, depending on the target languages, content type, type of the files your customer send your way and many other factors. One thing neve changes: your customer wants their project delivered quickly, efficiently and with perfect quality, to be able to use the translated product or content in their own business growth.

When you juggle several projects for multiple customers with multilanguage requests, it’s good to have a team of responsive and always available DTP professionals at your corner.

During our 20+ years of experience in desktop publishing, we have been asked countless times the frightening question: “Can it be done for tomorrow morning?”.

Surely you have received such questions too. This means you know how important it is to have a partner that will not only be willing, but will also be able to support you and help you deliver the project on time, including the tasks that pop up at the eleventh hour.

Few LSP companies have graphic designers in their teams, and even fewer have the properly trained and experienced desktop publishing professionals. Usually, the graphic designers are already pre-occupied with their own projects, which means, they will not be able to act on the urgent requests as they come. This is what a translation and localization company cannot risk as they count on their resources and partners to provide localized content regardless of how tight the deadlines are.

To be able to become a DTP provider that is always ready to take on projects, that is responsive and available to deliver on time, a desktop publishing company needs to be prepared, equipped and have a proper team of professionals at their disposal. Find a partner that has all that and you will be set. This is when the question “Can this be done for tomorrow morning?” will no longer mean stress.

Layout Is Your Customer’s Great Strength and Your Big Win

With a great number translation projects comes a great responsibility. Your customers use their translated content to attract the attention of their potential buyers and users. Whether you offer technical translation, audio/video localization, e-learning or website localization, you know that the language is the key, but so is the layout.

Translated content must reflect the vision, the mission and the branding of your customer as well as cultural, geographical and linguistic requirements of the target language. Any target language. This means that the layout has to be carefully adapted to each language with full consideration on its predicaments. Ignoring the importance of layout would be a translation layman’s mistake. Why not appreciate and use the relevance of desktop publishing professionals in the translation business then? This is the key to guarantee your customers the desired translation outcomes and to secure next, multiple languages translation projects for you.

They win, you win.

How to Save on Desktop Publishing?

Taking on multilingual and multi-content localization projects, means the need to take on more resources and to buy more tools and software. This all means additional costs that you can avoid. There is a simple way to do it.

  • Check the market for experienced and equipped DTP provider.
  • Ask about the DTP tools they use – do they shy away from any software? If so, it may mean, they simply have limited options.
  • Ask about their team – are they in-house DTP professionals?
  • Check what types of content they offer to work on. Do they provide DTP for technical documentation only? Or, as they should, do they work on multimedia, provide subtitling, voice-over and other content as well?
  • Check their availability and response time – you need your projects to be handled swiftly and definitely on time, not maybe. Ask, and they should answer. If not, run.

Partner up with the desktop publishing provider that has it all: the people, the tools, the knowledge and the ability to respond to your question “Can it be done for tomorrow morning” with a simple “yes”.

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