Good planning essential for impactful Welsh language design

As an agency proud of its bilingual heritage, one leading aspect of our design offer over the years has been our work in setting the benchmark for engaging bilingual design in Wales.

Recognised for our excellence in the field, a host of organisations ranging from local authorities through to national institutions have sought our advice on how to ensure good practice by developing guides to bilingual design within their organisations.

As a result, we were commissioned by the Welsh Language Commissioner to develop their bilingual design guide, which gives comprehensive advice on a range of applications such as typesetting, electronic publications and brand identity.

Here are some handy pointers when considering bilingual design work:

  1. The Welsh language should be included from the outset in any design briefs or specifications as it is much harder to retrospectively implement a bilingual element
  2. Guidance should be given to the translator or for those responsible for drafting the bilingual text about style and tone, target audience etc.
  3. It is important that the two languages are not mixed in an inconsistent or haphazard way
  4. Avoid different font styles within a given typeface – using a different font for each language – as this will almost certainly make one version less legible than the other
  5. Longer documents will usually be twice the size when produced bilingually, so careful consideration should be given to the choice of paper, layout, colour, photographs and illustration to help keep costs down.

Commenting on the work our Creative Director, Meirion Wyn Jones, noted:

“It was great to work with the Welsh Language Commissioner on this guide. Good planning is essential for impactful bilingual design and we encourage all graphic designers, communicators and marketing personnel to have a read through and take on board a number of the recommendations.”

As noted by the Welsh Language Commissioner, Meri Huws, in her concluding remarks:

“This good practice guideline will provide a useful benchmark for organisations as they design and deliver marketing and publicity campaigns for the public in Wales.”

Visit the Work section of our website for examples of our bilingual design portfolio, while the guide we produced for the Welsh Language Commissioner can be read in full here.