Huh? We recently did some work for FedEx Trade Networks. They needed an interesting, engaging design for their Freight Forwarding services brochure. What’s that? You’re not totally sure what freight forwarding is? It doesn’t matter. Trust us. Since it’s for international use, it had to feature all the information in both English and French. Oh yeah, did we mention that was the purpose behind the challenge in the first place? So how do you make a bilingual brochure that displays the two languages in a way that is unexpected, logical and unique? One of the biggest problems with multi-lingual print brochures is that it can be really hard to find the information you want in the language you speak. Many have tried and many have failed to successfully design a bilingual brochure that doesn’t leave readers furrowing their brows and wondering why suddenly everything is in a different language. It’s a unique challenge that we were ready to take on. Beyond ready. Pumped, as kids said ten years ago. Our designers set their brains a-stormin’, and developed a design concept that accomplished everything we needed. You turn it one way and it’s a booklet in English. Flip it, and it’s French. You don’t just turn pages until you realize it’s not English anymore. That’s easier said than done. Forward and backward, this layout just plain makes sense. The important thing to say here is that there actually is no backwards. On one side, it says “English.” You turn pages until you can’t anymore. It’s all in English. On the other side is says “Français.” You turn pages until you can’t anymore. It’s all in French. And never the twain shall meet. (Did you know that Rudyard Kipling has the earliest cited use of that phrase, and twain is derived from the Old English word twegen, meaning “two”? At TQS, we always want you to learn something that’s not very useful.) The brochure came out really great. It’s super engaging right from the cover, and it’s extremely unlikely that anyone will “accidentally” stumble into the French section because they turned one page too far. It’s a seamless transition from one language into another. Sometimes problem solving is fun.
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