Case study

ICON Magazine is one of the world’s finest architecture and design magazines. Every issue features interviews with the most exciting architects and designers in the world, visits to the best new buildings, analysis of the most interesting new cultural movements and technologies, and reviews of an eclectic range of exhibitions, books, products and films.


  • ICON wanted to expand the reach of the magazine into China to capture the groundswell of interest in architecture and design in the country
  • ICON’s editorial team made the decision to create a Simplified Chinese version of the magazine using the best articles from previous editions of the English language publication.
  • To mitigate the risk of a huge print run, they elected to make the first translated publication available online and via an iPad edition.
  • A strict one-month deadline to coincide with industry conferences in China was set.
  • The magazine has a reputation for its high design quality. Any translation needed to be accurate, but fitting with the overall aesthetics of the magazine, so Chinese readers would understand the design values ICON has created with its English editions
  • The edition of the magazine to be translated contained over 130 pages.

Approach / Solution

  • The Global Lingo team collaborated closely with the team at ICON, as translation was a new area for them.
  • Challenges of the project were discussed, answering questions and ensuring all deadlines and budgets could be met.
  • As design was such a crucial element of the project, liaison with ICON’s design team was crucial to provide samples of Simplified Chinese type which would match the design style of the English language magazine.
  • Several test layouts were created using the typeface to ensure the layout and brand of the magazine would transfer with the translated edition.

Ongoing process:

  • Received Adobe InDesign files from the ICON team as they were completed
  • Extracted and analysed text for repetitions to create a translation memory
  • Sent files to the selected Chinese linguists to translate
  • Completed translations passed to pre-approved proof-readers
  • Approved copy sent to Global Lingo’s DTP specialists to apply translated text to layouts


  • The translated version of the magazine was well received by the Chinese audience, creating opportunities for ICON Magazine to increase their readership significantly in new markets.
What ICON have to say about us

“Global Lingo were readily available for questions and changes and went out of their way to make sure the experience was as easy and enjoyable for us as possible. I would wholeheartedly recommend using them again and I hope with the growth of our Chinese readership and the development of new Chinese exhibitions within Media 10’s portfolio that we will be able to work with them in the future.”

Marketing & Event Manager, Media 10 Ltd.

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