International Graphic Design and Marketing

When creating a design or marketing campaign into a foreign country there are considerations that must be taken into account. We just returned from Peru and it reminded me of an old marketing campaign that failed due to translation. The Chevrolet Nova, when marketed into Spanish speaking countries did not do well because the word NOVA translated into English means No Go. Other translation can prove to be more offensive and damaging. For instance in China, the word FOUR should never be used as it sounds like the word for death. References to ghosts, death and dying are never mentioned in this country.

Pictures and colors are another consideration. Certain colors in different cultures can be misconstrued as offensive or to strong. Just as in any campaign, imagery is very important. If you are marketing into China the color of a red bird can be seen as lucky. In Spain, gifts such as knives or scissors are seen to sever a relationship and should never be given as gifts.

So if you are planning to market internationally, which is very easy these days, pay close attention to the message you are sending.