It is not enough to simply translate your existing (Latin) original brand into an Arabic equivalent when it comes to branding in the Arab world. Rather, a rich tapestry of cultural details, local traditions, and consumer expectations must be woven into the design. Simply translating your English logo into Arabic does not guarantee that these details are captured. So, how do you authentically localize your brand without losing its core identity?
Choose the primary language.
First, decide whether Arabic will be your brand’s primary language or if it will coexist with English. This decision has ramifications for everything from your advertising channels to your customer service. It is a strategic business decision, not just a translation task. If Arabic is the second language, you may not need to create a complex logo and can simply add the name in Arabic beneath the English logo.
Label design simplicity.
Remember that good branding does not have to be difficult. In fact, simplicity has a lot of appeal and popularity. Consider Apple’s logo or Nike’s check mark—both are simple but very effective. The Arabic icon or logo should be simple and easy to understand. To ensure consistency, keep it simple, easy to remember, and visually consistent with your original directive.
Core values should be reversed.
Most importantly, your Arabic brand strategy should be consistent with your core values. Are you a high-end or low-cost brand? Is your brand centered on family values or individual values? These elements should also be clear in the Arabic version. Arabic speakers, like native speakers, should be able to connect emotionally and culturally with your brand.
Choosing the best Arabic brand designer is an important step.
Finding the ideal designer for your Arabic brand is more than just looking through profiles. Here are some things to think about:
Work experience with leading brands
Choose someone with a track record of success, particularly with larger brands. This not only demonstrates their credibility, but also provides an indication of the level and influence they can provide.
Arabic as a second language
Although it may appear obvious, your designer must be of Arabic origin and speak Arabic. This ensures a thorough understanding of grammar, fonts, and language nuances.
A thorough knowledge of Arab culture
Finally, ensure that the designer is well-versed in Arab culture. Color symbolism and traditional shapes, for example, can make or break empathy and understanding in the Arab world. Remember that it is not a literal translation of the original sign, but rather a transfer of the sign’s essence into a new cultural context.
In short, Arabic branding and logo design is not a task that can be easily mastered or delegated to a translation service unless the local culture is understood. It is a one-of-a-kind, creative, and strategic project aimed at connecting deeply with your Arabic-speaking audience while retaining the essence of your original brand.