Washing machine label rave

Washing machine label rave

Can I just be a nerd for a second? As a linguist and as someone who used to work at a translation company, the label on my clothes washer delights me on a daily basis (this is not my actual label but close enough):

The efficiency of this combination of writing and images is beautiful. Specifically, it integrates all the required EU languages without getting cluttered. That upper right corner? It's perfection. The spareness of the ENERG plus all the endings you need to form the word in all those languages...I just love it.

And it's daring. I don't know how much of an impact EU translation regulations had on this particular piece of design, but back in the day, at the translation company I worked at, we would not have tried something like this without an enthusiastic response from the customer - or better yet, the customer suggesting it in the first place. It's not normal to be quite so minimalist in translation - usually, each language gets its own space, no matter how cumbersome. That's just how it usually works.

But here, somebody involved in the translation or design sat his or her coworkers down and was like, look. There is a better way. Let's print ENERG once, and let these smart EU human beings tack on the ending they need.

I imagine there was cheering and applause. They saved ink, they saved paper, they saved space, and they made it look good.

Commute by bike at your own peril

Commute by bike at your own peril

January 20th, outsourced