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20 years of doing it Bright

20 years of doing it Bright
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After setting up in 1999, Brightlines Translation are excited to celebrate 20 years of trading!


Over the last two decades the company has handled projects for some amazing companies  – from creative campaigns and subtitling for the British Council to transcreation services for B2C giants like Canon across European marketing campaigns.

The company specializes in marketing and website translation services, but has also provided legal, technical and general translation services to some of the most exciting brands around the world.

As Brightlines embarks on the next 20 years, here’s the story of the last two decades, and outlined plans for the next 20 years. Read on!

How it all started

You might not realise that the company’s roots began in the mid nineteen nineties, back when Josian first met Neil. They shared an interest in international business, design and typography. In a world of primarily commercially language companies, Brightlines Translation is different. The company is linguistically and culturally driven – and that all started from the founders’ backgrounds.

Josian Phillips was a scientist at Public Health England. Becoming increasingly involved in international conferences and marketing, she became fascinated by the challenge of global communication. Neil Gauld was then running a design company that partnered with international advertising agencies. He worked with Josian by chance, on an international marketing project.

The pair were then recommended to a leading Norwegian ad agency called Anisdahl, Sand & Partnere, run by famous Norwegian graphic designer Leif Anisdahl, for an upcoming high-profile project for the Norwegian Government. That ended up being a 46 language project – and that’s where it all started.

After starting in a home office, for various reasons the pair decided they needed to set up an office – not least because of their growing family.

Like any successful business there is a focus on commercial success at Brightlines, but the priority is and always has been to do the right thing, offer a next-level service and focus on the integrity of language in each project. In a world of quick and done, that’s a refreshing change – taking time to get things right the first time.  It’s a formula that’s been successful in attracting clients ranging from Canon to the British Council and Sonos.

There’s been two office moves, one office dog and two re-brands in the process – and the current setup is much more professional than the first 20 years ago!

High-profile projects

Brightlines has worked with a range of companies in its history, too many to name. But some of the most notable have included:

  • Weir Group – 30 documents, 5 videos and 6 brochures and a website into 21 languages…in just 2 weeks
  • Hootsuite – content and social translation for one of the leading social companies in the world
  • Google – translating and transcreating EMEA content for Google for the Google AdWords platform, now known as Google Ads. Read more.
  • The Hilton – website translation for the global hotel brand, not just translating the words but also transcreating the messages within the website. Read the full case study.
  • Elsevier – what do you get when you cross healthcare and marketing? Great translation services from Brightlines. Read the case study.

The next 20 years

The next 20 years promise to be just as exciting, if not more exciting, as the company evolves to meet the fast-changing needs in the translation market.

Neil Gauld, Director at Brightlines says:

“20 years ago Google had just launched, and now they are a client! There was no Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. The world has changed dramatically – but customer service and quality are traditions that Brightlines believe need to be kept alive!

Our plans are to respond to that – but keep our core ethos of linguistic integrity and doing things to the right standard at the core”

So what next? The company is looking forward to the next 20 years and has outlined five key areas of development:

CMS focus – CMS translations are a big focus – from Magento to WordPress to Drupal. Translation remains one of the most exciting ways to increase revenue and enquiries through client websites – and Brightlines has been working hard to set up integrations for various CMS systems – including the WPML plugin for WordPress. The company is excited to service clients with international ambitions.

Linguist recruitment – The quality of work has always been the key driver for Brightlines, and linguist recruitment continues to be at the forefront of the company’s focus. The company continues to prioritise new linguist recruitment and the highest quality standards.

Technology efficiency – To keep standards high at the right price point, the company is leveraging the latest tech on AI and translation memory systems – meaning it can pass on the savings to customers while maintaining high standards.

Client care – Like quality, client care has always been a key driver for Brightlines. The creation of an additional Account Manager role, undertaken by Rowena Smyth, has helped to drive that focus. Brightlines wants to build partnerships – and the account management role is a key component of that.

Josian Phillips, Marketing Director at Brightlines added:

“We’ve really enjoyed the journey so far and are excited for the next chapter, I can’t believe it’s been 20 years because it feels like 5. We’re excited about the positive change in the world, and we’re excited to move with the developments in technology, while keeping the ethos that has got us to here. The future promises to be bright for Brightlines Translation.”