The Personal Disquiet of

Mark Boulton

Design tip: Just say YES to Lorem Ipsum

– March 3rd, 2005 –

Prompted by a post at 37signals regarding the “unfortunate” usage of Lorem Ipsum in design comps. Interesting post, put I feel I have to put forward the other side of the arguement.

The basis of the 37signals post is, I think, they regard Lorem Ipsum text as abstracting the content from the interface. By using dummmy copy, you’re presenting a dummy interface. To a point I agree, but, lets face it, it’s a bit idealistic thinking that way.

How many times has a client asked you for visuals before they’ve commited to giving you copy? And what about pitching for work? Do you commit extra resources to write real copy? For a pitch??

There is a time and a place for Lorem Ipsum. I’d agree with 37signals and not use it at a wireframe stage, or final visual stage, for website presentation. But for print, Lorem Ipsum has it’s place and will continue to be used for years i’m sure.

When designing books for example, Lorem Ipsum is invaluable for creating typographic relationships and grid design (see my upcoming article for DIF) where copy does not exist, or is not finalised yet. It’s cost effective to spend time developing the grid with dummy copy before you have final text rather than sitting around waiting for the manuscript. Typographic designers have used Lorem Ipsum for generations, with the lack of final copy, for developing form and a balance between typographic elements but more importantly for a quick representation of the final product for the client to buy into. Now for web design and specifically for applications, that’s a different story.

Filed in: design.

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