The Debate over Lorem Ipsum


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Victor Moreno discussed the pros and cons of using Lorem Ipsum in place of content in your designs at the March Commpose meeting.

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The Debate over Lorem Ipsum

  1. 1. • What is Lorem Ipsum? – Common name for placeholder text used to demonstrate the graphic elements of a document, visual presentation or layout. – Name comes from specimen of Latin text written by Cicero ‘On The Ends of Good and Evil’. • Lorem ipsum dolor sin amet, consectutur adipisicing elit … – Popularized in advertising art industry in 1960’s when Letraset provided it in dry transferable sheets for use in comps to clients. – Used by designers in draft stage because the latin ‘gibberish’ looks like words when copy for ad or web layout is unavailable to designer.
  2. 2. • For Example – Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. – Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. – Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. – Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum. – It looks like ad copy & represents what copy would look like in the final ad/page.
  3. 3. • So what’s the problem? – Changing norms in design process • One argument is that prior to advent of web 2.0, design was king. – Thus, you might have busy, media-rich Flash-driven sites with complicated or forced navigation that load slowly • Today, more often than not, if one goes to agency or freelance professional, the agency or freelancer provide or have access to content specialist. Content drives the page and brings and maintains traffic. – Thus, Lorem Ipsum would be irrelevant. The content is essential to the design of page from the beginning, so no need for filler text.
  4. 4. • So is Lorem Ipsum necessary? – PROS • By using Lorem, designer separates their job from copywriter. Clients can be picky, often copy can change from early in process to finished product & seeing it in comp can stall design process. By using Lorem, you have filler and only have to change text when project is about to go live or in beta stage. • Content Management Systems. Sometimes you get limited copy. In draft stage, Lorem is useful in testing layout options (div classes, footers, sidebar content, etc) Lorem is good for organization of content
  5. 5. • So is Lorem Ipsum necessary? – PROS • In certain fields, clients are not concerned with content, so much as creating an immersive experience or extension of their brand (music sites, film, entertainment). Here, some direction is given visually with understanding to leave space for some content (tour dates, film releases dates, synopsis). Here, Lorem Ipsum is helpful in defining these areas in comp stage. • Client can be confused by filler copy you provide without prompting. Don’t confuse your clients. If not having copy concerns you, its opportunity to add copywriting on top of design services
  6. 6. • So is Lorem Ipsum necessary? – CONS • Content should be stressed over design. In world where Twitter, Facebook, & website are integrated & feeds provide content in your inbox, design is distant second to content. Optimize site according to content to ensure traffic. • Content should enhance the design of your page. The aesthetic of your page/ad should serve the message, not vice versa. • Designer can ask for content before start of project. Explain upside to client. Honesty & communication lead to better end result and referrals to others.
  7. 7. • SOLUTIONS? – Work with copywriter from beginning. • If client approaches designer with need for site/ad, but not much beyond that; meet with them & explain importance of knowing concept behind business or product. If designer doesn’t have copywriting experience, learn or work/refer with copywriter. Everyone benefits. – Use headers in sections where content will go • Instead of Lorem – use TEXT GOES HERE or header / subheader /copy – Use Lorem in comps where it will change hands b/w many individuals. • Bureaucracy can be good or bad. If big company is on the ball, they’ll have copy. If your judgment shows theyre a bit scattered & don’t have it, then Lorem is your friend.
  8. 8. • SOLUTIONS? – Sell yourself! • If client is clueless on this field, you as designer/writer can benefit twice. Both by charging for your services as a designer and as a copywriter. Communication is the key to making a successful page or ad from both the design and copy stage. • CONCLUSION – Open – Content is what drives sites now in most fields. Look at what is happening in that area and communicate with your client, so that lorem ipsum is just on your comp and not between you and your client.