“Lorem Ipsum Dolor Sit Amet”

No, we’re not singing a Latin Christmas hymn; though I wouldn’t be surprised if someone has put these words to music. There is a lot of humor surrounding this Lorem Ipsum, and if you’re a fan of Chipotle you may have seen some of it on the side of their bags a few years ago.

For those outside the design world, Lorem Ipsum is commonly used as placeholder text for previewing layouts and visual mockups. In a perfect world, designers would receive brilliant headlines, body copy and a call to action before starting to layout their design. But the world of graphics, print and publishing is rarely perfect, and often copywriting and design are worked on concurrently. This means that the designer would need to allow room for approximated copy but wouldn’t have anything to place.

 

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing 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.

A Brief History

According to Richard McClintock – the man credited with identifying its roots – a typesetter in the middle ages likely scrambled part of a first-century Cicero text to provide placeholder type when mocking up various fonts for a specimen book. Fast forward to the 1960s when a French lettering company popularized Lorem Ipsum with their release of dry-transfer sheets with letters that could be rubbed on anywhere.

For those as old as me, my first introduction to Lorem Ipsum was in high school learning Aldus PageMaker. The program came bundled with some Lorem Ipsum text to help lay out page content. Adobe followed suit when it purchased Aldus Corporation in 1994 and evolved the design software into InDesign. Even in the newest versions of Adobe InDesign and Illustrator, users can set the preference to have Lorem Ipsum fill their text boxes automatically.

From print to desktop to web, Lorem Ipsum has been prolific as placeholder content. And in the case of Chipotle –whether on purpose or not, and they claim it was a deliberate “easter egg” oddity—the final content. Not recommended.

Much More Fun Alternatives

For those who are annoyed seeing all the squiggly red lines indicating misspellings below your Lorem Ipsum text because the spellchecker does not recognize the words, there are a number of fun, alternative ipsum generators. Here are four of my favorites:

For the foodies:  Bacon Ipsum
Bacon ipsum dolor amet short ribs chislic pastrami meatloaf cow filet mignon. T-bone sirloin pancetta salami pork chop tongue. Short ribs rump filet mignon ball tip beef ribs. Fatback chuck shank bacon filet mignon shankle porchetta swine short loin ham pancetta.

For the fans of Jeff Goldblum:  Jeffsum
So you two dig up, dig up dinosaurs? Forget the fat lady! You’re obsessed with the fat lady! Drive us out of here! Remind me to thank John for a lovely weekend. They’re using our own satellites against us. And the clock is ticking. You know what? It is beets. I’ve crashed into a beet truck.

For my scifi fans out there:  DeLorean Ipsum
Calm down, Marty, I didn’t disintegrate anything. The molecular structure of Einstein and the car are completely intact. Marty, you gotta come back with me. Of course, from a group of Libyan Nationalists. They wanted me to build them a bomb, so I took their plutonium and in turn gave them a shiny bomb case full of used pinball machine parts.

And if those above don’t float your boat, try Fillerama which allows you to pick filler text from such shows as Dexter, Doctor Who, Monty Python, Star Wars and The Simpsons.