Lorem Ipsum – What Is It and When to Use it

Lorem Ipsum – What Is It and When to Use it

If you have an interest in web or graphic design, you will have seen Lorem Ipsum countless times. But what exactly is it, and when is it appropriate to use? These are the topics we will be discussing in this article.

What is Lorem Ipsum

Lorem Ipsum is a placeholder text used to demonstrate what a print document, website layout, or typeface will look like. This means you can showcase your design skills without having to rely on actual content, while keeping your templates from looking empty. This makes it especially useful in cases when you want to have a layout ready before the actual copy is finished, or if you want to show off your layout design skills alone.

This is the most often-used slug of text:

Lorem ipsum dolor si amet, consectetur adipiscing incidunt ut labore et dolore magna aliquam erat nostrud exercitation ullamcorper suscipit laboris nis duis autem vel eum irure dolor in reprehenderit i, dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. At vero eos et accusa praesant luptatum delenit aigue duos dolor et mole provident, simil tempor sunt in culpa qui officia de fuga. Et harumd dereud facilis est er expedit disti eligend optio congue nihil impedit doming id quod assumenda est, omnis dolor repellend. Temporibud

Lorem Ipsum is a text which has been used for this exact purpose for decades. It originates from Cicero’s ethical treatise De finibus bonorum et malorum (On the Ends of Good and Evil), with words changed, taken out, or added, making the text itself nonsensical, which is, in a way, the point – the goal is to see what any text might look like in a certain layout. Form over content.

And here is Lorem Ipsum, as used to showcase our Manon theme:

Lorem Ipsum Text

When to use Lorem Ipsum

The reason it feels better to use a placeholder text such as Lorem Ipsum rather than just random strings of characters is that it looks like normal text: words and sentences. This is why designers prefer to use it when they need the appearance of copy without the actual substance.

Maybe you have a great idea for a website layout which can be used regardless of the theme or topic. Maybe you want to see how a new typeface (or font) would behave in your layout. Maybe you are working on leaflet design, or other printed material, and want to see how much text you can reasonably fit into your layout before you even start on the copy itself. Or maybe you just want to work on your design without the text guiding or influencing it.

In either case, the look of words on a page will help you – or your client – get a feel for the finished product.

Where to find Lorem Ipsum

Of course, the original Latin text is copyright-free and widely available. You can find it, for instance, on Wikisource. But what if you want to try something a little different?

If you prefer using randomly generated English text, the one we sometimes resort to is Hipster Ipsum – maybe a dated joke, but still more like English in terms of word length and space frequency.

Not all languages have the same average word length, of course. Because spaces occur at different frequencies, your layout may need to be more accommodating depending on the language. So if you are working with a language which tends towards longer words, such as German, try Deutscher Ipsum.

Similarly, if your design is supposed to work with Chinese, an equally classic choice is the Thousand Characters, also available, among other places, from Wikisource.

In Conclusion

If you ever wondered what Lorem Ipsum was or what it is used for, now you know. We hope we’ve given you a good idea of when to use it instead of just leaving the layout blank, and what to do when working with various languages.

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