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When developing a layout for a publication (or brochure, poster, website, etc.) designers often use what is referred to as “dummy text.” (Also called “placeholder” or “filler text.”) This is text with essentially no meaning.

There are a couple of reasons for using such text.

  1. The designer may not have the finalized text yet, but wants to figure out the layout
  2. When looking at a design, it is easier to focus on the design elements and ignore the words when the “words” have no real meaning

There are numerous ways to create this dummy text from simple hitting random letters, to using a text generator built into your design software as shown below in Adobe InDesign (called “placeholder text” in InDesign), to using a generator online.


Lorem Ipsum

Perhaps the most commonly known type of dummy text, and my personal favorite however is Lorem Ipsum.

Lorem Ipsum is Latin text which has been scrambled up into meaningless sentences. This combined with the reality that most of us today do not speak Latin helps keep the actual words form being much of a distraction when developing a design.

The big advantage to using Lorem Ipsum over randomized letters is that it is created from real words, which means it more naturally replicates the flow of words. When just randomly typing or using a text generator that is just throwing out randomized letters and spaces, the text will have too many long or too many short words in close combination which can display a distorted view of what the finalized piece will ultimately look like.

Finding Lorem Ipsum for Your Project

While there are multiple places online to find Lorem Ipsum text, I typically go to http://www.lipsum.com/ where I have never felt l had to worry about someone deliberately putting in silly or inappropriate words or phrases–an important thing to be sure of when showing a boss or client your base design.