Skip to navigation Skip to main content

Lorem Ipsum : Jargon Buster

Lorem Ipsum is an abbreviated reference to the placeholder text designers often use when real content isn’t available. There are many modern variations but the most common form has been in use since the 15th century. It borrows passages of Cicero’s treatise on ethics, written back in 45 BC, and starts like this.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipisicing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua.

In general it is preferable to design from the very start using real content, rather than creating content to fit a design. But there is always a balance to be struck. Sometimes it just isn’t possible to get that content and in some cases it may even be desirable to use placeholder text.

In the same way that wireframes allow us to assess layouts and the hierarchy of content on a page without getting bogged-down in design detail, so Lorem Ipsum can help us ensure that content doesn’t become a distraction when evaluating certain aspects of a design.

If you are going to use placeholder text, keeping it consistent has its benefits – in particular being a lot easier to check for before you publish. If you’re working with a lot of content it’s all too easy for something like ‘Need a snappy sub-heading here’ to slip through the net. But with Lorem Ipsum a simple search will quickly highlight any instances where it is still being used.

So there you have it, a 700 year old design tool still in use today.

Nick Barron

Written by

Nick Barron

In his role as UX Director Nick ensures that everything we do reflects a clear understanding of our clients’ aims as well the expectations of their audiences.