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Websites in professional use templating systems. Commercial publishing platforms and content management systems ensure that you can show different text, different data using the same template. When it’s about controlling hundreds of articles, product pages for web shops, or user profiles in social networks, all of them potentially with different sizes, formats, rules for differing elements things can break, designs agreed upon can have unintended consequences and look much different than expected. This is quite a problem to solve, but just doing without greeking text won’t fix it. Using test items of real content and data in designs will help, but there’s no guarantee that every. 

Fashion has become a joke. The designers have forgotten that there are women inside the dresses. Most women dress for men and want to be admired. But they must also be able to move, to get into a car without bursting their seams! Clothes must have a natural shape. Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just escaped from adolescence, but of those who have already taken.

Coco Chanel

Typographers of yore didn’t come up with the concept of dummy copy because people thought that content is inconsequential window dressing, only there to be used by designers who can’t be bothered to read. Lorem Ipsum is needed because words matter, a lot. Just fill up a page with draft copy about the client’s business and they will actually read it and comment on it. They will be drawn to it, fiercely. Do it the wrong way and draft copy can derail your design review. Asking the client to pay no attention Lorem Ipsum isn’t hard as it doesn’t make sense in the first place, that will limit any initial interest soon enough. Try telling a client to ignore draft copy however, and you’re up to something. 

Whenever draft copy comes up in a meeting confused questions about it ensue. It’s unreal, uncanny, makes you wonder if something is wrong, it seems to seek your attention for all the wrong reasons. Usually, we prefer the real thing, wine without sulfur based preservatives, real butter, not margarine, and so we’d like our layouts and designs to be filled with real words, with thoughts that count, information that has value. The toppings you may chose for that TV dinner pizza slice when you forgot to shop for foods, the paint you may slap on your face to impress the new boss is your business. But what about your daily bread? Design comps, layouts, wireframes—will your clients accept that you go about.

You begin with a text, you sculpt information, you chisel away what’s not needed, you come to the point, make things clear, add value, you’re a content person, you like words. Design is no afterthought, far from it, but it comes in a deserved second. Anyway, you still use Lorem Ipsum and rightly so, as it will always have a place in the web workers toolbox, as things happen, not always the way you like it, not always in the preferred order. Even if your less into design and more into content strategy you may find some redeeming value with, wait for it, dummy copy, no less. Consider this: You made all the required mock ups for commissioned layout, got all the approvals, built a tested code base or had them built, you decided on a content management system, got a license for it or adapted open source software for your client’s needs. 

There’s lot of hate out there for a text that amounts to little more than garbled words in an old language. The villagers are out there with a vengeance to get that Frankenstein, wielding torches and pitchforks, wanting to tar and feather it at the least, running it out of town in shame. I’ve heard the argument that “lorem ipsum” is effective in wireframing or design because it helps people focus on the actual layout, or color scheme, or whatever. What kills me here is that we’re talking about creating a user experience that will (whether we like it or not).

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