Lorem Ipsum is not a person, it’s the first two words of filler text used in layout. 

Reading placeholder text in a layout for the first time can be a bit confusing.  It looks like something has gone terribly wrong with your marketing firm’s grasp of the English language.  With everything being electronic these days, it’s no wonder clients have commented that it “looks like the text came out all jumbled.”  However,  Lorem Ipsum is intended to be that way.  Designers of all types use this block of text for layout purposes prior to copy writing completion.

Letraset (a company that made artwork transfer sheets prior to computer layout) popularized the text in the 1960s.  It became standard in Aldus Pagemaker in the mid-1980’s, one of the first desktop publishing tools to find commercial success.  The marketing and graphic design industry has used it ever since.

Lorem Ipsum enjoys pervasive use because visually it looks like a normal paragraph of text if you don’t try to read it — if you do attempt to read it, it’s mostly Latin (though jumbled to be nonsensical and improper if you happen to actually be able to read Latin).  When creating a design layout, designers are typically not concerned with what the actual text of the layout will be, just how much there will be and where it will go.  In fact, often there is a desire to separate the process of writing and reviewing copy from the layout.

Not only does it tend to be more efficient to edit copy in a word processor than in a page layout program, but showing draft copy in a layout can cause a reviewer to get tripped up on incorrect or incomplete text when the focus of the review needs to be the overall layout. Thus, Lorem Ipsum is perfect for adding text to a layout for visual effect.

And because this is a creative business, Lorem Ipsum has spawned an ever-expanding group of Custom Ipsums. Fun ones we like include: Bacon Ipsum, Cupcake Ipsum and Hipster Ipsum.  So next time you start reading a paragraph and find “Lorem Ipsum dolor sit…” rest assured that your full service marketing firm has not lost complete control of their mental faculties.