What is Lorem Ipsum?!

What is Lorem Ipsum?!

What is Lorem ipsum? A friend at another agency tells the story of an angry customer demanding to know why there was so much ‘Spanish speak’ on his website when he was targeting Scottish customers. Unfortunately, he’s not alone. It’s becoming an urban myth in the web development world, the number of customers who ask for the ‘foreign language’ to be taken off their test site. So we thought we’d clear it up – what is this lorem ipsum text that we keep using? For that we defer to Jill, our resident copywriter who has a B in A-Level Latin!

“Whatever we claim in the web world, ‘Lorem ipsum’ is not our invention. It’s been the standard of the printing industry since the 1500s. While scrambled a bit and changed around since then, Lorem Ipsum comes from ‘De Finibus Bonorum et Malorum’ (The Extremes of Good and Evil) by Cicero, written in 45 BC. Some unknown printer used it as test text in print setting and it’s remained the traditional placeholder through the evolution of digital typesetting and now right through to web design.

It’s used for three very good reasons. 1. often content is not available at the early design stages, 2. clients can get distracted by ‘real’ text on a page, and focus on fixing it when the project isn’t at that stage yet and 3. we need something to show what the font will look like in different sizes and styles.

The original text read: ‘Neque porro quisquam est qui dolorem ipsum quia dolor sit amet, consectetur, adipisci velit which people with better translation skills than me (sorry Mr. Kerr, you tried) have written as ‘There is no one who loves pain itself, who seeks after it and wants to have it, simply because it is pain’.

So there you have it…We need dummy text to show fonts, formatting and take up the empty space in a design, and someone picked a passage from a random Latin text in the 1500s, and we’re not smart enough to come up with something else.”

Thanks Jill – hope that cleared it up for y’all!

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