Recently read a thought provoking article called “The effects of themed Lipsum on design” by Andrew Fox where he wrote that Loren Ipsum had a negative impact on design and we as designers should demand most of the content upfront.
“How can you design a message without knowing what the message is?” - Andrew Fox
Now, although I agree with him in principle, this can cause a lot of issues in practice. Putting your foot down might work if you’re a freelancer, but you probably won’t have that freedom in an agency or an internal design team.
Even with freelancers, it’s in their best interest to get the job up and running as quickly as possible, although they could charge at least a quarter of the project upfront, give the client deadlines, and tell them that their work gets pushed back if they don’t meet them.
With that said, though, designing something that does not accurately represent what it will be is highly flawed. And the problem is even worse for print because everything is fixed. At least on the web, you know that a page must look and work well with a lot, little or UGC content. But at least have mechanisms that help us with this (page numbers, hiding/showing content / animating things in etc.).
For print designers you create something with and the sentence can be a whole lot longer or shorter, making you revise the design again as you go.
For print designers, you create something with Ipsum , and the sentence can be a whole lot longer or shorter, making you revise the design again as you go.
- You design a perfect layout with Ipsum.
- Then the real copy comes along, which can mean things that you didn’t consider can crop up, such as longer or shorter titles.
- You redesign to fit, but by this point, you have placed constraints on yourself, and it’s hard to break the grid you fooled yourself into using without starting from scratch.
- Copy gets changed again, and you begin to question your existence.
- Repeat – 1.
What would be ideal is if we had an industry-wide “best practice” taught at university and enforced by designers, a bit like open source projects or the MIT License, then you could see real change.
In a perfect world, we as designers would have all of the ingredients from the start creating delicious bits of design to inspire society and bring real change. Sadly this isn’t the case as we are more like chefs cooking the meat, adding the sauce, salt and salad in front of the customer while they are eating.