Is there a better alternative to lorem ipsum for placeholder copy?

michael profile image Michael Lee πŸ• ・1 min read

When putting together a prototype for a client/stakeholder or a mock up, is there a better alternative to using lorem ipsum? Any better approaches of how you can create a place holder copy that looks a little more serious or is lorem ipsum the best option?

I'm not looking for something like Samuel L Jackson ipsum, I'm asking for something that is more presentable to clients/stakeholders to encourage gathering copy for a screen that isn't distracting.


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This is really, really neat Ben! Thanks for sharing :) Clever idea. Is this a project of yours?


Nope! Just came across it after having the same question you did :)


As outlined on lipsum.com/, the primary reason lorem ipsum is used is because of the more normal distribution of letters, making the page look better than "Content content content content more content".

Because of the popularity, I've not had any clients question the use of lorem ipsum, but it sounds like this may not be the case for you. If a client was unhappy with the use of lorem ipsum, I'd probably ask them for a sample to use so they can see 'real' data on the page instead.


@12vanblart , thanks for sharing. The funny thing is, I've used that page before and have never taken the time to read the little blurb about the history of lorem ipsum. Thanks for reminding me to slow down and learn about its purpose.

Not really a push back from a client, it was more of a question that I had. I really do like your take on asking them for sample copy to use on the page. I was just curious if there was some standard for helping the client see something that is more in line with their branding. But I guess lorem is a good starter to block in layout and placement.


I actually worked with a guy once who just used the blurb from the homepage rather than using the actual lipsum text πŸ˜‚


Lorem Ipsum is a de facto standard and it's 100% ok to use it with clients. Is there a particular reason you don't want to use lorem ipsum? You could always write up real looking mock-text, but that could be time consuming


Hey hey Noah! Yeah I agree, it was just a thought that popped into my head. Wondering besides lorem, if there was any alternatives. I agree, an acceptable approach is to try to come up with a first stab at copy that could potentially be used, but as you said, takes more energy and resources to do so. I appreciate the feedback.


One of the reasons to use lorum ipsum in design documents, is because you don't want the client to focus on specific words if the words themselves aren't part of the design. If you use meaningful copy in a design document, you run the risk of someone focusing on the words/phrasing rather than the design. Using latin is nice because it looks similar to english without being readable (to most people).

Of course, if someone was distracted by the use of lorum ipsum, that would also be bad.


It's not really a replacement, but if clients get stuck on lorem-ipsum you could also use Redacted-Font on top of it. github.com/christiannaths/Redacted...


I really like this solution Philip. It let's you block in the copy block like in a wireframe. I'm curious what this would look like in a hi-fi prototype. Do you have any experience with using it in a prototype?


I don't. A designer I used to work with told me about it. He used it with a client that couldn't get over the words themselves.


To be honest, I hate any lorem-ipsum-like solution, they just hide the complexity in the UI (and lead to time waste & re-doing work).

Real data show many problems on your UI... believe me, put some real data, and you will consider many things that you haven't thought about.


We use this Ruby gem:

stympy / faker

A library for generating fake data such as names, addresses, and phone numbers.

logotype a happy-07


Build Status Gem Version Inline docs Test Coverage Maintainability

This gem is a port of Perl's Data::Faker library that generates fake data.

It comes in very handy for taking screenshots (taking screenshots for my project, Catch the Best was the original impetus for the creation of this gem), having real-looking test data, and having your database populated with more than one or two records while you're doing development.


  • While Faker generates data at random, returned values are not guaranteed to be unique by default You must explicity specify when you require unique values, see details Values also can be deterministic if you use the deterministic feature, see details
  • This is the master branch of Faker and may contain changes that are not yet released Please refer the README of your version for the available methods. List of all versions is available here.


May or may not be convenient in your context, but there are different ports of this available in different coding environments I believe.


Oh wow, this is great. Thanks for sharing Ben!


This. For the client side only, or node.js amongst the crowd you can use this version.

Marak / faker.js

generate massive amounts of realistic fake data in Node.js and the browser

faker.js - generate massive amounts of fake data in the browser and node.js


Build Status Coverage Status

npm version

OpenCollective OpenCollective



Hosted API Microservice


  • Supports all Faker API Methods
  • Full-Featured Microservice
  • Hosted by hook.io
curl http://faker.hook.io?property=name.findName&locale=de



<script src = "faker.js" type = "text/javascript"></script&gt
  var randomName = faker.name.findName(); // Caitlyn Kerluke
  var randomEmail = faker.internet.email(); // Rusty@arne.info
  var randomCard = faker.helpers.createCard(); // random contact card containing many properties


var faker = require('faker');

var randomName = faker.name.findName(); // Rowan Nikolaus
var randomEmail = faker.internet.email(); // Kassandra.Haley@erich.biz
var randomCard = faker.helpers.createCard(); // random contact card containing many properties



faker.js contains a super useful generator method Faker.fake for combining faker API methods using a mustache string format.


console.log(faker.fake("{{name.lastName}}, {{name.firstName}} {{name.suffix}}"));
// outputs: "Marks, Dean Sr."

This will interpolate the format string with the value of methods…


What about any book in txt you can download from the Gutenberg project? Maybe don't choose a Christmas Carol.

I would go with Kafka's Metamorphosis πŸ˜‚



That's clever, thanks for the idea rhymes.


If you're using any "lipsum" that's not Bacon Ipsum, you're wrong.


I've used Bacon before in the past. Haha. It's great, but not really what I need for this use case at the moment. But thanks for reminding me again of this great Ipsum Casey!


I've been using Honest Ipsum for a while now and it works wonderfully.


Oh wow this is awesome! I love how it educates your client for you. Thanks for sharing this John!


Have you tried Samuel L Ipsum? It's funny.