Random text generators: Lorizzle my ipsizzle, son of a bizzle!

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Nunc eu ante ac tortor lacinia dictum vitae eget orci. Aliquam non arcu enim. Suspendisse lacinia tortor.

…Know what I mean?

In this day and age where an internet presence for your company borders on a requirement, it can be hard to stand out. With so many competitors in any industry clamouring for customers’ attention, having a good web designer on your side can be what separates you from your rivals.

Web designers have a big job to do. Theirs is the unenviable task of pulling the desired words, pictures, sounds and colours together in such a way that the site has maximum impact. It needs to look coherent, cohesive and, essentially, not like a dog’s dinner.

Thankfully, tools exist to make this process as smooth as humanly possible. But how can designers get text on their site doing the early stages when this content hasn't been written yet?

Why designers use random text generators

Of course, they could just put in a box with ‘insert copy here’ written in it, but that won’t really get across how the copy is going to look. What they need is a web tool which generates random text by the word, line, paragraph or even page.

Thankfully, a whole bushel of such tools exist with the most famous being Lorem Ipsum, a sample of whose work you saw at the start of this blog post.

Generating text in Latin, a language in which not many of us are fluent, is less of a distraction. Those giving feedback on the site are made aware that it's just mumbo-jumbo to fill the space, rather than anything which in any way relates to the finished copy.

Now, with any commonly used tool like this you’re bound to see variations on a theme crop up. Why fill your mockup with boring old faux Latin when you can have something with a little more pizzazz? We’ve taken a look at some of the more interesting text generators out there and selected some corkers:


So I was saying, so they said I wasn't going to run. And everybody was, oh, he's never going to run. Never going to run. He is just having fun. You know my brand. I mean I lose gutless Macy's because I said about illegal immigration.

First off, we have the heir apparent to the Republican nomination, future President of the United States and one-time professional wrestler, Donald Trump. Now your website can speak to the hearts of a disenfranchised nation while your copywriter gets their act together. Also useful if your webmaster likes setting up big firewalls.


Fillerati

'Hush! Hush!' said the Rabbit in a low, hurried tone. He looked anxiously over his shoulder as he spoke, and then raised himself upon tiptoe, put his mouth close to her ear, and whispered 'She's under sentence of execution.'

Then we have the random text generator that brings you passages from such classic authors as Herman Melville, H.G. Wells and Lewis Carroll. Ever wondered what a website for a pharmaceutical company might look like if it was populated by passages from Moby-Dick? Wonder no more, Fillerati has you covered.


Batman Ipsum

No guns, no killing. Just you, sir? Don't worry, Master Wayne. It takes a little time to get back in the swing of things. I take what I need from those who have more than enough. I am the League of Shadows.

Did your website suffer a great personal tragedy early in its life, leading it to a life dedicated to vengeance upon all who would prey on the weak? Is your website the night? Batman Ipsum lets you generate quotes from the Dark Knight Trilogy, with options to select quotes from each film or even individual characters.


Gangsta Lorem Ipsum

Maecenizzle at the bizzle. Nizzle . Prizzle shit, own yo' shizznit congue consectetizzle, metus libero consequizzle purus, eget ullamcorper bling bling mi non daahng dawg. Cras faucibus you son of a bizzle.

From 1993’s seminal album Doggystyle to his recent reincarnation as a global reggae superstar, the contributions to art and culture of Snoop Dogg have been many and varied. He’s even pioneered his own language of sorts, with the endings of English words handily replaced with ‘izzle.’ Gangsta Lorem Ipsum lets you send your website low-riding through South Central LA without a care in the world.


Hipster Ipsum

Kitsch Carles whatever, small batch umami mumblecore food truck Bushwick cliche tattooed flexitarian organic. Farm-to-table Brooklyn twee artisan tattooed gastropub Etsy ethical iPhone gluten-free.

There’s this other random text generator, but it’s pretty underground. You probably haven’t heard of it. With Hipster Ipsum you can populate your website with the most insufferably pretentious drivel this side of a Vice article… but all in an ironic way, of course.


Picksum Ipsum

Alrighty then. Good morning, oh in case I don't see you, good afternoon, good evening and goodnight. You wouldn't hit a man with no trousers on, would you? It's not the size mate; it's how you use it. I want to shoot the pigeons... off my roof.

For those who love movies as much as random text, Picksum Ipsum lets you select classic lines from Hollywood’s most iconic leading men. Choose from Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Clint Eastwood and… erm… Jim Carrey. You can even set up a rumble between two of them and mix lines together. I’ve always wondered what would have happened if Jim Carrey had starred in Fistful of Dollars.

But why use placeholder text when you could use a copywriter?

All of these tools are great and definitely get the job done. However, web designers who have the luxury of working with copywriters from the start of a project should definitely pursue this option. That’s not just me speaking from my somewhat biased position as a copywriter.

When a project is nicely managed, having all contributors pitch in promotes a consistent-looking final product. It becomes a holistic effort and cuts down on the inevitable back-and-forth between designers, writers, photographers, etc as things near completion.

Why engineer a situation where changes and compromises characterise the final stages of your site’s design when you could have had everyone on the same page from day one?

In short, while there are any number of tools which can help you plug the gaps in a site’s design, best practice is always to have these aspects covered as early as possible. Trust me, with a full team working in harmony the final product will speak for itself.