Artemy Lebedev

§ 66. All Greek

March 6, 2001




To let the customer have a look at your drafts, you have to get some texts and pictures. As a rule, designer has neither at the point of presenting the prototype page layouts. What does the designer do then? He does the greeking.



The greeking text may be inserted, used, posted, pasted, shown, squeezed in… In a word, you can do anything to make your mockup look like a real work.



If you use color rectangles instead of arbitrary pictures and several repeating words instead of a normal text, the prototype will lack a natural look.



Let’s compare the following three examples:




Text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here text will be here


The external characterization of the intrinsic basis of the referent induces a predominantly ontological reduction: the referent is reduced to a mere topological manifold which is a function of the ostensive act. The latter is ontologically neutral because a mere topological manifold endorses different ontologies. We make no ontological assumption about the referent, except that it is intuitive. It is ontologically more plausible to characterize it as temporizable rather than temporal because the temporality of the referent is derived from an act of ontological or topological intuition.


If you’ve ever done repairs at home and stripped old wallpaper, you must have noticed that walls under it are sometimes lined with old newspapers. As soon as you get a glimpse of these newspapers, you start reading and never stop and can’t do anything else until you’ve read all of them. It is interesting indeed: scraps of text, relics of other people’s lives… The same goes for the greeking. The customer will never rest until he has read all of it. In some cases design was accepted exactly because of the greeking text that certainly had no bearing whatsoever on the work.


Sometimes even very good designers don’t bother to type in fake text and just add three or four words (in the left column, for example). That’s a very bad way to get the text into your mockup, since the customer will not be able to see what the actual text will look like. Repetitious text patterns make one of the worst impressions on the viewer.



Gibberish (like the example in the middle column) is an effective way to get the viewer’s attention focused on design, form, layout or color. Since reading this sort of text is no fun at all, the viewer’s whole attention gets riveted on design items.



Every studio chooses its own style of working with the greeking. If you are confident enough, you may write the texts yourself (see the right column). In my studio we have a custom of doing such a greeking that its appeal urges the customer to approve the design in general. The greeking frequently becomes part of a project, because the customer cannot resist its charms.







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