Placeholder Images
June 12, 2011 8:38 AM   Subscribe

Lorem Pixum — A placeholder image generator for web and print designers for any size or topic. Speed up your workflow during the development process.
posted by netbros (24 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
I have no desire to put these into any design project (although that's undoubtedly useful), but it's a fascinating thing to flick through randomly.

Is it possible to change how the text looks on the image, or is it always in the same place with the same formatting?
posted by codacorolla at 8:51 AM on June 12, 2011

Oh, so this must be what every Corporate graphic designer has been using since the 1990s.
posted by schmod at 8:52 AM on June 12, 2011 [3 favorites]

There is also the Dynamic Dummy Image Generator...
posted by jim in austin at 8:57 AM on June 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

Damn. This was something I thought of last year and almost finished building - before I got distracted by some other project that I'll never finish...
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 9:01 AM on June 12, 2011 [3 favorites]

Lenna is the only girl for me.
posted by ryanrs at 9:28 AM on June 12, 2011 [4 favorites]

schmod : Oh, so this must be what every Corporate graphic designer has been using since the 1990s.

And from the looks of the sample pics it gave me, those same designers often decide to keep the placeholders in the final product. ;)

Neat idea, and certainly useful in some situations, but I see one major flaw with it - The Lorem Ipsum text allows you to work on the page layout without the content influencing your opinion; The linked site largely fails in that regard because it looks like actual content, and would interfere with any impartial examination of a layout in isolation. For example, my fourth reload, I got a colorful line of models on a catwalk, with a strongly diagonal orientation... Good luck deciding if your page looks nice when the placeholder image accidentally pulls the eyes toward the upper right, and the color scheme just happens to clash with the models' dresses.

ryanrs : Lenna is the only girl for me.

Believe it or not, some HR departments frown on using pics from Playboy (even SFW ones) in the workplace.
posted by pla at 9:30 AM on June 12, 2011 [2 favorites]

HR is paid to frown. Lenna was never a problem anywhere I've ever worked.
posted by ryanrs at 9:35 AM on June 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

(Lenna is a famous test image used to test image processing algorithms. Agreed it's not optimal for design work.)
posted by ryanrs at 9:38 AM on June 12, 2011

The images are all CC By-SA, but unless I'm missing something I don't see any easy way to find out the original author/licence of the pictures. Theres absolutely nothing in the IPTC/Exif Metadata. (This also applies to

I think the reason for this is that Flickr (and Facebook) strip out all image metadata.

This makes me wonder if Flickr is still a good place to host pictures?
posted by Lanark at 9:48 AM on June 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Lenna is so famous in the desktop publishing and graphic design world that many scanners and some graphics programs used to include a photographic, continuous tone print to use as a target for calibration for scanners, graphics cameras and printers. I can't remember if the one I used to have came with Corel Draw or if it came with our HP Scanjet 2, but it had the 512x512 image of Lenna and below that a set of color bars and gradient targets.

So, yeah, no sane graphic design or publishing company had an issue with that particular segment of a Playboy image. Granted most places that do design or publishing are used to sometimes handling risque images. It's part of the job. I've seen shops that had clients that sold adult videos or sex toys and when you went in to the office every single screen had something "adult" or "not safe for work" on it.

It's a lot less exciting or titillating than you'd think. It's not any more interesting than laying out yellow page ads. It's just work.

If you're bored with Lorem Ipsum and would like something meatier, try Bacon Ipsum. (via argeedee)
posted by loquacious at 9:58 AM on June 12, 2011 [4 favorites]

What ever happened to big ol' blocks of IMAGE HERE?
posted by LogicalDash at 10:02 AM on June 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

Thanks, netbros, this will be useful. Now, if only someone can help me help my German CIO remember Lorem Ipsum doesn't mean anything because it's not meant to mean anything...
posted by OneMonkeysUncle at 10:52 AM on June 12, 2011

(Lenna is a famous test image used to test image processing algorithms. Agreed it's not optimal for design work.)
posted by ryanrs

It's not optimal for anything, except during that period where it was the only digital image available. Look at the color histogram, it's a crap image. But it does have a wide variety of hues, just highly quantized.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:21 AM on June 12, 2011

If Veggie Ipsum is not your style, there's Bacon Ipsum.
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:46 AM on June 12, 2011

Well I only ever paid attention to the luma channel anyway. Check out how we used bit shifts so we could do the color conversion with MMX integer instructions:
Y = (G>>1) + (R>>2) + (B>>3);
A wide variety of hues? You're lucky you got any at all. Videoconferencing over 33.6k modems, yeehaw!
posted by ryanrs at 11:47 AM on June 12, 2011

My coworker and I were just researching new Lorem Ipsum generators the other day. We found an old favorite fo shizzle and one that was new to us:

The Postmodernism Generator

You could try pointing your German CIO at that, but parsing it makes one's brain overheat. (It almost, but just doesn't quite make sense. Brilliant.)
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:52 AM on June 12, 2011 [1 favorite]

So a few years ago we had a client who had a product.

They were stuck on the name.

But time was of the essence. We had to design the PR stuff, the packaging, and so on, while the product was still under development.

"What's the name?" the designers asked. The client had no good ideas. So the designers greeked everything in with the usual. We showed the comps to the client.

The client loved the comps. The designs were okay - some changes were needed. That's usually the case. And probably somebody had needed to explain why there was "Lorem Ipsum dolor sit amet..." where the product info would be. But the client also loved the name, and that was an important thing. Problem solved!

This is why we created the marketing materials for a product called the Lorem.

It is a true story.

Usually this is the sort of story people in design or advertising tell each other when it's after hours and everybody's enjoying their drinks and trading stories. But this is not really the story to tell to play up just how stupid clients are. The clients were awfully nice and good to work with. They did pretty well with the product. They're still in business, designing more products. They're happy with the name Lorem. I don't think there are any losers or dummies this time. Even if the product name makes graphic designers do a double-take.
posted by ardgedee at 3:04 PM on June 12, 2011 [4 favorites]

We is actually a pretty cool name for a company (that is what it translates to literally in Latin, right?). It probably would've been cooler if you'd done it before the Wii launched.
posted by codacorolla at 3:33 PM on June 12, 2011

that is what it translates to literally in Latin, right?

As best I recall, it means nothing at all. It has been decades since my last Latin class, but I think it is a fragment of Cicero, with the "lorem"comes from part of dolorem, pain or sadness.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 4:28 PM on June 12, 2011

A wide variety of hues? You're lucky you got any at all...
posted by ryanrs

Hue is always the most down-sampled. See Paul Heckbert's "pam" and "pamela" for better chroma resolution on iconic lone sample test images. Pam is all about the pink, with very little green and blue. "Lenna," on the other hand, has green and blue, for testing... she was also a mascot at MIT... the Architecture Machine Group (later the Media Lab) in 1981, Lenna... NO!! It's TIFFANY! that's TIFFANY!.

Stop the lies.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:13 PM on June 12, 2011

The model's actual name is Lena Söderberg.
posted by ryanrs at 9:13 PM on June 12, 2011

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