Free For All: Clear Communication

Dummy Text
Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet. That Latin-esque nonsense phrase is forever imprinted on the gray matter of generations of creative professionals. Even most clients know it, or at least the first two words! According to, the text has been in use as dummy copy or placeholder text in printed works for more than 500 years.

Some people say that’s long enough, that it’s time for something else. Certainly InDesign and QuarkXPress have moved past it, yet even modern, non-print textual technologies use it — there’s even a WordPress plug-in for generating dummy text using the standard Lorem Ipsum passage as a starting point. Whether you’re a traditionalist or of the opinion that five centuries is a long enough run, I’ve got some resources for you.

For the traditionalists, there’s, which lets you generate passages of virtually any paragraph, word, or byte length, as well as generate lists of dummy text. For other spins on the concept, check out the these sites:

Lorem Ipsum Generator, which outputs HTML complete with (out of date) formatting tags
Blind Text Generator, which does Lorem Ipsum and a whole lot more
another generator with advanced options
another generator
yet another generator

If you’ve had enough of Lorem Ipsum, perhaps other dummy text generators would be more your cup of alphabet soup. There’s the Malevole Text Generator loaded with references to cartoon favorites such as Hong Kong Phooey and Top Cat, the Greeking Machine, and community-generated greeking generator Lorem Ipsum 2.0 that amalgamates random Twitter tweets into paragraphs of English, French, Spanish, or Dutch placeholder copy.

A pictograph (also known as a pictogram) is a symbol that represents an idea. Pictographs are an everyday part of our lives and a critical visual communication language. For example, you may not understand the phrase “no fumar,” but a cigarette with a slash over it is pretty clear.

A designer’s job is to communicate, and these free pictogram fonts clipart sets will help you do just that. Use them as is for your designs — personal and commercial — or allow them to inspire your logo and other graphic communication designs.


FF Dingbats 2.0 Sampler Font


Santiago Icono

Ding Dongs

Siruca Pictograms

Martin Vogel’s Symbols


Wash Care Symbols

Zeichen (4 fonts)

Symbol Signs

AIGA Symbol Signs (EPS and GIF format)

PICOL Project Icons (EPS format)

Screencast Recorder
Have you ever wanted to record your computer screen? Perhaps you want to prove to the world that you can solo that uber boss in World of Warcraft, or you’d like to create speed painting videos like this, this, and that to inspire your creative peers. Whatever your purpose, you can record your screen for free with ScreenCastle. It works within your Web browser.

What would a Free for All installment be without textures? Here’s a very nice collection from Jake & Dan.

What can I find free for you? Want more free fonts? More Photoshop brushes? How about more online applications that do this or that for free? Tell me in the comments what you’d like to see in future installments of Free for All, and I’ll do my best bloodhound impression to track it down for you.

Please note: Free for All will often link to resources hosted on external Web sites outside of the control of At any time those Web sites may close down, change their site or permalink structures, remove content, or take other actions that may render one or more of the above links invalid. As such neither Pariah S. Burke nor can guarantee the availability of the third-party resources linked to in Free for All.

Posted on: August 30, 2010

4 Comments on Free For All: Clear Communication

  1. What’s wrong with Dummy Text? Besides the tradition (like 500 years has a solid point??); the advantage of it ..that I can see is exactly that it is meaningless.. and instantly recognized as just what it is. If I’m showing layout samples to already distracted clients, on a time frame; the last thing I want them to do is get sidetracked by starting to read about Ulysses and the Sun.

  2. broken link. 🙁

  3. I agree completely with Ipsum Lorem’ comment…

  4. Excellent point, CDM. I agree, too, even though I was once yelled at by a client for using “[expletive] Latin!” He went on to say that, even though he hadn’t yet given me the copy to place in the design, I should have used something like the copy he eventually wanted in there, like an early draft of the copy (that he had never delivered to me). That if his brochures target English speakers and that I should have used “[expletive] English! If [the client] had wanted to market to speakers of a thousand year old dead [expletive] language, THEN [Lorem Ipsum] is ok to use!”


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