Type for dummies

Despite the best efforts of copy editors and page designers, dummy type still appears now and again. Here’s an example of the problem: “Race here” is dummy type, not some sort of odd command.

Dummy type is placeholder text, usually in spaces where logos, headlines or cutlines go. An editor or designer needs to replace that text with relevant language — in this case, maybe “Congress” would have worked. Dummy type is not supposed to be published, but on occasion, it does get in, to the confusion of readers and embarrassment of newspapers.

Print journalism is not alone in this, however. A “sports ticker” on the local ABC affiliate sometimes lists “unknown” where a team name is supposed to go. D’oh!

One thought on “Type for dummies

  1. Even attempts to combat this sort of thing sometimes fall short. The papers here often run dummy graphics with bright pink “FPO” emblazoned over them.
    Mike Eiler
    Arizona

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