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So I want to make an illustration of two sheets of paper and a smartphone with a restaurant menu. It's gonna be featured on a webpage next to a paragraph of text. sketch
My question is: should I use real or fake letters in the illustration? And how to make fake typography look good? On the one hand, scribbly pseudo-letters might seem confusing but on the other, I don't want to suggest any stuff or prices + I'm afraid that real words might distract from the text next to the illustration.

marked as duplicate by Danielillo, Luciano, Zach Saucier, Scott, Billy Kerr May 17 at 23:20

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  • It's not called "fake typography". There's actually a design term for it. It's called "greeked text" or "greeking". Greeked text can be any kind of filler text, or just lines representing text such as in your example. There are no rules. Do what you want. – Billy Kerr May 22 at 14:17

At the end it's up to you. You could use some scribbles / shapes that are abstract and won't distract users.

On the other hand, some OSX and iOS application icons have real content in it: the Calendar and Clock app icons on iOS shows the actual date and time. Stickies / Pages / Keynotes on OSX have some legible text on them.

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I think it's down to a style question - the use of lorem ipsum or equivalent filler text in one context may be visually distracting, or in another context might ground the illustration in a more realistic style.

Equally, if the illustration is loose and impressionistic, as we see in your example image, then the use of the scribbled-greeking suggests a loose, improvisational style more akin to sketching and drawing and less to mechanical reproduction.

Pick the method which you feel supports your over-arching design intent for the illustration!

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