18 September 2005

[design, layout] That Man Sarkozy!

A chapter from The Adventures of Etaion Shrdlu:
I'd hate to have been the designer on this page, to finish it and knock off only to find this coming off the press next day.

The pub in question is the Financial Times, particularly their 12 Sept 2005 number. The headline is pretty easy to see. Casual journalistic style? Maybe. Strange for the FT. But the first paragraph, immedately to the left of the photograph (the kicker paragraph), reads as follows:

Standfirst here in sixteen point type on a nineteen pointknow and love. Standfirst here in sixteen on nineteen Martin Name here in medium as house style and two more decks here ans herer erenrere


Wow. Journalism is hard work!

Proceeding to the body copy, we go through the looking-glass; it's filled, over and over, with this:

Lorum ibsum decorum upyabum and hows your father. This is dummy copy and has been created with the sole purpose of training users in the joys of producing via methode.


How's my father? What caring from an international journal.

What it is is an example of what the designer and printer world at large calls lorem ipsum and what I occasionally refer to as si bili. It's text one uses to fill a space when designing a page when one doesn't have the actual words that go there yet. How exactly the si bili got into the FT is an open question, but this is what it looks like when all that dummy text gets past the proofreaders.

It's also, I think it safe to say, one of a layout-er's biggest nightmares.

If I understand correctly, a notice went out as soon as the error became known:

We are sorry to inform you that there was a printing error in the Financial
Times on the 12th of September. We recalled most of the issues, but
unfortunately some had already been sent out.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience that this has caused you.


I shudder to think how much that cost them. Ai yi yi.

(Thanks to NewsDesigner.com and Media Culpa, and especially Vassa eggen, a Swedish blog which is entirely written in Swedish, (where I think the story originally broke) which reminds me of the Steve Martin bit about foreign countries not having the courtesy to speak English. I mean, those people have a different word for everything)

4 comments:

Jim said...

I've had those kind of days! It reminded me of the play/movie Enter Laughing, about Carl Reiner's entry into show business -- ENTER LAUGHING was the direction on the script, not something he was supposed to say!

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

I love it when people do that.

You remember George Bush the first-the way he always seemed just not to be 'down' with being on media, the way he was so far from telegenic it was a toll call?

In one of his speeches, there was the following summary note:

"MESSAGE: I Care."

And that's exactly how he read it to the audience too.

That dogged him like Gerald Ford's Air Force 1 stairstep stumble.

wokpcdo

Pariah S. Burke said...

LOL Yeah, I've had those days as well. But then, I've also had clients yell at me about greeking in proofs--"My brochure needs to be in ENGLISH! I didn't hire you to translate it into Latin!"

I remember the Bush, Sr. faux pas. That's what we get for electing the country's top spook, the ultimate behind-the-scenes kind of guy, to the most visible position in the world.

Spontaneous thought: Do you remember the old monster movies like Lon Cheney's "Frankenstein" and Bela Lagosi's "Dracula"? Do you recall all the spinoffs and sequels? Many bore names like the "Son of Dracula" or the "Son of the Wolfman." The originals were somewhere between tolerable and good, but the "Son of" sequels were always terrible. Now think of the Bush Presidents.

Occupo procer, my friends. Occupo procer.

Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis said...

Pariah:

But then, I've also had clients yell at me about greeking in proofs--"My brochure needs to be in ENGLISH! I didn't hire you to translate it into Latin!"

I wonder if they just sat down and started to cry when you told them them that Latinate text was called "greeking".

Ah, all this edumacation we gots to do.

Pariah again:

Spontaneous thought: Do you remember the old monster movies like Lon Cheney's "Frankenstein" and Bela Lagosi's "Dracula"? Do you recall all the spinoffs and sequels? Many bore names like the "Son of Dracula" or the "Son of the Wolfman." The originals were somewhere between tolerable and good, but the "Son of" sequels were always terrible. Now think of the Bush Presidents.

Now that explains why I here Theremin music whenever I approach a voting booth these days.

Pretty soon I suppose American government will be a Hammer Films production and our President will be Bruce Campbell.

No offense intended to Mr. Campbell of course.