In publishing, “greeking” temporarily fills empty spaces in a layout or design with nonsensical words or Latin. This technique allows designers and typesetters to appraise the visual arrangement of the text without becoming engrossed in its actual meaning.
The primary purpose of greeking is to preview the page’s overall appearance and flow. It permits designers to focus solely on aesthetics without considering the textual content.
Once authentic text becomes accessible, it can replace the greeked placeholder. Nonetheless, there are instances where greeked text remains as a temporary substitute for unrevealed ad copy or other unavailable content, acting as reminders for future updates.
Authors and publishers use greeking to insert placeholder text in book design and publishing. Its purpose is to mimic the content and provide an accurate page or document layout preview. It can also refer to the use of placeholder images in design.
Some authors use greeking to increase word count and give their books a more substantial appearance. This practice is commonly observed in academic and non-fiction works to enhance perceived value. However, it is generally regarded as dishonest, ultimately failing readers by providing unnecessary filler.
For book designers and publishers, greeking serves as a valuable tool. It allows them to craft visually appealing pages while minimizing printing costs. Additionally, it ensures that text remains legible and easy to read for optimal reader experience.