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Lorem Ipsum

from Wednesday, September3rd of the year2008.

So a couple weeks ago, in this article in the Boston Globe, I was quoted thus: “Take [Muhly’s] view of two major symphonies. He admires the daring work of the Los Angeles Philharmonic and bemoans the state of the New York Philharmonic. “You go to the Phil’s website and first it looks like a Tampax ad and then the programming is a disaster,” he says. “A festival of Brahms?”” So, you know, it’s funny or whatever, and it’s true, the Phil’s website does look like they hired the same designer as feminine hygiene people do:

But that’s beside the point. In fact, it’s not really even a criticism, because we should all be so lucky to associate classical concerts with everyday products rather than some secret ritual that takes place in a Mussolini-era bunker on the upper west side. This morning I decided to look at what the actual factual Tampax website looks like, and mercy, mercy! I took a screen capture in case they ever fix it:

Do you see what’s going on in the background with that text? You’d think they’d have chosen some text, like, about freedom and menses and flexibility and comfort or whatever, but no! They totally have the lorem ipsum! So amazing. It’s like an explicit acknowledgment that background text is merely meant for its visually-stimulated emotional content. Either that or they’re trying to say that Tampax has been helping women out since Cicero: “Neither is there anyone who loves grief itself since it is grief and thus wants to obtain it.” Good stuff.


  • The Phil’s programming is also an attempt to staunch the bleeding.

  • Fabulous! So glad you have this preserved for posterity…

  • someone should do a choral setting of the lorem ipsum…

  • Nico, you crack me up…how do you even have the TIME for this ephemera? Well, here’s one fan whose glad you do. I love reading your blogs almost as much as I love listening to your music

  • stunning catch, nico. i’m circulating this to all my literary programmer friends. cheers.

  • Absolutely; SOMEOne puh-leeze (initials N. Muhly) produce that choral setting soon–then all the bleeding women of the world will have something fabulous to listen to in their hours/days in the red tent.

    Ditto Mike-i LOVE this blog. thank you.

  • Lorem Ipsum is widely used as a text placeholder; designers use it to show how a text would look like once they have the actual copy. So, It may look like tampax has some knowledge in latin, but a graphic designer might see it like they forgot to place the right text. But the fact that they have the Lorem Ipsum in they background could have secret intensions, who knows.

  • Lorem Ipsum is an insert, a place holder ,waiting for the real deal .Tampax is an insert…
    Perhaps the intention isn’t so secret after all.

  • my sister knows a girl named Tampaxia. Swear to god.

  • All the great graphic designers I’ve worked with over the years (as a production artist/typesetter) are dyslexic, and don’t really read. It explains a lot.

  • As someone who helps develop websites for Tylenol and other beloved consumer package goods, I can confirm that whoever built that Always site simply Fucked Up. Just like the NY Phil has for the past umpteen seasons.

  • Best pop culture graphics thing I’ve seen in a while, in an ironic t-shirt kind of way.

    If I were cool at all I would go put lorem ipsum all over the background of my stuff, too. Along with a tiny ‘Get Netscape 1.0’ button.