Lorem Green

A deep dive into the artwork of The Lorem Ipsum.

Lorem Green

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a primitive drawing surely is worth at least a paragraph or two. That's the goal of the artwork that you see with each post from The Lorem Ipsum by Daniel Herndon. If I can extend the story beyond the words on the page, then I'm successful. The Lorem Ipsum is not just inbox candy. It's eye candy, too. But don't stare too much. I'm not just a piece of meat. My articles are right here.

Today, to cap off 2023, I'm going to bring out some of my favorite illustrations and share a little about them. I'll share some of the hidden meanings found in some of the images or how the article inspired the illustration or vice versa.

Don't worry. We can get back to covering the news next week. Senator Robert Menendez will still be robbing the country blind, and Speaker Johnson will be as stiff as usual. We'll return to our regular programming after the new year.

What is Lorem Green

When I launched this column, I wanted to be serious. I wanted to talk about serious issues that weigh on our society, but I didn't want to be that serious. As the marketer I am, running a design firm with carefully crafted ads and polished artwork, I wanted my writing to come with some irony. That lead me to choose placeholder copy for a name and rudimentary drawings to illustrate it. Here’s a little more about that artwork.

I follow a few self-imposed rules in the artwork.

I use Procreate to create the illustrations. I draw everything myself. And while I may use a reference, it's all original artwork drawn by hand.

For each illustration, I use only a single color, with a limited number of shades (or technically opacity for you savvy graphic designers out there). Although I am not strict about this, I use 10%, 20%, 40% and 60% in addition to 100% opacity. That looks like this.

I use four different line weights. One for outlines. The others are mostly used for texturing, usually in a lighter color. The largest is for filling in colored areas.

I use the technique of adding color with a pen and removing color using an eraser. They contribute different elements to the artwork when it comes to light, shading, and dimension.

There's one more rule. Hand-drawn lines are imperfect. Computer-generated lines are rigid and precise. With few exceptions, I always stick with the less perfect hand-drawn lines to let the image relax and show some character. I usually have to have a good reason to stray from this rule, but it does happen from time to time.

There. Now you know all the rules. Now, let's talk about a few examples.

Starting with An Old Fashioned

One of the first articles I ever published with manual illustrations is an in-depth tutorial about how to make an old-fashioned. The article is not about giving people a recipe. It's about taking craftsmanship seriously, using my famous recipe for the classic cocktail. I drew each step of the process to help guide you through the creation of what might be one of the best cocktails there is.

What you may notice about the ice, one of the most important yet overlooked ingredients of any cocktail, is that each cube is the exact same drawing, just turned around to make it look different.

This article is one of my most viewed articles, and I frequently hear from readers that they refer back to it when they are making their own beverages.

The Basics

Back in 2021, I wrote an article about the cost of climate change with a basic drawing of Earth. It's become the site's logo, in a way. The illustration alludes to the chaos in the world around us, ranging from wars to politics to most of anything related to Brittany Spears.


When I was a kid, I had toys, but they were usually broken. Similarly, so were the plaster walls throughout our old house. For my first post of 2o22, I drew on this concept by talking about how the important issues of our time require reasonable conversation. "But we can’t even have a serious talk about it without canceling someone. This is why we can’t have nice things." When we don't take care of our things, it's hard to expect to have anything better.

This is why we can’t have nice things.
Over the course of last year, I’ve been thinking deeply about what I consider to be very important topics. Like whether I should add cheese, sour cream and guacamole all in the same burrito bowl despite their similarities in texture and flavor profile–not to mention added fat. Or

People and Characters

In 2022, misinformation had been rampant, causing distrust in our election process. Sometimes, our demons, like misinformation, are anthropomorphized. This is one of those times, in the form of the Miss Information USA.

If you look closely, you see that in this illustration, Miss Information has former President Donald Trump's hands!

The Miss Information Beauty Pageant
The classic beauty pageant has served as a popular pastime for spectators as long as I can remember. Before the Bachelor(ette), it might have been the best TV had to offer as far as ocular experiences are concerned. Few competitions are more addictive, stealing the attention of even the

Story Elements

This illustration pulls together the concepts of the Supreme Court, the scales of justice, and the NFL with field plays and a helmet. Both organizations were accused of apparent inequity where black professionals were moved out of the running for key seats like coaching or a place on the bench because of "lack of experience."

Each piece of the image summarizes the story. My argument is that a resume doesn't just show what experience someone had but also the plays they didn't get a chance to play. And that shows us where the scales of justice can be out of balance.

Taking Action or Taking Resumes
Why it is vital we have a Black Woman on the US Supreme Court. As you likely noticed, the job market has been getting a little complicated lately. The so-called “great resignation” has been vexing employers ranging from schools to meat packing plants. If you want something done right, you’

Taking Sides

When Vladimir Putin decided to invade Ukraine, he was essentially taking on the world. I took some time to explain this based on the best sources available at that time. Obviously, that includes the hit TV show about Russian espionage, The Americans.

Explain Russia To Me
I want to start by answering your burning questions. Readers are asking “Hey Daniel, what’s going on with Russia? This situation has been keeping me up at night. It’s the only thing I can focus on between Anti-Vaccine Mandate and CRT protests!” So I decided to oblige and

As a follow-up, I highlighted both the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the eerily similar things that happen in small neighborhoods.

Note the HOA flag, pointing out the ways that people attack their own neighbors.

Invasions, Insurrections and Indictments
We’re resorting to invasions instead of invitations. Based on history alone, it appears it is much better to be the leader of a totalitarian government than it is to be, say, a homeowner. The difference is astounding. When you invade a country, you’re deemed a hero and a

The Burdens of a Comedian

I sometimes get critical feedback from readers for making jokes about serious matters. So I wrote this to highlight the concept of standup comedy.

I argue that comedy is important. It's one of the ways we get through tough times, and it's also a sort of counterbalance to traditional journalism, which is more objective and factual. It's one of the ways we hold authority to account by pointing out the ridiculous with comedic exaggeration.

When is ‘Too Soon’?
About the ongoing struggle of those who make people laugh.

False Bad Guys

Gas prices are not $10 million a gallon, but this pump makes it look that way.

In the same way that this image is not grounded in reality, our complaints about gas prices usually aren't either.

Better than Britannica
Hey Friends, Good morning to literally everyone who is not a dictator of a country blocking access to free press. The Lorem Ipsum will always fight for freedom, as much as an email can. To that end, to ensure that the Lorem Ipsum is always the people’s email, I’

We often use the same measure when we are frustrated with potholes too.

This image is an actual photo of The Lorem Ipsum office spaces. The pot hole has since been repaired.

Who do we blame for all these potholes?
I’ve spent the better part of the last month distracted and I’m sure I’m not alone. After all it is Tax season, and seeing red is incredibly distracting. Taxes are never fun, and seeing that you have a balance due is usually a recipe for a bad


Remember when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on live television? Me too.

In this image, you see a miniature Oscar award. I had to break some rules to make this image, but so did Will, and that points out a deeper problem in society.

What’s Worse Than A Slap In The Face?
When I was a kid, we were so poor we couldn’t even afford real cuss words. In times of aggression, we would call each other “meanofatguy”, a single word insult with power so destructive, so fiery, it was more ruinous than the blazes of hell and damnation itself, and


While this illustration is one of the simplest, it tells a much bigger story. I am sympathetic to views on both sides of the abortion debate, but one I am not comfortable with is leaving a desperate woman to have to choose this option.

These articles were published at different times while the Roe v. Wade ruling was being overturned. First, it was leaked. Then, the final ruling came, and the United States changed. Naturally, we talked about gun laws during this time as well.

Who Wins if Roe v Wade Falls?
Unlike the toilet that ran for a year in an auxiliary bedroom without me paying much attention, this week’s leak doesn’t allow as much of a passive reaction. When it comes to abortion, Seinfeld’s Elaine Benes already made it very clear, if you don’t share someone’s
Burned at the Stake
All life is precious. Unless you fall into these tough categories. We look at how men have put women in a tough position for generations, and are doing it again while repealing Roe.

Human Faces

Lots of people followed the Amber Herd v. Johnny Depp case, and while it drew a lot of comedy, it wasn't that funny (except when it was).

According to some rumors, the reference picture, from which this image is based, was taken as a selfie when Amber was dropping a load on Johnny's bed, making her another woman to join the #mepoo movement. I can't really confirm any of this, but it sounds accurate.

When Domestic and Sexual Violence Becomes Entertainment
Since the moment Amber Heard managed to convince us that pooping in a bed is a reasonable approach to revenge, we’ve been riveted. We’re engrossed like a king on his porcelain throne, deliberating as he issues his edict. I guess things have changed since the good ole days


Siracha is one of my favorite sauces, and when it became scarce, I was lucky I had a bottle of it on ice.

I covered the topic in The Weekly. This was the closest we came in my lifetime to hipsters going extinct.

The Search for Sriracha
And how to navigate inflation.


I think simple graphs can help explain complex ideas. The first concept on the left references a light switch that only has two options: on and off. The message is that the complex situation of gun laws and mass shootings is not an on-and-off problem, but we tend to talk about it like it is.

The problem is better evaluated on a bell curve, which you see on the right. This is how public policy can work. Solutions all the way to the left or right are usually bad options. The optimal solution is somewhere in the middle.

Arming America (With Information)
When it comes to gun laws, the power of rhetoric tends to be more powerful than reason, but gun violence like almost all problems is a mathematical one and will require a more nuanced approach. Here’s how the liberal position has got it all wrong.

In this illustration, I showcase the importance of budgeting toward The Lorem Ipsum. Our best readers set aside budget to become an Investor.

The Tax Man’s Christmas
The real reason for the season and why we’ll never be rid of the IRS.

Orange Theory

I've had lots of opportunities to talk about Donald Trump, which frankly has given me a serious case of dry mouth (I'm starting to wonder if that's what happened to Ron Desantis). Here, I have several articles, and within those articles, I added additional color illustrations, including Trump's (alleged) fingerprints, a candid picture of him (or is it Pee Wee Herman?), and a shot of him getting a mug shot.

Raiding Your Inbox
Explosive news and another issue of Ask TLI.
The Orange Indictment
The Trump Indictment and “Meatball Ron”. Plus this week’s news.

Headline Features

This is an illustration of the bridge between Russia and the Crimean Peninsula after Ukraine attacked it. Mostly, I like the headline Crimea River, an the Justin Timberlake song by the same name (or similar).

Crimea River
And Alex Jones loses the Infowars.

Hidden References

Here, you see an illustration of the silhouettes of the cast of Seinfeld.

In the accompanying article, there are no less than 30 references to Seinfeld tropes or quotes.

A Case About Nothing
A Colorado website designer objecting to a wedding that doesn’t exist. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.


Fast fashion is helping to destroy the earth, and I explain how in this article.

The image of thrown garments is the image that reminds us of dead white mean, which is what the people in Ghana call our discarded clothes.

Dead White People
Or at least the clothing of dead white men, as they say in Ghana. An article about the impact of poorly chosen and poorly abandoned clothing.

Calling it What it Is

The way people look at me when they are waiting for me to tip them feels threatening. That's why I put my feelings into the design of this tip screen.

Much like many other things we live with, tipping has a sordid past, and now it is getting out of control.

Just The Tip - The American Culture of Gratuity
Tipping has a sordid past, and it’s getting out of control. Here’s why the American culture of gratuity has become what it is today.

Some people say, "They're going to hell in a handbasket," which often means going to hell without regard.

In this article, I explain that what we have accepted as life as usual is that very "handbasket."

"There is no onramp to the afterlife that we’ve missed. We’re already on the highway. We’re not awaiting an escort or receipt of any traveling mercies. We are already in the inferno. This is the handbasket."

The Handbasket
The eternal abyss has gained a new member. Plus, it’s this week’s news.

Food Groups

My favorite food group is meat, next to fat, but that's not the only thing I talk about in this article. I also talk about the way red meat enters into politics.

Read Meat Politics
Red meat sells the article, but it hardly tells the story.

If I had to pick a third food group, it wouldn't be potato chips. When it comes to my favorite foods, all my chips are on the table, and that's what Kevin McCarthy had to do in Congress to get what he wanted.

Narrator: He didn't get what he wanted.

This is an issue of the weekly, which sometimes comes with a small article and a bag of chips on the side.

Debt Squealing
To avoid a default, all the chips are on the table. It’s this week’s news.

This article explains how tunnel vision ruins our view of the world and sometimes causes us to see things that are not there.

I use the reference to cakes, one of the most unhealthy foods, to represent cable news, where most bias is nurtured. Don't feel bad if you watch cable news. There's a confirmation bias-shaped hole in all of us.

The Cake You Didn’t Eat
Cable news is the three-layer cake of a healthy diet. So what does this say about its viewers? More importantly, which cake flavor is best, and why is it Carrot Cake?

Brain Activity

Each section of the brain has a key purpose. The outer part of our brains is wrinkled, essentially to increase surface area in a smaller space.

As we age, our brains become less pliable. I use brain science basics to explain how reading The Lorem Ipsum may actually help you live longer.

Plastic Brains
We are the smartest we’ll ever be when we are twenty, but after forty, the envy of wisdom. Here’s why it’s hard to change our minds and how doing so can help us live longer.

In the old window system (and maybe still), there was an image placeholder that would show up whenever an image couldn't load.

In this article, about finding good sources of information, I point out through illustration that when we stay stuck inside, we sometimes don't load the best ideas. That's why we need to take time outside where I find some of my best sources.

Good Source Material
The best things in life are free, but good writing isn’t cheap.

When we disagree, especially in matters of big ideas like politics, we often use different language without realizing it.

This illustration points out that when our definitions of ideas, concepts, and words are not the same, we can't be successful in selling ideas, and that keeps us from changing people's minds.

That's why words end up ruining just about everything. Bad language can build a movement, but it also creates enemies instead of progress.

Words Ruin Everything
How bad language builds movements but prevents progress.

Plant Life

In this article, I talk about the actual war on drugs, but the primary focus of the article is the way we drug our lawns and, ultimately, ourselves.

The article dives into a paradoxical problem.

Here's a quote: "It makes sense to keep weeds out of our lawns, because it will improve our social standing with our neighbors and our HOAs. It makes sense to keep them out of our farms, too, because the only way to produce enough food for our ever-increasing population is to keep killing the weeds – along with the people that hate them – to make room for more."

The War on Weeds
It is as innocent looking as candy, but it’s turning our suburbs into battle zones.


Every time a new iPhone comes out, the camera bump seems to be bigger than ever. This exaggeration is roughly four times the actual bump size. Sorry, Apple!

Un visits Putin, Biden faces the Peach Pit and Mitt says Meh. It’s this week’s news.

Play on Words

This is a truth brush. Some people spend less time with the truth than others, and some will only have the occasional brush with the truth.

Jim Jordan is one of those people.

Truth Bombs
If I were having lunch with Matt Gaetz, I would bring up Alanis Morrisette. It’s this week’s news.

This is an illustration of the speaker that I would have preferred to see in The House of Representatives over Mike Johnson.

Nevertheless, I didn't get my way.

Bluetooth for Speaker
Plus, how to think two things at the same time. It’s this week’s news.

If you've ever been subject to a phishing scam, you've seen something like this before.

Every detail in this image is intentional, from the time of the message to the obscured email address and the category tag. It's a little more of that inbox candy.

How to Avoid Phishing Scams
Tips to protect your identity and your inbox. Plus, it’s this week’s news.


And lastly, recently, I wrote about why we need to have some white space in the design of our lives. This abstract image illustrates how sometimes the absence of detail makes it possible to see a much more beautiful image.

That is symbolic of taking time away from things like news, politics, work, stress, and more. I believe we should all consider finding ways to create more room in life so what remains matters more.

That’s what I did this week, and I hope you do too.

Blank Space
Life is about taking it all in, even if it means deleting some. An essay about what isn’t there.

Enjoy your New Year's Eve, and I'll see you in 2024!