The Chipotle Lorem Ipsum Bag

Curator: Kevin Budelmann and Yang Kim
date: July 12, 2011
Categories: Advertising, Packaging Design
Tags: Lorem ipsum
Photo by Chute Gerdeman

Chipotle does a lot of things right. They make great burritos. They let you order from your smartphone. They’re fast. And they also have very memorable merchandising material, especially this bag.

One side of the bag is designed with stream-of-consciousness writing on it: “It’s probably too small for your dreams & aspirations…” But wait… The other side is even more inspiring. They actually had the guts to print lorem ipsum on it!

Every graphic designer has used lorem ipsum—shorthand for a famous Latin passage (often called “Greeking,” but that’s another story)—but few of us know what means. Not that it really matters. It’s easy to recognize it as placeholder or “dummy” text. Which is why, when confronted with it in the real world printed on these Chipotle bags, anyone in the know would gasp and think, “Oh no! Somebody didn’t catch this!”

Been there. But look closer. The lettering is handwritten. Duis vitae libero nibh. Ut erat sapien, ornare ut elementum ut, porttitor eget sem. See what we mean? No one would spend this kind of time writing this by hand if they didn’t intend to print it. 

Photo by Paulo Ordoveza
The Chipotle Lorem Ipsum Bag

Lorem ipsum is definitely in the consciousness of designers. We’re not sure if this bag idea was conceived to appeal to designers like us, if they simply thought it’d be funny, or if the stream-of-consciousness idea ran out of steam. Whatever the case, lorem ipsum isn’t just for sketches anymore.

We don’t know who came up with this clever design, but we'd love to find out. Does anyone know?

UPDATE: Thank you, Sequence, for identifying yourself as the brains behind this bag. (See the comment from AKiefer below.)
  • http://twitter.com/BA_Smith Brandon Smith

    This is great.. I think that it is pretty funny they decided to use lorem ipsum as part of this bag design. I agree with you 100% on the fact that it was definitely intentional. Hand-written, precisely placed.. This was absolutely thought out. But how thought out was it? I may be looking too deep into this, but I think it was thought out in quite a lot of detail. If you look at four main focus points of this text, I would say that they are AMET CONSECTETUR, DOLOR MAGNA, NOSTRUD EXERCITATION and IRUR. Well, if you attempt to translate this as a whole.. it sort of gets jumbled up.. But if you translate each of these individual parts it equates to this:

    amet consecutor – products obtained
    dolor magna – great pain
    nostrud exercitation – our (i question this one)
    irur – i wanted to

    If you look at those four translations you could easily deduct that they could be trying to say something like “I wanted you to know that we went though great pain in making our product that you have obtained.”

    I love the fact that this potential message is completely hidden within this text. On the opposite end of this bag, within their stream-of-consciousness writing, Chipotle says many nice things. On the other side, to a lot of people out their (designers) it really strikes a chord within us. But to the 1%…probably the .01%… of people who can translate Latin AND who decide to have lunch at Chipotle, they may be getting a serious, meaningful message about Chipotle’s product.

    Again, I may be looking to deep into this, but as a designer I believe that what we design needs to be well thought out and intentional, especially on a commercial level. If someone were to ask this designer why they decided to use lorem ipsum, I would think they would have a fairly thought out rationale behind it. 

    I hope this wasn’t too long for you, but I really wanted to share my thoughts on this. Have a great day!

  • http://twitter.com/bucknam Alan Bucknam

    That’s what they get for firing the copywriter halfway through the project.

  • Bill Holm

    I’m a writer, and this is distressing–yet somehow I knew it would happen. 

  • Dingface
  • Yang Kim

    Wow, the translation is really great. As you said so well, this seems very deliberate.

  • Fred

    No way that is hand drawn

  • Gil

    It’s ok, kind of funny cool. Did they lose focus on the purpose of a marketing and advertising product that has a greater market than designers and advertising creatives. I think it’s an ok concept but a bad idea to run with unless the latin/greeking has a real purpose and actually says something to sell the product or company. ARS ET ACCENDO VARIDICUS EU IDCIRCO – whatever.

  • Laricke

    This is really sad if it were on purpose. What a waste. I don’t believe someone hand draws this text, I would guess Chipotle had a font designed out of hand writing samples.

  • andy

    Adding on the commentary regarding the complexities of language, Virginia Woolf wrote, ‘Mrs. Dalloway,’ who in her business of the day spotted a plane skywriting advertisements of an ambiguous nature. As Dalloway attempted to read the message, only individual letters were identifiable. No words formed despite the string of letters.  This passage points out the complexities of language and modern times. This Lorem Ipsom designer assembled a nuanced and intelligently designed product, giving consumers the opportunity to fill in the ‘greeked’ meaning for themselves. 

    Astutely, the Lorem Ipsom text is designed/laid-out similar enough for a Chipolte Grill regular to look at it, and immediately identify it as yet another witty message promoting brand consumption. The other image is virtually identical, “This big bag holds lots of product. Consume many food products from Chipolte because you have big dreams. But you probably don’t, so buy food here.”

    Language and its means of conveyance is complex. The adage goes, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” 

  • http://hellotarte.com/blog/2011/07/14/the-chipotle-lorem-ipsum-bag/ The Chipotle Lorem Ipsum Bag « Tarte Advertising Blog

    [...] as designers and lovers of clever marketing, when we came across this article on the DesignEnvy blog, I think we all fell a little bit MORE in love with [...]

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  • Sophie

    So great! I like it a lot.

  • Sophie

    I like lorem ipsum! So clever and funny and wow. So liking this. Good job! Awesome!

  • AKiefer

    Hopefully I can help shed a little light on this mystery…

    I am an Associate Creative Director at Sequence, the agency in San Francisco that designed and developed this entirely hand-written packaging system with Chipotle.

    As someone who worked on this project from its inception, I can tell you with absolute certainty that every single bag in this system was painstakingly hand-markered right in the middle of our office (we have at least two sharpie-stained tables to prove it.) 

    I can also share with you that this particular bag was completed intentionally. We thought there was something funny about writing out Lorem Ipsum (which, as we all know is used as placeholder copy) by hand… 

    We were hoping this little “easter egg” in the series would add a little fun and generate some buzz around the packaging redesign. Lucky for us, Chipotle is the kind of client that likes to have a little fun. 

    This particular bag has caused quite a buzz all over the interwebs–and the speculation and comments have been great to read. 

    You can check out additional shots of the packaging system (and some of our other work) at sequence.com.

    AJ Kiefer
    Associate Creative Director
    Sequence 

  • Laura Xi

    Thank god for companies who allow designers to design – maybe that is why Chipotie’s stock more than doubled in the last year…

  • Anonymous

    Too bad they’re part of the McDonald’s family. I hate that a company that basically holds up the factory farming industry can hide behind a smarter, “farmier” facade.

  • jack

    Chipotle is not part of the McDonald’s family. McDonald’s was an investor early on, but divested their interest shortly before Chipotle went public.  http://www.chipotle.com/en-US/fwi/fwi_facts/fwi_facts.aspx?fact_id=13

    I hate that an average schmoe, that doesn’t know crap, can hide behind the “I get my news from rumour”, or the “I’m too lazy to find out the real facts” facade(s).

  • Steve

    Uhmm yes…it is…look closer

  • http://twitter.com/querulus Cranky Roman Guy

    LIES! Look at the Os in DOLOR. They each have a little ink splotch at the top. The ink splotches are exactly the same. This was not hand-written.  It’s a family of handwriting fonts.  Not buying that it wan’t a mistake.  Same with the d’s in sed do.

    Why would anyone seek pain for its own sake? Cicero (the originator of the mangled quote) would have it that no one does.

  • http://www.facebook.com/marvinforte Marvin Leo Forte

    Hmmm…you might want to get that glasses prescription checked there Cranky Roman. While the Os are similar (presumably because the same person wrote them both) they are not exact matches. And the Ds aren’t really even close.

  • immigration

    good article

  • Joe

    It’s only appropriate that the packaging for fake Latin food should have fake Latin on it.

  • http://twitter.com/rachelmc Rachel McClung

    I noticed this bag last year, and I’m excited to hear the story behind it. In my imagination, I created the theory that somehow there was a breakdown in communication where someone mistook it for Spanish and the art went off to print. Good to be in the Easter egg club!

  • http://www.foldpage.pl/ FoldPage

    Looks nice!

  • monjur alam

    Monjur Alam
     

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    ss

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  • http://www.417marketing.com/ 417 Marketing

    Unfortunately, I haven’t seen this bag yet. But I’m interested to know who’s behind this. :) (sorry for the typos on my first two comments.. I didn’t notice it) :)

  • TypeEd

    Great work. Love this. Chipotle has done a nice job differentiating themselves with design.

  • Dalsorus

    Uhmmm…. this was all just a place holder for their clues during the adventurrito contest!  ”Putting Clues for Adventurrito in the hand-drawn art of our basket liners was pretty tough to pull off. Which of the following pieces of Chipotle packaging did everyone but professional designers think was misprinted because of the lorem ipsum placeholder text?”

  • Timothy J. Hykes

    I was thinking someone messed up. When I first saw that 3 years ago I was in awe.

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