Most designers are familiar with lorem ipsum, used to create filler text where body copy is yet to be written. Image generators cover the same requirement for graphics: if you know the size and shape of an image on your page, but can’t invest the time to hunt down the perfect illustration, using one of the resources below provides a quick, easy, and flexible solution to create a filler image for a mockup.

Most of the services work on the same basic principle: by passing a series of variables to a URL, you generate an image via a script. For example, can take just two variables, height and width, in a URL:

<img src="//">

Used in a browser, this generates a grey 150 x 150 pixel image. Most of the generators have the option of using more variables to add further complexity, including controls for color, text, and theme. I’ve divided the generators into three types: monochromatic, color, and novelty.


LorempixelLorempixel (previously lorempixum) generates images of any size that correspond to a particular theme (abstract, food, people, technical, animals, nightlife, nature, sports, transport, city and fashion) in color or greyscale.

Random Image Generator creates abstract, vaguely cellular oil-painted images of any size to one of eight palettes. Can generate multiple images at the same time. This is the only service that does not have an API to easily produce images via a URL: instead, the image must be saved and used directly.


Previously discussed, generates single-color filler images, with options for color, interior text, and format (GIF, JPEG and PNG).

DummyImage offers the same options as, but adds keyword shortcuts to create images in dimensions of established internet advertising units (for mocking up advertising banners), screen resolutions and video standards.


Who doesn’t like kittens? generates images of kittens as filler images.

If, on the other hand, you’re more into zombies, there’s placezombies. (We await the inevitable crossover, placezombiekittens).

Twentieth Century Fox teamed up with Getty Images to create a set of parody PhotoShopped stock photos for the recent Vince Vaughn movie Unfinished Business; the result has been turned into the image placement service Place Vaughn and Franco.

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