Most type designers often use “blind texts” — nonsensical pseudo-texts that just show different letter combinations in context — when testing the typeface they’re working on. The often-cited rationale behind it is that this method distracts them from “reading” the contents and allows them to “look” at the forms and the spacing.
But I came to the conclusion that *solely* relying on blind texts is utterly wrong. It just propagates intellectual incest: re-using the same texts and word lists, typesetting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights for the 376th time, and so on.
Typefaces are supposed to be designed for the readers. Some claim that type design is done “with the readers in mind”. But it isn’t if the type designer is in a mindset completely different than that of the reader.
The reader does not “look” at the forms but “reads” the contents. When you try to create a crystal goblet, you should actually try to make it desappear even for you.
So I believe that when working on a typeface, the type designer should frequently set random Wikipedia articles or other real texts in the typeface they're working on, and *actually read* this.
Set your web pages, your e-mail app, your mobile phone messaging app, anything in the typeface you’re working on — and use it. Not after you’ve published, but before. Read e-books set in the draft version.
Don’t just “test spacing” in some nonsensical printouts, don’t just “look” — but actually read.
Get an e-book of Dostoyevsky’s Karamazovs or of Pablo Neruda’s poems or of Borges’s essays, set it in your type *and read the whole thing*. Because that’s exactly what the users of your typeface will be doing. Be in their mindset.