Memes unite the funny bones of the online world and provide a platform for social commentary, pop culture observations, and photo editing skills. Even brands are hopping aboard the meme train: either they create their own and cross their fingers that they end up like Dos Equis — which reportedly tripled its business with its famed Most Interesting Man campaign — or they repurpose already-popular memes, like Wonderful Pistachios’ Keyboard Cat commercial.
Memes have become so popular that the word was officially added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, with a vague enough definition to encapsulate all of the different forms of memes. They can be words, videos, gifs, and pretty much any other “idea, behavior, image or style that spreads from person to person within a culture.” We’re going to focus on the photo/text variety and show you how to get popular meme looks with PicMonkey, so you can start your ascent to internet stardom right now.
Easy meme looks
We’ve already covered how to create a basic meme, but as the old saying goes, there’s more than one way to turn a cat into an internet meme. Meme ideas can come from anywhere. Here are some easy peasy ways to get other popular meme looks in PicMonkey.
"No one" meme
You've probably seen the "no one" meme floating around the interwebz. The point of it is to offer an odd or weird idea that no one asked for in the first place, or to point out something strange that everyone does but no one really talks about — like turning down the car radio while looking for an address.
The meme starts with a blank "No one:" and then continues to the second line which is the punchline. To make this in PicMonkey, you could start with a 1080 x 1080 px Instagram post template, then add your own photos or search stock photos. Last, add your text by clicking the Text tab and typing in the box. Download and share!
Side-by-side comparison memes
Sometimes hilarity ensues when we use our powers of observation, and realize that two things share a commonality. And then we share that insight with the rest of the world with a side-by-side comparison meme.
You can take this meme in many directions:
Who wore it better? Comparing outrageous celebrity fashion to some mundane household object.
Similar looks on a human's face and an animal's face.
What you think vs. reality as demonstrated below...
To make a comparison meme in PicMonkey, put two images next to one another and add your text. Or don’t — sometimes images with a strong enough resemblance get the point across without words
Classic photo + outline text meme
There aren’t any hard and fast rules in meme world. If you have a great image, maybe all you wanna do is throw some text on there – especially if it's the classic white font with black outline. And, hey, you can never go wrong with a goofy animal pic.
To get this simple look in PicMonkey, open your image and head right to the Text tab. Type your words, and pick a meme-ilicious font (Impact is the classic go-to). To get that old skool meme look, make your text white and click the Effects button on the Text palette and choose Outline. Adjust the thickness and color to your liking.
You can also make a simple image/text combo meme on the go with the PicMonkey mobile app.
Tips for successful memes
Here are a few other tidbits to help you create the kind of meme that gets all the likes and shares.
If you want your meme to catch on, post it in public places. Reddit and Tumblr have historically been favorites for meme displays.
The best meme text is short, quippy, and relatable.
Use easy-to-read, large text. Nobody likes squinting.
Get creative with your image sources—your awkward middle school photo could make you the next Bad Luck Brian. You could also strike meme gold with the right pic from a free image source, but make sure to check those permissions.
Pop culture is a great meme source. When Kanye West cut Taylor Swift off during her acceptance speech at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, the internet reacted with a swarm of “Kanye Interrupts/Imma let you finish” memes. Drake memes became all the rage after the star showed off his dance moves in his “Hotline Bling” video.
Check out what’s trending on sites where memes reign supreme (Reddit, Tumblr, Memebase, The Next Meme, Know Your Meme, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, etc.)
If you’re creating a meme for business purposes, make sure there’s a correlation to your brand. Virgin Media’s Success Kid campaign was, well, successful, because it made use of a meme while it was popular and used it to clearly convey what they were offering.
See PicMonkey's Meme Maker in action!