You live and die by the meme. In fact, you would be hard-pressed to follow what’s going on in the world if there were no memes to tell you about it. You love memes so much that you want to start creating your own. Yet you don’t know how. You have no idea what goes into creating the perfect meme that will resonate with everyone who reads it.
This post offers a 5-step guide to meme creation. The first thing you need to know is that the platform is irrelevant. Whether you intend for your meme to thrive on social media or you plan to paste it on a T-shirt you hope Five Dollars T-Shirts will pick up and sell, the platform you choose is less important than the message you create.
Without further delay, here are the 5 steps for creating the perfect meme:
1. Pick a Culturally Relevant Topic
The foundation of every great meme is a culturally relevant topic. Coronavirus is a hot one right now. Certain pop-culture trends are hot as well. For example, the Disney+ series The Mandalorian only has seven episodes yet it has already spawned dozens of memes.
Note that your topic doesn’t necessarily have to be modern. For example, the ‘okay Boomer’ meme is actually based on a phrase that is more than 20 years old. It has only now come into its own as baby boomers start retiring.
2. Come Up with a Message
Your second step is to come up with a message related to your given topic. If your topic is a movie or TV show for example, maybe a famous line would be appropriate. If your topic is a social or political movement, a short but poignant message about that movement is in order. The thing to remember is that you want to pick a message that can be expressed in as few words as possible.
Memes are a lot like infographics. They are designed to share messages in bite-size chunks. If your message requires several paragraphs to explain, it will not make for a very good meme.
3. Figure Out How to Be Clever
A good meme doesn’t just lay out a message cleanly and plainly. It does so with a bit of cleverness. The more clever you are, the more likely your meme will catch on. For example, have you seen the logo adopted by the computer hacking group known as Anonymous?
Their logo is just a rendering of the famous Guy Fawkes mask. The mask itself represents a clever way to suggest that you might be a rebel without coming out and saying it. Anonymous using it is a master stroke.
4. Figure Out How to Be Profound
The fourth step is to figure out a way to be profound – in addition to clever. Profundity is the ability to demonstrate intellectual insight or understanding. A profound message is one that causes people to think. Therein lies one of the biggest differences between memes and mere speaking. Anyone can say something about anything. Only the truly creative can say something in a way that causes other people to think.
5. Adapt Your Presentation
The fifth and final step to creating the perfect meme is to take everything you have come up with in the previous four steps and adapt it to a visual presentation. If nothing else, memes are visual. Even with text they must capture reader attention if they are to be effective. So make your presentation count.
Now you know how to create the perfect meme. Are you up for it?