If you have email and an internet connection, you’ve probably seen a thousand demotivational posters by now.
If you were alive and cognitively developed in the early 90s, you probably even saw some of the original motivational posters that are the basis of these jokes.
Around 1998 Despair, Inc. started creating parodies of them. There is some dispute about who started the trend, but everything I read about it seems to point back to Despair as ground zero for the meme (an Austin based company, by the way).
There are some really funny ones out there, but I won’t waste time showing you my favorites. You probably get the same emails I do, but if you don’t, you can do a google image search for just about any random topic and find some great demotivators.
I’ve never really seriously considered trying to make a demotivational poster myself until I put up my hurdle picture, but I thought it might make a fun blog post.
There are several sites where you can make your own in the time takes to upload a photo.
- Despair: This one is probably the most legit which makes sense if they started the whole thing. They don’t allow copyrighted material or anything vulgar, and by uploading your photos into the builder, you are agreeing to their usage policy and terms and conditions. I ignore too many terms and conditions agreements as it is, so I did not test their builder. And if you don’t at least have the option to be vulgar in photo or words, what’s the point of trying to make the joke, right?
- Automotivator: I liked this one the best and you can upload pictures from your computer or from a website. It’s pretty easy, and you can change font and border color, and save the image directly to your computer.
- Motivator: This app lets you take any photo from any URL, from Flickr or Photobucket or you can upload one yourself from your computer. You have some options and color choices for the font, border and background, and you can choose portrait or landscape. Click create when you’re happy with it and save it directly to your computer or start sharing.
Most of the sites even give you the option of ordering a print of your poster if you are that proud of it when you’re done.
I don’t love the idea of uploading my own pictures to random websites, so I looked up how to make your own in Photoshop and wasted some more time doing that.
It’s surprisingly easy to do there too. This article by Daniel Ketchum on eHow was the most helpful for me, and I have no Photoshop skills.
The gist of his instructions with my own tips:
- Choose your funniest picture. Or steal one from the albums of your most inappropriate Facebook friend.
- In Photoshop, click File, then New. Make the width 35 inches and the height 23 inches (for landscape, flip dimensions for portrait). Set resolution to 200.
- Change background to color to black.
- Open the photo you want to use, copy the image and paste it into the background. You can click Transform then Scale to size the image, or use the handles to align and stretch it to fit the center of the background.
- Click Edit, then Stoke (outline) Selection to add a border around the image. You can change the width and color of the border here.
- Select the Text tool, and adjust the font (Times Roman for line one, Century Gothic or something similar for line two) and font size. Write your message (first line in caps if you want to be authentic) and adjust as needed.
If a 33-year-old Mom in Texas is making these now, does that mean the trend is almost over?
I doubt it because it’s still a pretty funny way to caption your pictures.
For my next Photoshop trick, I will put up a pastel colored background, set the font to Courier, copy some crudely drawn sketches from Draw Something, steal some funny tweets and call mine eTweets.
How hard is this?
So go forth funny people; make your own posters or eCards.
The internet needs more of our crap on it.