Here’s how to make those Instagram and Tumblr memes

May 15, 2016 - 3:08pm AST

If you’ve dropped out of school and realized that your only hope of making money is opening an Instagram meme page, then you’re in luck! Well not really, but at least there’s an easy meme generating tool you can use.

Traditional memes as we know it use the ever popular ‘Impact’ font in all white with black borders, but with the rise of sites like Tumblr (not so much anymore) and Instagram, text/image memes have morphed to use fonts like Helvetica and Arial at normal weights with longer descriptions which are not really suitable in more traditional setups.


The Fat Jewish/Instagram

I have not pinned down exactly how these memes were made, but my guess is that they were either screencapped from Twitter or were made with an iPhone app. If someone has an idea how, shoot me an email and I’ll include it here.

Surf method

95% of the meme generators online relegate users to the ‘Impact’ font, but now you can use Surf (previously, a generator that makes those basic Arial-type memes best suited for your up-and-coming Instagram page.

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The website allows you to drag and drop photos, add custom text, and include credit watermarks in mere seconds.


The site adds its own logo to the bottom, but I figure as most IG meme pages steal content from others, they may take the easy way out and photoshop it from their uploads.

Photo editor and Phonto app method

I don’t particularly like the Surf interface anymore as they add a huge watermark over the bottom portion of your image, so with a combination of two apps, you can quickly create your own memes on your phone.

Step 1 – Creating your image template

Download any photo editing app that allows you to create blank templates with the ability to crop in images. For this example, I will use PicsArt (available for both Android and iOS platforms for free).

  1. Create a square white background, preferably 1024×1024 if you have the option of setting pixel dimensions.
  2. Crop in your meme image to either the top or bottom half, leaving a small white border on all sides. The blank half will be used for text input later on.
  3. Save the photo.

Step 2 – Load up your newly created template in Phonto

Phonto which is available for free in the iTunes (iOS) or Play Store (Android).

  1. Load your new image via Phonto.
  2. Click the pencil icon to add whatever meme text you’d like. The default text should be the font you see in memes, so there is no need to change it.
  3. Adjust the text size and position to line up with the border edge you would have left when creating the square in your photo editing app.

Here is a video I found which demonstrates this process.


If you prefer to edit your memes on a PC, you’ll need to get Photoshop and a font called Helvetica Neue LT Std 45 Light. If you’re on a Mac, this font face should be part of your standard suite.

Just like above, create a white background 1024×1024 in size, adding your image where necessary and then including your meme text with the above font selected. I usually set the font size to 60px, but of course you can modify it to suit your needs.

That’s it! Now you can finally grow your ‘awesome’ Facebook or Instagram page and finally move out of your mom’s basement into a one-bedroom apartment in SodoSopa. Or if you’re like me and just one to create one-offs, it’s all great for that as well.

If I do come across any other creation methods, I’ll be sure to update this post.

Here’s one that I made.

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