About The Most Popular Meme Font, The Designer, And Why So Many People Use The Font In Memes


About the most popular meme font

Introduction

In one of my earlier posts I wrote about the most commonly used meme font and how you can create a meme with Photoshop, if you want to learn how to create memes with Photoshop, check the article out. In another post I explained memes and why they could become so popular, if you asked the same, you might want to read my post. But now I want to go a little bit more into detail about the meme font and why so many people use it in their memes, that means I will now tell you a little bit about the font in question, about the designer of the typeface and why it is so accepted and used by almost all meme creators.

The Font In Question And The Designer

The most used meme font is called Impact and the typeface was designed by Geoffrey Lee in 1965. Yes, you read right, the font was actually designed before the internet was a mainstream network for us all and much earlier before the funny memes made their rounds in the world-wide-web.

Geoffrey Lee was born in Wimbledon, UK. He took a correspondence course in advertising during his service in the RAF. In 1950 he started to work for an advertising agency as a checking clerk. He worked for different other agencies until he settled for Pembertons in London, his role was type director and he became head of the graphic design unit. He designed the Impact font at Pembertons and for the British foundry Stephenson Blake in Sheffield.

In 2004, Geoffrey Lee popped up in a typography related forum under the username “gyl” and explained why and how he designed the font, today you can only find the thread through the web archieves. Geoffrey Lee created each letter of the font using hand-cut metal. The font was designed in the time of metal typesetting but short before phototypesetting became popular.

He mentioned that it was difficult for British businesses to use any desirable designs from foreign foundries. The cost of importing was considerable as he said, and the designs had to be planed down from the European height of .928 inch to the British .918 inch. He mentioned that adsetters could afford to pay the much higher costs, but the average British printer couldn’t. A home-grown product was needed.

As the name suggests, Impact was designed to stand out, to give impact. He made efforts “to get as much ink on paper as possible in a given size with the maximum possible x-height”. The typeface was intended for headlines, to make text stand out in ads, posters and billboards, the bold font of Impact found rather limited use in other text applications.

Impact And The Popularity In The Digital Era

Around 1990s the digital composition started to dominate the let­ter­press and Stephenson Blake had to quit the type business and reorganized. At that time they also started to give out their digital rights. The type foundry Monotype got the font Impact and they licensed the font to Microsoft.

At some point Impact was digitised. Microsoft included the font in a standard font pack called Core fonts for the Web, a project started in 1996 and terminated in 2002. The font gained popularity 1998 when Microsoft dispruted it with Windows 98. Since then it is a core font and included in every following Microsoft Windows operating system and one of the reasons why it became that popular.

What worked back then for advertisers or publishers, must work in the digital era too. The reason why so many content creators use the Impact font for their memes is the same as back then. Simplified you can say that the Impact font became so popular as it allows the content creators to make a text like a punchline stand out heavily, the font is very pushy.

Technically described that is possible due to the ultra-thick strokes and compressed letterspacing. And as Geoffrey Lee described his own typeface back then, due to the “maximum possible x-heigh”. The font simply makes letters easy to read, it makes messages appear pushy, and the name Impact is therefore more than appropriate.

How the font was distributed and how the font appears, both factors combined did probably create some kind of herd mentality, to make almost all meme creators use this particular font. In the 2000s, captioning of images became more and more popular and people shared these images at more and more places in the web, back then they were often called image macros.

As Microsoft Paint was always pre-installed in Windows operating systems, anybody could try to create them, but some people also used more specialized graphic applications and liked to create memes with Photoshop or other graphic tools. No matter which tool, the process of captioning images is one of the easier editing tasks, and it explains one of the many reasons why memes became a widespread phenomena.

Many different fonts were used for image captions, but as MS Paint was pre-installed in Windows, so was the Impact font. This combined with the pushy features of the Impact font probably made many people realize “I can stand out with my image if I use that font”. People want to get their messages noticed, and that’s exactly what the Impact font allows and was designed for. If this is the reason, it would be some kind of irony, because now that it is the most used font for memes, it’s rather difficult to stand out from the mass.

Conclusive

The Impact font found a place in the digital era as well, technically it still does what it is intended for. With that said, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use another font for image captions. Maybe it’s even a good idea to check out other fonts that work well for your images. While the font is still very popular, and while this popularity won’t dissapear over night, it’s not too bad to go the individual route. Do you have other favorite fonts for image captions? Drop your opinion in the comment section…

Posted in Computer, Graphic Design, Internet, Photography and Design, Technology | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Sixth World of Warcraft Expansion To Be Announced Very Soon


World of Warcraft Screenshot

It was a tradition of my blog to write news about new World of Warcraft expansions, it’s that time again. Blizzard will announce the sixth World of Warcraft expansion very soon according to a message posted by Blizzard on Twitter.

World of Warcraft was released in 2004 and Blizzard added new content through patches and expansions to keep people interested in the game. Here is the game and expansion history…

  • 2004 – November, World of Warcraft main game release
  • 2007 – January, Burning Crusade expansion release
  • 2008 – November, Wrath of the Lich King expansion release
  • 2010 – December, Cataclysm expansion release
  • 2012 – September, Mists of Pandaria expansion release
  • 2014 – November, Warlords of Draenor expansion release

About the release date, there are some people who say the upcoming expansion could be released in December 2015. Blizzard said in the past that they would increase the release interval of expansion to yearly expansions, thinking about that it would make sense if the coming expansion would be released somewhere between December 2015 or January 2016, it would also fit to the history of the past releases, but that is at the moment pure speculation.

There were rumors the expansion name could be”The Dark Prophet”. But a trademark listing for “Council of Glades” appeared and rumors came up about that too. If you play World of Warcraft since some years, you know that trademark rumor game, it can be true, it could be wrong, we need to wait for the Blizzard announcement to be sure.

Since Blizzard wants to release yearly expansions, many people criticized that these expansions could offer less content than the expansions of the past, simply due to the fact that there was less time for development. Other voices add to this and say it could come worse and they could sell these expansions for the same price. Also here, time will show.

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The Own Chicken Eggs


The eggs of our chickens

Not sure what I did different and wrong this month, but I am broke two days before new money. Anyway, I couldn’t care less, my mother has a garden with cool things, including chickens. I wrote about it, the production of eggs was not good at the beginning, of course the chickens were stressed because of the new home. It seems they do produce more and more eggs now, especially eggs in common size and not tiny eggs as they did before.

As I am somewhat broke two days before new money, my mother had enough eggs to give me some, and I still had potatoes at home. What do you do with potatoes and eggs? You make Bratkartoffeln und Ei, or in english Fried Potatoes With Eggs. This is one of my favorite dishes anyway, it doesn’t only taste good, it does make you full. That is something cool about the garden and the chickens, it’s the first time I did eat our own eggs, tasty!

fried potatoes - bratkartoffeln

First thing I noticed, the yolk of our own eggs is yellow-orange. In Germany we call egg yolk “Eigelb”, there are to words that make the word “Ei” and “gelb”, that means “Egg” and “yellow”, similar to English it does also just mean “the yellow of the egg”. But here comes the thing, I always wondered why it’s called yellow if the yolk of German eggs is rather orange, I guess the answer is that German industry eggs have dark orange yolk, our own eggs from the garden look pretty different.

Asking Google, I found out that you can draw a conclusion about the chicken’s nutrition with the colour of the yolk. The more carotenoid the chickens ingest, the stronger the colouring of the yolk, you find carotenoid in fruits and vegetables. I found out yellow yolk is prefered by the US consumers, and orange yolk by the European consumers. So, as with almost any product, the industry does mix lots dye stuffs into the chicken’s nutrition to get the desired colours in the yolk, to fake your product, that’s what I have read today. In the case of our German industry eggs, its super dark orange, you probably need a lot of carotenoid to achieve that look.

So, the conclusion here is, if you find an egg with natural yellow yolk in Germany, it’s most likely a real bio-food egg, if its dark orange, it’s most likely an egg from a distressed chicken of these horrible German mass production facilities where chickens have not much more room for movement than the own body size, a chicken that is fed with a massive amount of carotenoid, to make me (in my case) the European consumer “happy” about the deep orange colour of the yolk.

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About An Old Friend And Some Bavaria Photos For The Blog


An old friend of mine visited me yesterday, we planned this for a while now since we didn’t meet each other for a long time, apart from the moments when we met each other in the city by chance in a busy moment. But over the last months we had a lot of contact via text messages and phoned on some weekends. He was one of my best friends a decade ago, but you know at some point life starts to keep people busy, can even separate people for a while, this was the only reason why we lost contact back then.

Most of our recent phone calls lasted more than two hours, it’s when you notice you still have a lot in common. We phoned again yesterday and he mentioned he has still two work free weeks, we spontaneously decided to meet each other. The weather here in northern germany is at the moment pretty rainy, not perfect to do something outside, as a result we decided to meet at my home. He did bring along his external harddrive and six beer, the external harddrive to show me his recent holiday photos and videos, the beer to have a good time.

The doorbell rang, I opened and saw him, we did hug each other and said something like “Long time mate, long time mate!”. Even if we phoned already several hours, we still had to tell each other a lot of stories, and of course, it’s perfect when you do that with a beer. We talked a lot about things that happened in ten years, but then also about more recent things. He visited me around 6pm and we sat together until 2pm, that was the point we both said “Oh my, the time did fly!”, we realized we should find an end. But I can tell you I enjoyed the day pretty much, we want to do this again once in a while.

Talking about his holidays, he was recently for 4 weeks in Bavaria, in the district Berchtesgaden Land to be more exact, that’s where the Berchtesgaden Alps are. We went through hundreds of his photos and watched his hike videos too, even one video where he sat in a ropeway for a half hour on his way down, yes, that gives you an impression how big that area is and that you do even need some time to get down with technical help. I enjoyed everything he showed me, hiking through the Alps that must be a fun experience, but also not an easy one, you could see his increasing exhaustion in the videos.

I mentioned that I have a blog where I do write technology posts at times, but where I also upload a lot of photos, especially nature related photos, basically a very broad blog. We shared thoughts about our recent passions, I didn’t mention it in the context of his photos, however, he came back to this thought and said “You know what? You should copy my folder to use the nature images for your blog”. That was a great offer, I told him that would add a lot of value to my blog and that I appreciate that much. I do now have a folder with 1049 Bavaria photos that I can share with you over time. The photos are taken with the iPhone, but there are still a lot of great pictures that he shot.

I told him about my photography hobby as well, he said “I am not so much into photography and you might find some problems with the images, but maybe you can find some you want to use”. We are honest with each other, I told him that the impression counts, which means I clearly enjoyed all of his photos, but that I would use the best ones. Of course, he has a lot of blurred, very grainy or too overexposed photos for my taste, but many good ones as well. I’m happy that I got permission to choose the best ones, there are even photos of Salzburg in Austria, it is a good news I wanted to share with you too.

Posted in Nature, Nature and Animals, Photography, Photography and Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Beautiful Dove


Beautiful Dove

I shot the photo of this dove a while back. To be honest, I am actually not even sure if it’s a dove, maybe it’s a pigeon, I just know that a dove is exactly the same like a pigeon, and a pigeon exactly the same like a dove, at least here in Germany. For both we have just the name Taube. I assume the bird in the photo is called dove in English, because it’s a white one, I think those that are not white are called pigeon, do I understand this right?

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Weekly Photo Challenge Close-Up: Thriving Flower


Flowers Close-Up

The recent WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge came last friday with the theme “Close-Up”. That is interesting, because the image I used in this post would have fit nicely to the theme, but I used it right before. Anyway, I have no problem to find another one.

We don’t have the best weather right now, it’s raining since some days, that means I had to dig in my folders to find an appropriate image for the challenge, one photo that I shot before the rain. To be honest, most of the time my photos are uploaded delayed anyway.

So, I decided to use one that I shot two weeks ago. I shot the photo in the garden, it’s basically a close-up photo, but also a little bit experimental. I wanted to focus close to the blossom of the plant, I wanted to have the background very blurry, it turned out ok I think.

As I promised in another post, I recently want to try to find the names of the flowers I take pictures of, that doesn’t mean that I dislike your suggestions, it just means that I might build up some flower knowledge on this way. So, of course, you can suggest the names too.

I went through this German list of blue and purple flowers, I found out the plant in our garden is lavender. A few minutes later, I got a phone call by my mother, I asked her and she said “Yes, the plant you are talking about is lavender”, I could have asked her first.

I researched a little bit more, it seems there are all kind of different sorts of lavender, around 25 to 30 different ones as it seems. Then I have read that Lavandula angustifolia is the only sort of wild lavender that is sometimes also found in German gardens.

My mother didn’t plant the lavender, maybe the former garden owner, otherwise it might really be that its wild lavender, Lavandula angustifolia, also known as common lavender, true lavender or narrow-leaved lavender. That’s what I researched, what do you think?

Posted in Nature, Nature and Animals, Photography, Photography and Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Snapshot: Abandoned Building In Wismar


Abandoned Building In Wismar

This is a snapshot taken with the smartphone on a car trip in Wismar, a city in Eastern Germany. I like abandoned buildings, this would be a nice place to take lots of texture photos with the DSLR camera, or usual abandoned architecture photos.

I like urban photography and abandoned stuff. We have some abandoned buildings in Lübeck too, I did already visit some places to take photos, I just didn’t have the time yet to choose the best urban photos, to edit them and to upload them to my blog, but I will do that as I like photos of abandoned things.

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Tips To Get Close-Up Insect Photos With The Nikon 18-105mm Lens


Bumblebee

I mentioned several times now in my blog that it’s impossible to get real macro photos with the Nikon 18-105mm lens, however, in this post I will write down how you can get decent insect close-up shots with this lens, it’s possible but not without limits.

First of all, it’s definitely impossible to take close-up photos of any insects smaller than a bumblebee, common bee or wasp, of course you can take photos of anything smaller but I wouldn’t call it close-up anymore, the fact is you can not really get closer to tiny insects.

But you can get quite close to insects like the mentioned bees or insects that are not much smaller, in this case you can take close-up photos with the 18-105 lens, which means you can show off the insect as the main attraction of the photo. Here is what I learned…

You need to set the lens to 105mm, for two reasons, first it will give us a narrow view focusing on the subject, second it will make the background a little bit blurry (bokeh) if there is enough distance between the subject and the background, but there are limits.

We can’t get too close to the subject with 105mm. If you are too close, focusing won’t be possible anymore, neither manually nor automatically. Try to get close enough until focusing is not possible anymore and then get back until you get the subject in focus.

You can use autofocus, but I suggest to focus manually, because depending on how much flowers  there are, the autofocus might have a hard time to work, do it manually and you can control it on your own. That’s all you need to know when you take the photo, but…

To get even closer, you can make use of any graphic software, you can crop the image. You need to experiment, because you can not crop how you like, you want to obtain a photo that is sharp enough. Try to experiment and a little bit of cropping gets you even closer.

For macro photography, the 18-105 kit lens is definitely limiting, but it’s still possible to get surprising close-up shots. Set the lens to 105mm, find the distance where you still can focus the subject, do focus manually, take the photo and crop the image at home.

Posted in Animals and Pets, Nature, Nature and Animals, Other Animals, Photography, Photography and Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Bumblebee At Work


bumblebee at work

It’s not a long time ago when I uploaded a photo of a bumblebee, but we have plenty of flowers in the garden and therefore also enough bumblebees and other insects.  I like to watch them, I also like to take photos of them. The Nikon 18-105mm lens is not really made for macro photography, but the more I use the lens, the more I get at least some kind of close-up shots, not exactly macro shots but still interesting photos I think.

Posted in Animals and Pets, Nature, Nature and Animals, Other Animals, Photography, Photography and Design | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Rudbeckia In The Garden


Rudbeckia fulgida

I know I have some followers interested in the gardening subjects, and usually I would ask them for the flower names when I uploaded flower pictures, but I found a couple of nice German flower related websites and this time I hopefully found the right name on my own.

If you told me flower names in the past, I am very thankful for that. But it’s also interesting to research on my own, it might be that I learn some flower names on this way, but it also might be that I come up with the wrong names, it’s not really my area of expertise (laugh).

This time I am pretty much sure that I found the name of the flower in the photo. I researched and think it’s a Rudbeckia, a Rudbeckia fulgida to be more exact. According to Wikipedia, this flower is also called Orange Coneflower, that is funny because…

For me, this flower has rather yellow leaves, although it really goes into the orange anyhow. In German this flower is called Gelber Sonnehut as it seems. Literally translated this means something like “Yellow Sunhat”. Quite an interesting name don’t you think?

I like the English language, but I noticed the German language is much more “illustrative” sometimes. I noticed it with several flower but also bird names, you could just speak it out and a blind person would see what you are talking about, I am of course kidding now.

Talking about the photo, I shot the image in our garden, we have an ocean of them in one corner. I might have one photo where you can see them all, it might take time until I upload it as I pick out photos randomly as I shoot more photos than I can upload in time.

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