Demotivational Pictures FAQ

What Are Demotivators?

Demotivator pictures are a good source of humour on the internet. They are the opposite of motivational posters and are designed to discourage and demotivate. They often contain pessimistic or mocking captions.

A demotivational picture comprises of a picture usually of comedy value being situated as a central point in an image. The central image also has a thick black border around it usually making up around 20 to 40 percent of the picture size. Below the central image there is an amusing text caption related to the image in the middle of the demotivator written in a bold black font. The caption is often does not depict the true nature of what is going on in the picture giving a humorously misleading appearance to the picture. An example of this would be an image of a dog wearing a pirate hat, the caption under this image may read something along the lines of “Yargh I be off to pillage and plunder”. The fact that the dog is obviously not a pirate or not going off to pillage and plunder anything is what adds the extra humorous touch to the demotivator appealing to people who find random and unexpected things funny.

an example of a demotivator

Peoples sense of humour varies depending on their beliefs, upbringing, nationality and many other factors. Not everyone will necessarily find the same demotivator funny, some may find it to be offensive or boring. A popular demotivator would be defined as one that appeals to a large audience of people.

Where Did Demotivators Come From?

Demotivational pictures have been around for a long time however many are unaware of the origins of demotivational images. Demotivaltional pictures derive from motivational posters which were popular in places such as offices and workplaces in the 1990s. A motivational pictures is quite the oposite of a demotivational poster. A motivational poster is designed to inspire and motivate those who look at it. A popular motivational picture with you may have seen is the “hang in there cat” which used to hang in many offices and workplaces.

hang in there kitten original

Demotivators were circulated in popular online message boards and communities such as 4chan and other blogs and websites. Over time demotivators became extremely popular and are now commonly used all over the internet on nearly every website that has funny pictures. There are even websites that are dedicated to providing only demotivational pictures. The trend of demotional pictures will no doubt continue in the same format for many years or even decades to come.

How Have Demotivators Evolved?

Demotivators have come a long way from their birth as motivational office posters. Over time they have changed and evolved away from their original form for the better. The very first Demotivators were pictures that would generally be used on a motivational poster but with an amusing caption that would not have been used on such a poster. Over time the pictures used moved away from the generic office photo and changed to crude and bizarre images often using comical pessimism as the image caption. A popular type of demotivational image has the caption ‘fail’ or ‘owned’, these pictures are generally of people doing something silly with hilarious consequences.

How Do I Make a Demotivator?

Have you got some good ideas for an amusing demotivator? Then you should defiantly go ahead and make one! Making your own demotivator can sometimes be a little scary at first, as you may be concerned that no one will find it funny. Chances are that even if it isn’t very good; as long as you have found it amusing then someone else will too. There is a big difference between something that is not funny and something that is not popular. So go ahead and try it out, someone will find it funny and you never know it could become very popular and loved by millions! If you can’t use an image editing program don’t give up, there are lots of websites that have a demotivator builder making it easy. Just search Google for ‘demotivator builder’ and take your pick.

Here are some steps to making a demotivator using image editing software:

  • Open your favourite image editing program to make a big black box.
  • You can use the fill tool to change the whole background to black and now you have a base for your demotivator. It is worth calculating the size of the image you plan on using for centre piece of the demotivator to ensure it you wont need to stretch or shrink it. Stretching and shrinking pictures can reduce image quality and you want the master copy to be high quality in case you want to work on it again later.
  • Copy the image you wish to use using right click copy or your image editing program may have an import image option.
  • Paste or import the image onto the black background you made and position it in the middle.
  • Use the text tool in your image editing program to write out your caption using a white font colour.
  • Save the image as either a .JPG or a .PNG file. The file should ideally be 500KB or less if you intend to publish this on the web, if the quality is bad when saved at 500KB or less the image can be a bigger size if needed.

And there you have it your very own demotivational picture! We wish you luck with it and hope everyone finds your demotivator funny.