How to Make Skeptical Memes (With Pictures)

How do you make a skeptical meme to post on social media to spread the message of critical thinking and science advocacy? Here is a visual guide to how to make simple skeptical memes using free and unrestricted images that do not require attribution.

Step 1: Download GIMP

Go over to the GIMP website and download the software for Windows or Mac. For Ubuntu and similar operating systems, use the built-in system to download it.

Step 2: Get free image that does not require attribution

Go over to a website that offers free images that do not require attribution, such as Pixabay.

Find an image you want to use as a background template. For instance, here is a cat that looks skeptical or suspicious:

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Step 3: Open image in GIMP

Open GIMP and load in the meme template by going File -> Open, using Ctrl + O or right-clicking the image and opening it with GIMP.

Step 4: Type in meme text

Decide on a thought-provoking or ironic meme text and write it with an appropriate color such as white:

Mark the text, right-click and click “Path from Text”. Then go Layer -> New Layer.. (or click Shift + Ctrl + N). Then go Select -> From Path (or Shift + V). Then go Select -> Grow and select a figure from 2 to 5 px.

Then use the filling tool and fill in the text with black.

Step 5: Move down top layer

Move down the top layer to the middle.

If you move it down one step, the text will now be white with a black border.

Step 6: Merge Layers

Merge all the layers down to a single layer with Ctrl + M.

Step 7: Select none and save

Go Select -> None to remove the selection and optionally add a logo for your brand.

Now all you need to do is export the image with Ctrl + E to a format of your choice and your skeptical meme is done.

Only the imagination sets the limits as there are millions of free images out there that does not require attribution.

Go forth and meme skepticism and science advocacy!


Debunker of pseudoscience.

2 thoughts on “How to Make Skeptical Memes (With Pictures)

  • I’ve found another way for us less graphic-savvy folks. You can also do memes in PowerPoint. Insert your chosen image as a picture, and then you can use all their fancy word-art functions to create your text. Once you’ve got it like you want it, select the image and the text boxes all at once, and tell PowerPoint to group them. Then just “save as” a picture, and there you are!

    I needed to add text to an image for a blog post awhile back, and used the built-in functions to add a border and angle the text, and was able create this image, without having to understand how to work with layers or anything!

    • That is a fantastic method. Very useful for people who just want to make a meme and not get too much involved with images editing.

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