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9 hilarious memes for graphic designers

graphic design memes
Arguably the most famous design meme of all time (Image credit: knowyourmeme.com)

Nothing beats a good meme, and there's no shortage of examples that will have graphic designers nodding their heads in amusement – and often in rueful agreement. Because what could be more relatable than seeing your daily struggled played out as a simple, wry image or GIF?

From struggles with difficult clients clients to naming conventions in Photoshop (via, of course, chasing up late payments), our favourite graphic design memes from last year cover it all. And if graphic design is your passion, don't forget to check our best laptops for graphic design

01. Brief vs budget

We've all had that sort of client, the one who isn't after a 'small favour'. They aren't suggesting you work 'for the experience'. They've got money to spend on this project. Except the amount of money they're willing to spend in no way matches the amount of work they want you to put into it. They want a blockbuster on an indie budget. 

02. Client push back

They say the customer's always right? But when you know they're absolutely not, things can get heated. And when the studio manager mediates, it often gets more heated (and it seems that the creative director is always, quite conveniently, "in a meeting").

03. The good/cheap/fast conundrum 

Most clients want the work to be either good, cheap or fast. The problem comes when they expect it to be all three. This is in fact impossible, as the above GIF shows.

04. When inspiration strikes

When you're ready and waiting for a dazzling idea to hit – you've cracked open a brand new limited edition Moleskine sketchbook, you're holding your freshly sharpened Blackwing pencil, and you're at your adjustable, ergonomic, sit/stand workstation – it inevitably doesn't. 

Picasso reckoned inspiration really does exist, but it has to find you working. But, more often than not, inspiration finds you eating, shopping, showering – it finds you anywhere but your adjustable, ergonomic, sit/stand workstation (see our best desks if you want one, by the way). 

05. File naming

Once you're at the designing stage, it's all too easy to decide that there will only be one 'final' version of that document. It's only then you realise you've missed something, and then something else. And then something else.

06. Two types of designer

Once you decide to tweak this and redo that, all of sudden the whole project has become far more complicated than you ever imagined it would be. It's easy to wish you were one of those organised designers, someone who has a tried and tested workflow, who keeps their layers nice and tidy. These people must exist, right?

07. Balancing act

Of course, there had to be a meme on work-life balance. When you're juggling clients, meetings, invoices, worrying about how work will be received, worrying you're doing too much work, worrying you're not doing enough work, it is, well, quite the balancing act.

08. The idea in your head

graphic design memes

The gap between the idea and the actual thing (Image credit: Design Mantic)

The author Cormac McCarthy once said the thing you end up making is never as good as the idea in your head. The exciting bit is trying to bridge that gap. But, of course, then other people have to stick their beaks in. And let's be honest – the idea in your head is normally a million miles away from the way the thing you end up making is received.

09. Getting paid

Once you've done the work-work, the real work begins: getting paid. You invoiced the client weeks ago, months ago, last year. You've heard all the excuses. The invoice is "being processed." The invoice is "with accounts". The invoice is "signed off". Meanwhile you're subsisting on Weetabix and refreshing your online banking at five-minute intervals. Until finally, the sweet moment comes.

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