Make Meme/LOLCats Text with the GIMP

This tutorial explains how to make the “LOLCats” or “Meme” font so popular with the kids today. You can see a lot of these on the 4Chan /b/ channel, but don’t go there if you have any illusions that our society isn’t full of degenerates. The meme font is Impact Condensed, but to get the right “look”, you need to create a black outline around the regular font letters.

A couple tutorials explain how do to this with Photoshop. This tutorial explains how to do it with the free GIMP program.

From the windows menu, open up the Layers and the Paths windows. You may not be familiar with Paths, but it’s key to this task.

Select the text tool (the A icon), and then drag out a box. Type in your text. Set the font to Impact Condensed (on some systems, the meme font is simply called “Impact”), and a large pixel size, like 40 pixels. Set the color to white.

Then, click the “Paths from Text” button, which is down in the lower part of the Toolbox. This creates a new path in the Paths window.

Press the “D” key. This will set the colors back to black foreground / white background.

Then, click the “Paint along the Path” button in the Paths window. This is the weird looking brush icon next to the trash icon in the lower right. The “Stroke Path” dialog will appear.

Select “Stroke Line,” and set the path size to around 3 pixels. Select “Solid color.” Then click the “Stroke” button.

If the stroke steals too many pixels from the text, you might want to undo a few steps, duplicate the text layer, then re-do the path and stroke it. The duplicated text layer can be placed on top of the outlined text. That’s what was done on the example above.

There you go!