23 Graphic Design Memes Guaranteed to Make You Laugh

Stephanie Corrigan
23 Graphic Design Memes Guaranteed to Make You Laugh
Need a break from work? Minimize Photoshop and come have a laugh at these hilarious and relatable graphic design memes.

Whether you're a freelancer or in-house designer, you've likely encountered a number of frustrating situations in your career. Overdue invoices, unreasonable expectations, and backseat designers are just a few of the struggles most graphic designers face on a regular basis.

Although these struggles are very real, sometimes all we can do is poke fun at them and try not to take ourselves too seriously. After all, they say laughter is the best medicine. What better way to lighten up an unfortunate situation than with some funny graphic design memes?

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Top graphic design memes of 2020

Without further ado, let's dive into the top 23 graphic design memes that every designer can relate to. These memes are guaranteed to make you laugh and possibly question your career choice. And when you're done, don't forget to share this post with your graphic designer friends to spread the good humor!

1. The life of a graphic designer

This graphic design meme perfectly captures some of the most classic struggles between the graphic designer and the client. While there are many wonderful clients out there, we've all encountered certain individuals who seem to know everything better. Wouldn't it be nice if every client just trusted us as the experts and let us do our job?

2. Good, cheap, and fast design

The good, cheap, and fast conundrum is a classic situation all graphic designers face at some point. Many clients expect all three, but as this graphic design gif demonstrates, they're living in fantasy world; it's fair for them to expect two out of the three, but never all three.

3. File naming problems

If you can't relate to this classic graphic design meme, you can't call yourself a graphic designer! Just kidding. But seriously, some projects just never seem to end, even after the design is supposedly finalized. This can result in some pretty ridiculous file names and quite a bit of cursing under our breaths.

4. Who needs a logo?

This has to be the quintessential graphic design meme of 2020. What's a graphic designer to do when the world is on fire (physically and metaphorically)? Design can't end the pandemic or fix climate change, but it can still solve a lot of problems for business owners. Think of this unprecedented year as a perfect opportunity to think outside the box and find new, creative ways to serve your clients.

5. End of conversation

The sad truth is that many clients don't understand the value of design. If a prospect balks at your rate or ghosts you, trust that he's not the right fit for you and that there are plenty of fish in the sea who are willing to invest in quality design. Easier said than done, of course.

6. The Canva problem

Canva, a free online design software, is shaking things up in the graphic design world. The DIY'ers of the world are out in full force creating their own graphics, including logos, with this template-based tool. While Canva has its place, every graphic designer knows that it pales in comparison to professional design software. This hilarious graphic design meme says it all.

7. Designing for exposure

Ever had a potential client ask for free work in exchange for exposure? My advice to you: the answer is always a hard "no." Exposure can sound tempting, especially if the client has a large audience, but it won't pay the bills, and there's no guarantee it will ever lead to paid work. Maybe we should all send this meme to every client who asks us to design for exposure.

8. Overdue payments

This is one of the funniest and also saddest of all the graphic design memes. Freelancers deserve to get paid on time. Unfortunately, many clients have no problem delaying payment indefinitely. If this is something you're struggling with, a solid contract with a late payment penalty could be a game-changer for you. Withholding payment isn't just annoying, it's actually illegal if it violates the terms of the contract.

9. Brief vs. budget

We can't blame our clients for having big dreams and high expectations for their projects. But when the brief doesn't match the budget, we're faced with a conundrum. If the client is truly invested in her project, she may be willing to push her budget, but if not, she'd better lower her expectations.

10. Portfolio envy

Feeling envious of another graphic designer's portfolio is basically a rite of passage in this industry. Looking around at other designers who are more experienced than us can make us feel small and inadequate in comparison. Instead of feeling down, get inspired! Acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses and take a course to work on the areas that need improvement.

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11. The approval process

Let's not sugarcoat it, getting our designs through the approval process can sometimes feel like an obstacle course. Especially if there are unclear expectations and too many decision makers involved. Fortunately, we have graphic design memes like this one to help us poke fun at our frustrating reality.

12. Screen size


This is not a fun situation to be in. How do you explain the concept of file sizing to a client? Very delicately, that's how.

13. Clients who think they're designers

A freelance web designer's worst nightmare is a client who fiddles with their hard work and turns a masterpiece into a disaster. Unfortunately, this nightmare is all too real. Personally, I've had to remove some websites from my portfolio because the client made ghastly modifications after I handed their site over. Good design can appear easy to the untrained eye, when in reality it's a skill that takes years to develop.

14. Make it pop

Make it pop: the one request that no graphic designer ever wants to hear. If only there were a "pop" tool like the one in this graphic design meme to solve this problem for us forever.

15. Font addiction

What graphic designer can resist the lure of new fonts? Finding the perfect font for a project is an art and a skill that can take hours. And just when you think you've found the right font, along comes an even better option.

Check out this post to learn more about why typography is important and how to choose the right fonts.

16. A few changes

When the client is trying to be nice and get on your good side but has a "few" changes. This is another one of those "funny but it hurts" graphic design memes that is all too relatable. If they love the design, why all the changes? I'm afraid we'll never know.

17. The design studio

Raise your hand if you're wearing all the hats in your one-person design studio. Running a business on your own that's not a personal brand may feel deceptive, but it can be a good strategy when you're just starting out. You can always hire team members later on, but for now, own your multifaceted role--not everyone can do what you do!

18. The power balance

Here's another dreaded situation most freelance graphic designers face at some point. The work is approved, the invoice is paid, and just when you think you're out of the woods, the client reappears with another edit. The ball is in your court now, and you get to tell the client that additional revisions will cost X amount. Whatever you do, don't let the client guilt or pressure you into making the changes for free!

19. By tomorrow

Some clients truly have no idea how long design takes. Even if it is a small and quick project, why does the client assume we'll drop everything else on our plate to get it done right away? It doesn't make any sense, but alas, this graphic designer struggle isn't going away any time soon.

20. The spinning wheel of doom

Here's another meme that captures an essential rite of passage in every graphic designer's career: the spinning wheel of doom, which as we all know, is usually followed by a software crash and the loss of many an unsaved change. Cue the tears and ensuing existential crisis.

21. RGB vs. CMYK

Here's a meme that only graphic designers understand.

22. Art direction

I think we can all agree that there's nothing worse than having your client nitpick every minor detail of your work. At least graphic design memes like this one can help us laugh about it.

23. The transition to freelance

Transitioning from full-time to freelance designer is all fun and games until it isn't. Freelancing has many desirable perks, like working from home, creating your own schedule, and having creative control over your work. However, it also requires a lot of skills that you just don't learn in design school or at a 9-5 job. Luckily, courses like The 6-Figure Freelancer exist to help designers like you build a profitable and sustainable freelance business.

Are you looking for free graphic design software? check the list on FixThePhoto.

How to go from struggling freelancer to in-demand expert

Are some of these graphic design memes hitting a little too close to home? It only takes one or two bad experiences to make us question whether we're cut out for the freelance life after all (speaking from experience). Although we can't control how our clients will act, we can control pretty much every other aspect of our business. We can even develop systems to attract ideal clients who value design and are fantastic to work with.

If you're ready to ditch the freelance struggle bus and up-level into a valued expert, check out our course The 6-Figure Freelancer. This comprehensive course teaches everything you need to know about growing a sustainable freelance business. It's possible to enjoy all the perks of freelancing without worrying about overdue invoices and clients who are impossible to please. This course will teach you how.

Click here to learn more about everything that’s included in The 6-Figure Freelancer.

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