The Grumpy Cat Meme

Made by Runmiao Shi, Matthew Bofenkamp and Toya Rosuello

Created: September 26th, 2016



Write about the big ideas behind your project? What are the goals? Why did you make it? What are your motivations?



Outline your approach to the project? How did you approach reworking of media in a collaborative way? What challenges were encountered and how did you resolve them?



Reflect on the process of making this project. What did you learn? How does it relate to what you know about spreadable media? What would you do differently?


Layer #1 by Runmiao Shi (runmiaos)

I think there's a fever of cat culture today. Cats are mysterious and independent, which is really attractive to humans. Many cat lovers and owners have no dignity in front of kitties and try to please kitties by obeying to whatever they needs. Therefore there are often jokes that one day cats will rule the planet. That's how I came up with the idea of creating a poster of cat leader in the context of the world reigned by cats. 


Layer #2

Matthew Bofenkamp

Once I saw the original Chairman Meow, the thought of grumpy cat represented as world leaders with bad reputations spoke to me on a personal level. For my recreation, my first thought went to Josef Stalin, though I couldn't think of a good pun about cats for the text. My thoughts then went to Idi Amin, dictator of Uganda, which could be Kitty Amin, but I thought he may not be well known enough for people to get the joke, and there weren't many good symbols about him that I could find, as the star represented Mao. Finally, I went to Hitler, whom I originally planned to parody as Catdolf Hitler, though this seemed clunky. Then I remembered memes in the past of Adolf Kitler, which I used.

In creating my meme, I made sure to use as many elements of the original Chairman Meow as possible, including the background, the specific shade of red of the star, the grumpy cat outline, the font of the text, the paw print, and the relative size and placement of everything, making the memes feel like they had continuity. The only difference was the shape of the symbol behind grumpy cat and the text.


Layer #3 by Runmiao Shi (runmiaos)

The poster of Kitler reminds me of WWII, and another popular meme featured on WWII. “Keep Calm and Carry On” was one of three posters designed and printed to rally the population of Britain for war before war was even declared. This is the only known collection of the original 1939 poster whose iconography has become ubiquitous over the past few years both in its original form and in countless parodies. Different from the original poster, which is optimistic and encouraging, the poster I created also corresponds to the theme of "Cat Rulers" and intend to convey a sense of pressure.


#Layer by @vdr

I noticed the theme of world leaders and decided to play on it. Reusing the red motif, I chose to use Obama's stylized HOPE posters but with Grumpy Cat instead saying NOPE. This is something that is sometimes seen on t shirts featuring Grumpy Cat.

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Found In

62-150 Intro to Media Synthesis and Analysis

· 28 members

New creative industries are empowering new modes of collaborative consumption, creation and reuse of media. This often relies on successful collaborations between cross-trained artists, designers a...more