Meet the designer behind the largest pun comic creator on Instagram...
PunHub is in the house! You’ve liked the memes, and now you can send them as cards for your whole family to enjoy (even your Nan who’s allergic to Instagram) via good old fashioned Royal Mail - and just in time for Christmas!
We’re pretty sure that PunHub x Scribbler makes the ultimate punny match-up and to celebrate the launch of this totally exclusive collection, available only on our website (for now!) we sat down with graphic designer Conor AKA the brains behind @PunHubOnline, to find out more about him and his journey from viral meme creator to accidental greeting card designer.
So first thing's first Conor, how did PunHub start? What gave you the idea to start making memes and posting them on the internet?
This isn’t my full time job (although it probably could be if I wanted to just do this) and in my day to day life I’m a Graphic Designer primarily working on websites, animation and social media adverts for a whole host of clients so I was no stranger to searching through stock photo websites to find the right image for the job.
I think I actually first created a PunHub style post on the bus on my way to work using a stock photo I’d purchased for a previous job. It was the dead behind the eyes look to the camera like the model was being held captive that really helped sell the picture, and with that PunHub was born! It really took off at the start of the pandemic when everyone was cooped up at home and looking for something to laugh at it and take comfort in with all the misery going on outside.
We can definitely relate to that! Where do you get most of the ideas and inspiration for your posts from?
I think it’s no secret that a lot of the style of jokes I like to work with are heavily inspired by the likes of Leslie Nielsen and the movie, Airplane. I constantly get sent a bunch of ideas to work on now the page is so big so they usually take inspiration from somewhere.
It’s a toss up really between what comes first: the joke or the image, but they've certainly got much more elaborate over the years. What looks like one or two images is usually MANY stock images stitched together to create the perfect scene and reaction to fit the specific joke.
Ok then, if you had to pick, which is your favourite that you’ve created to date, and why?
I really like the one I made with the couple from the Distracted Boyfriend meme where the fella is proposing and telling his girlfriend, “I’m going to make you mine”. Of course she’s super excited in the first panel but not so much when in the second panel she’s deep in an actual mine with a pickaxe.
I think this one was great because with the nature of stock images I was able to lean into the lore already surrounding the couple with how viral the Distracted Boyfriend meme was at the time. I saw so many adaptations of this post from other pages, from changing the theme to making it into a Minecraft style, for instance, which was really cool.
Make You Mine Meme by @PunHubOnline
That's an iconic one! Did it surprise you just how much your account blew up? Which milestone was your first pinch me moment?
It did, for sure with the sheer pace of it during all the lockdowns. I’d actually created a few other pages before PunHub that were more focused around video content as that was (and still is) more in vogue than my traditional image posts but somehow it was able to break through the algorithms limitations on non-video posts and continues to do so today.
It probably sounds a little silly that I wasn’t that taken aback by the likes of 100K followers as a few of my other pages where pretty successful too but when it hit 1 Million followers, that was really humbling and exciting. My workplace sent me a bottle of champagne with '1 Million Followers' written on it and that was a real standout moment for me.
Who knows, maybe one day I’ll just make silly little comics on the internet but at the moment I’ve got no plans to ditch the day job as everyday is unique and I'm lucky to have a really great team at work who've always been incredibly supportive in my side hobbies!
And I bet you never thought you'd be turning your posts into greeting cards!?
It was absolutely not something I had thought about which is strange in a way with how easily they translate in to a card format.
I always loved those retro looking black and white cards with a quote at the top in vague context to the images below, like the On-The-Ceiling range from Emotional Rescue. I’d love to see our cards get even close to the success they've had! I certainly hadn’t considered that I’d ever make a book either but it’s still a real pinch me moment every time I see it in a high street store.
So let's hear more about you! You clearly have a great sense of humour; what gets you laughing most in terms of telly, stand-up comedians, podcasts etc?
Back in the day, I used to really like The Mighty Boosh. It was just so out of pocket with how bizarre some of the gags where. Aside from that, Peep Show has probably got to be one of my all time fave comedy sit-coms. If you’re looking for another meme account you have to check out Giles’s page Dobby Club. It does such an excellent job of keeping the show alive now it’s sadly not on screens anymore!
In terms of podcasts, I’m a regular listener of “Shagged, Married, Annoyed” (shout out Chris and Rosie Ramsey!) which is always a nice little treat on a Friday.
All great shouts! We're also big Dobby Club fans. Ok, this one’s quite nostalgic but what would your dream tuck shop meal deal be AKA your chocolate bar, bag of crisps and drink of choice?
I love this question! I feel like the tuck shop’s been lost to the past (RIP) but I still remember wearing those shirts covered in flames whilst doing knee slides at the school disco and feeling super cool.
I liked those Panda Pops that had a hideous amount of food colouring in them and could turn your tongue blue or green, so I’m going to go for either one of those or an Um Bongo for my drink.
For crisps, it has to be a packet of Walkers Max Punchy Paprika. They give me serious after swimming lesson vibes! And I’m going to stick with a classic tuck shop Freddo for dessert as I feel the price of those will always be the true barometer for the state of the economy and inflation in the UK.
Panda Pops really were lethal, weren't they? Time for a would you rather: get a face tattoo of something you choose or a tattoo in a discreet area but someone else chooses it randomly?
That would for sure have to be a discreet tattoo. I think it takes a certain kind of person to wear a face tattoo and that certainly is not me!
We're with you on that one! Seeing as it's fast approaching, are you a big Christmas fan? And what are you looking forward to most over the festive period?
Oh for sure I love Christmas, not least because I haven’t lived in my home town for many years and it’s just a great chance to spend some quality time with my family that I probably don’t see enough of. My wife and I are actually hosting Christmas this year with both sides of our families coming over so that definitely be interesting!
Haha, good luck with that one! And to wrap up, tell us your best Christmas cracker worthy joke!
What did the mattress say to the duvet? Don’t tell anyone I’m undercover.
10/10. Thanks so much for taking the time to chat to us Conor. We hope you have a great Christmas break!
You can now shop the full PunHub card range featuring hilarious designs for all occasions exclusively from our website.
For LOTS more genius content follow @PunHubOnline on Instagram, Facebook & X.