Friday, 6 May 2011

Design: Cartoon Caption Punchlines

The New Yorker magazine, famed for its social commentary, is running a Cartoon Caption Contest.

"Each week, we provide a cartoon in need of a caption. You, the reader, submit your caption below, we choose three finalists, and you vote for your favorite. Finalists for this week's cartoon will appear online Monday, May 16th, and in the May 23rd issue of The New Yorker. Any resident of the U.S. or Canada (except Quebec) age eighteen or older can enter."

This is their latest cartoon available for your dry, deadpan witticisms:

Any thoughts for a caption? Not so easy is it?

The current cartoon available for voting is this:

The three voting options are:
  • "I'll have the chicken."
  •  "Give me a second—I know this one."
  • "When they all walked in that day, I thought something seemed funny."
Check out some of the Previous Winners.

WIRED magazine features an article on  "Cracking the Code of The New Yorker’s Cartoon Caption Contest"

"If you want to win The New Yorker’s Cartoon Caption Contest, you’d do well to mind these four factors: novelty, length, punctuation, and “abstractness and imaginability.”
Paying attention to those parameters certainly doesn’t guarantee a win in the weekly competition, which calls on readers to craft their own punch lines to accompany black-and-white drawings. But it will increase your winning potential, according to a professor who analyzed the captions submitted for a recent round.
McGraw, a professor of marketing and psychology at University of Colorado Boulder, was looking to see if patterns emerged that might reveal what factors are present in submissions shortlisted by New Yorker editors... continues"