Thursday, September 2, 2010

keep calm, personal

"Keep Calm and Carry On"

This poster has gotten quite a bit of attention over the last few years. It's always caught my eye and led me to my most recent purchase, but made me wonder if you knew the actual story behind it. I found it quite fascinating.

Stemming back to World War II, these posters began to spread in the UK. Their intent was to boost morale and keep the chins up of the nation pinpointing miserable Britain. The task was given to the Minister of Information (a government elected position handling propaganda & information matters) in 1959 and during their briefing led to the simple font design with the crest of King George VI. The most popular of the original three, 'keep calm and carry on' was only intended to be used had Germany invaded the UK. Since that did not happen, it remained on the back burner while the other two originals (below) debuted in shop windows and other common public places.

'your courage, your cheerfulness, your resolution will bring us victory'
'freedom is in peril, defend it with all your might'

In 2000, a bookseller from Alnwick near Edinburgh found the third poster in a collection of books from an auction. He set it up in the back of his shop and after only a few days, its popularity grew which started the reproduction of the poster. Since it's not copy written, it has led to a widespread of calming mentality. And a bit of humor, too.

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