Jan 13, 2013

Keep Calm and Carry On

In spring of 1939 the British Ministry of Information ordered to make propaganda posters that would reassure the people in the upcoming battle against Germany. The first version of this propaganda poster read ‘Your courage, your cheerfullness, your resolution will bring us victory’ and the second ‘Freedom is in peril, defend it with all your might’. Both were distributed around the country and placed all over the railway stations and shops.

However, there was a third poster made and this one we all know... Its simple and timeless design together with the request to ‘Keep calm and carry on’ easily stands out. The iconic symbol used to support the message is the crown of King George the 6th. It was supposed to be used only in dire emergency, in times of crisis. Over 2,5 million copies were printed... However, it never got displayed.

Source: http://archaeosoup.com/keep-calm-and-carry-on-the-secret-history/ (Creative Commons).
Until about 50 years later, a book store owner and his wife found an old poster in a box they bought at an auction. They liked the poster and decided to hang it up in their store; Barter Books. The customers where extremely enthusiastic and began offering the owners money for the poster. Reluctant to sell it, they started making copies and began selling those. Right there and then the process of giving this poster a second chance at life had begun..

Currently there are hundreds of versions floating around the world wide web and posters in every colour can be found around stores all over the world. I think it’s beautiful and interesting to see that a simple yet reassuring message from a time long ago still works, still touches people, stilll calms us down and makes us smile. To me it shows that although our world has changed and people have evolved and developed, our essence hasn’t changed, we still need to feel secure and reassured.

Source: http://www.embowman.com/2011/keep-calm-and-carry-on/
The one hanging in my room is light pink and reads: ‘Keep Calm & Have a Cupcake’. Which is, offcourse, the best advice a girl can get!

What is your favourite 'Keep Calm and..' poster? Let me know in the comments, send me a photo on instagram (CatieMcCartney) or on twitter!