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keep calm…


Alyson Fox posted about Keep Calm {at the D*S guest blog} and I had to share. There’s something I just love about these simple, yet graphic, "Keep Calm and Carry On" posters from the Keep Calm Gallery in the UK. Inspired by the message fly-posted around Britain during World War Two…the poster is such a nice reminder for our every day {often busy} lives…


  1. I purchased one of these and hung it so its the first thing i see when i get home from a long day at work – i love it (took a bit for the hubby to like it hehe) and it really does remind us to calm down cuz sometimes life is crazy and doesnt always go the way we want it to …

  2. I have loved these posters since I first saw the ones on sfgirl by bay’s blog. I finally have a house and cannot wait to order that poster! Thanks for posting them again!

  3. I love this poster as well. I picked one up years ago when I worked for a rare/antiquarian bookshop. It became even more meaningful once we had kids. We must utter those words at least once a day!

  4. I’m a little freaked out by these posters. I think we have to be careful about the wartime propaganda we incorporate into our homes, our most personal space. Like the impact of war on language (e.g. blitz, stick to your guns, etc.), visual cues can totally affect our psyches. I don’t know the source of these posters, but maybe it was meant to be ironic? Maybe we really shouldn’t be calm… maybe we should be totally outraged by the state of the world right now. Thoughts?

  5. Nicole:
    Without getting too serious or writing an essay, I agree about being careful with words, especially when we are re-using old war propaganda messages in design. Sometimes, in our rush to be hip or witty or ironic, we completely misrepresent (or dangerously misinterpret) the original idea; reinforcing rather than challenging it. God help us if fascist symbols ever become trendy in home decor…urghhhhh.
    I can’t speak for others but this particular message and design immediately struck a chord with me, though as a fairly ironic statement on the times we live in. Maybe others find it calming but for me, it is unsettling – in a good and productive way – because it’s saying everything is NOT fine, despite appearances to the contrary. The simple and clean aesthetic and the classic stiff upper lip Britishness of it is appealing too.
    Anything referencing ‘dirty Huns’ or ‘nasty Japs’ would not have a place on my wall but the poster has a fairly inoffensive history, at least as far as propaganda goes. FYI: The bookshop owners in England who originally reprinted this WW2 poster have a detailed history of it here.

  6. i think you single-handedly created a mini keeping-calm revolution in the blogging world. 😉 i always think about you whenever i see it on some random person’s photo.

  7. Oh my,
    I just found this poster in LA, bought it and have hung it in my studio! I love it!
    Let’s all KEEP CALM & CARRY ON!

  8. According to the wonderful Barter Books link msd posted, these posters were *not* fly-posted around Britain, but 2.5 million were printed in the 40s and kept in reserve.
    So although they are propaganda, they were never actually used during the Blitz. I think it’s wonderful that they are decorating our walls today.


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