I am sure you all must have seen the ‘Keep calm and carry on’ visuals in various formats and renditions by how. Have you ever wondered how this visual popped out of nowhere a few years ago and was suddenly everywhere – from mugs, posters, installations, memes to clothing?
Well, the quirky visual dates much before the settling of the pop culture. Originally a poster, ’Keep calm and carry on’ was actually a war time slogan, created by the Ministry of information, Britain (known to be the British wartime propaganda department) in 1939 – during the second world war.
The poster was part of a series of three posters created at the event of the war – with the others being ‘Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution; Will Bring Us Victory’ and ‘Freedom is in Peril; Defend it with all Your Might’ – all of them using distinctive sans serif typeface that may have been drawn by hand on a solid color background, topped by a crown.
Although the design was never officially issued, yet 2.45 million posters displaying it were printed, only to be pulped and recycled in 1940 to help the British government deal with a serious paper shortage and only a very small number of originals have survived to the present day.
The poster became famous once again when n original copy of the poster was found in a bookstore in Northumberland in 2000, which led to the reproduction of the slogan in various formats.