Friday, January 22, 2010


...And Carry On! You know this slogan by now, and I have certainly given you my take on what this slogan means to me. Nowadays, this WWII propaganda slogan has been taken and adapted for any kind of situation and message you can imagine. I was recently pointed to an article published last year in the UK's Guardian newspaper, that captures the story behind this message of comfort and inspiration. Originally created to strengthen the British Nation's resolve during the Second World War, this article uncovers the recent discovery of the print and looks to it's most recent surge in popularity.

"For 60 years, the poster had been forgotten. Then, one day in 2000, Stuart Manley, co-owner with his wife Mary of Barter Books in Alnwick, Northumberland, was sifting through a box of hardbacks he had bought at auction when he saw "A big piece of paper folded up at the bottom. I opened it out, and I thought, wow. That's quite something. I showed it to Mary, and she agreed. So we framed it and put it up on the bookshop wall. And that's where it all started.""

The original poster, discovered by the owners of Barter Books.

To explain why this message has resonated so strongly with us in these modern times, the article interviews Dr Lesley Prince, a lecturer in social psychology at Birmingham University. His take on this message's popularity is that it delivers "quiet, calm, authoritative, no-bullshit voice of reason. It's not about British stiff upper lip, really. The point is that people have been sold a lie since the 1970s. They were promised the earth and now they're worried about everything - their jobs, their homes, their bank, their money, their pension. This is saying, look, somebody out there knows what's going on, and it'll be all right". Read the full article by journalist Jon Henley here. Great stuff.

For a unique take on this poster, the article points to a really creative version by Matt Jones, below. I LOVE this, especially with the wrenches in the crown. So clever.

"Get Excited and Make Things" Print, by Matt Jones

I can't say that I always love the various adaptations and spoofs of this message, I am kind of a purest for this message, but some of them are so inventive. I thought I would pull together ones that might interest you, and most definitely point to some of the things that certainly make me more calm!

"Keep Calm and Carry On Shopping" Tote Bag by Catherine Colebrook

"Keep Calm and Have a Cupcake" Print by Jenny's Bake Shop

"Keep Calm and Drink Martinis" Print by The Lobster Pot

For MANY more variations on this theme, start here. I guarantee you will be inspired.


  1. Another fav one of mine is -
    " Keep calm and rock on"

  2. Well, I certainly need plenty of reminders to Keep Calm, so I appreciate all the facsimilies of the original poster out and about! Thanks for the fun post (I found your blog through BYW!)

  3. Thanks for stopping by Mitzi. Great to see a fellow student around these parts!


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