Keep Calm and Carry On – the story of a graphic icon



We were tickled to run into the history of one of the most recognizable type-treated visuals in the world on The Guardian today.

The ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ mantra is one we’ve probably all repeated to ourselves and, if you’re like us at least, you may have put it on your office wall, coffee cup or other easily accessible spot.

The image was one of three similar messages created during World War II for a very special purpose:

Some 2.5m copies of our poster were printed, but in the end they were kept back; “held in reserve, intended for use only in times of crisis or invasion”, which happily never came.

While you may not have lucked out and found an original as Barter Books did,  there are lots of ways to incorporate this slogan and sentiment into your favorite rooms.  Here are some of our favorites:


Bring the calm sweetness to your living room with this industrial style pillow cover from blackrufflebrigade on Etsy


‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ metallic silver poster from Etsy seller sfgirlbybay


Or share the calmness when you need it most after injury – bandages from Paper Source!

And be sure to welcome your guests in the most gracious, British style possible with this fun welcome mat.

There’s something special about incorporating decorative items into your home with a good story and a little bit of history – what’s your favorite?

About Author

Katie Laird

Katie Laird (aka: happykatie) is the PR and Social Media Marketing Manager. But, more importantly, she's a home design obsessed Web geek with a love for Mid-Century Modern furniture, stained glass and DIY / crafty projects she can work on with her family over a bottle of homemade root beer. Find her Tweeting at @BlindsDotCom + @happykatie -- and pinning like nobody's business at @BlindsDotCom + @happykatie.

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