Sunday, 21 July 2013
Keep Calm and Spread Memes
The original Keep Calm And Carry On motivational poster was produced by the British government’s Ministry of Information in 1939. It was intended to boost the morale of the populace by conveying a message from King George IV should a German invasion seem imminent.
Fortunately, although around a million of the posters were printed, there was never a need to release them. At the end of the war, the posters were gathered up and destroyed. It is believed that only two of the original posters survived.
In 2000, two co-owners of a Northumberland independent bookshop stumbled upon one of the original 1939 posters in a box of second hand books purchased at a local auction. They liked it so much that they framed it and hung it in their shop. They soon found others were also attracted to the poster and received numerous offers to purchase it.
Its popularity continued to spread and was being regularly mentioned on TV, in newspapers and other forms of media. Many English country pubs now proudly display it as a symbol of the defiance, steadfastness and resoluteness that put the ‘Great’ into ‘Great Britain’.
We have used various mash-ups of the original slogan on this blog a few times - namely in ‘Lie Back and Think of England’ (April 2012) and ‘Kung Fu and Karma’ (July 2013) – and happily do so again today to bring to your attention a free, fun web site which lets you generate your own Keep Calm mash-up and download it, or even have it printed on mugs, t-shirts, kitchen towels, baseball hats, you name it!
The site is http://www.keepcalmstudio.com and it already has over 64,000 variations of the Keep Calm poster in its galleries. The one I created on the site is above. The picture below I created for an earlier blog-post.Pixie xx