Monday, May 18, 2009

Keep Calm and Carry On

For any of you who have read at least one design blog, I'm sure you have seen, and possibly salivated over the Keep calm and Carry On Poster. Designed in 1939 by the British Government's Ministry of Information, this poster along with 2 others (future post on those 2) were meant to be an encouragement to the British people to hold fast as London was being bombed. Using the crown of King George VI, this simple slogan was pasted on walls, although the actual poster was never issued. In 2000, a used book store owner and his wife happened upon the poster while thumbing through a box of used books he had found at an auction. In the current economic environment, it seems that this motto resonates with many people 70 years later.

While the stiff upper lip quality of the British may be what we are wishing we had right now, the poster is also a modern design statement. Originally in red, a variety of colors are now available for purchase online, as the copyright on the image has long since expired. This is one moment where I delight in the fact that my husband owns a screen printing company. He has once again humored me in my many projects and ideas and helped me reproduce the poster in brilliant orange, apple green, emerald green, royal blue, and golden yellow. In his practical way he has insisted that it wasn't worth it to set up to print only one copy and I have a number of them in each of the five colors. ( I'm not a saleswoman but I do have them for sale, just email me for prices and shipping. The image is 17 x 23" with a 1 inch white border.)

Original art, including screen print is one desire of many design aficionados, so it is not surprising that a poster that is also serving up the inspiration that everyone could use right now has become so popular.

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