A poster, made in 1939 by the British Ministry of Information to encouage the public to pull through the difficult times in World War II. Although millions of copies were printed, the poster was never really used, and the original designer is unknown.
In 2000 a copy was found in a second-hand bookshop, and, since the copyright had expired, the posters slogan was allowed to be printed on to all kinds of merchandise including copies of the poster, hoodies, mugs, doormats and cusions. As a result, the slogan became very popular and now represents the British attitude to tough and stressful times.
In the recession of the late 2000s, the Keep Calm and Carry On posters gained in popularity, especially among nurses and other professions affected.
As the bombs dropped, the British public sat in their makeshift Anderson shelters, making tea and keeping their spirits high, and continued life as usual.
The Ministry of Information was formed by the British Government to be in charge of publicity and propaganda during World War Two. In 1939, after the outbreak of War, the Ministry of Information was appointed by the Government to design a number of posters to boost public morale.
The posters required a bold backround, to be similar in style and feature the crown of King George VI along with a simple yet effective font. The first two posters read ''Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution, will Bring Us Victory'' and ''Freedom is in Peril. Defend it with all your Might'' and were produced by His Majest's Stationary Office (HMSO).
The final poster of the set simply read ''Keep Calm and Carry On''. The plan for this one was to hold it in reserve and issue it only if Germany invaded Britain. As this never happend, it was only ever seen on a few office walls and never public.
It is thougt that almost all of the Keep Calm and Carry On posters were destroyed at the end of the War in 1945. However nearly 60 years later, Stuart Manley, a bookseller from Barter Books rediscovered one amongst a box of dusty old books.
More recently a hoard of over 100 original posters were found in an old printers workshop and were put up for auction.
Sadly no record remains of the unknown Ciril Servent who designed the quintessentially British Keep Calm and Carry On poster.
A: Germany invaded Britain. I'm scared!
B: Keep Calm and Carry On.