Wednesday

KEEP CALM AND READ THIS POST

Over a year ago, I wrote about the Keep Calm and Carry On poster, an old WWII British propaganda sheet that was revived in 2000 by a bookshop owner who found an old copy and began producing new prints. They became insanely popular. The stiff upper lip attitude is inspiring a few Yankees these days (that's us) and has even debuted in big box stores, like Target. This spring the bullseye brand released canvas versions of the poster, and a series of trays with tongue-in-cheek inscriptions:  "Keep Calm and Snack On."


Other home decor products are getting the chilled out treatment:  here a rug from a UK boutique provides a welcome reminder before heading out the door.

But - don't discount the posters! They're still popping up in decor everywhere from Vanity Fair to People magazine. Rumor has it that 10 Downing Street has one, and the U.S. Embassy in Belgium.







Like any other popular trend, it's invited its own imitators and mockers - here are a few favorites:






And let's not leave out Etsy! A trend isn't a trend until the crafters say it is.

So what do you think? Is this trend done? Or still fun?
Various posters from Flickr.com; room images, Flickr.com. Other images, companies, as attributed above.

21 comments:

Beach House Living said...

I did not know the story of this poster only that it was revived. The last one is pretty funny but so is the who are we kidding one.

Author said...

Yes, it's been a bit overdone, but some of the spin-offs are interesting....

GET EXCITED AND MAKE THINGS - was an interesting take on it.

So was, FREAK OUT AND THROW STUFF.

Now I'm going to spend the next 15-minutes making up a new one....

Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

Love the last one...ha!! I think it is overdone, which is too bad. It is just a delightful piece with a great beginning...the explosion of items using it takes away from how wonderful it is.

Robin said...

I love the "freak out and throw stuff" one.

I just found out recently that the posters were designed to be released in the event that the Nazis successfully invaded England. Very "stiff upper lip", no? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keep_Calm_and_Carry_On

Simply Mel said...

I'm fine if it stays around as long as people heed the message!

Interior Design Firm said...

I read this post, its really nice.

A Gift Wrapped Life said...

Lets just say they are almost done..........it is kind of fun to see the play on words part of this trend and for some strange reason I love the red area rug. Fun post. XO

La Maison Fou said...

I like the buggered one! I did get a snack on tray yeaterday at Targay........
My kiddos thought it was so funny, so for $14.99 we will be eating our summah snacks with the wipe off mess vinyl tray! Back and white of course.

Some of these are funny and I sigh when I see one, I think they are all in good fun!

We all really need to Keep Calm and Carry On!!

L.

Marija said...

I've never really understood the explosive popularity of this poster. I understand the origin and appreciate the background but I don't know how it went from that to trend. Though I guess I never really understand how that happens. If I did, I'm sure I'd invent something like this:)

I laughed out loud at "FREAK OUT AND THROW STUFF". Maybe

Sanity Fair said...

Thanks all for your comments! I have to agree that I loved this at first, but it is feeling a bit done now, with the exception of the ironic twist versions.
What surprises me is that, for all the American interest/creativity on this one, no one I've seen has thought to change the distinctly British monarchical crown into a U.S. flag, star, or something more American. It would be a nice twist.
-Skyla

Capella Kincheloe Interior Design said...

Overdone, but still fun.

studioJudith said...

I'm all for eating cupcakes
and
throwing stuff !

Jjjj

mise said...

Here in Ireland, what with our proximity to Britain and our doubts about the Churchillian spirit, it is getting a bit passé, but was good fun while it lasted. "Keep calm and leave a comment" would appeal to bloggers...

Sarah Klassen said...

To be completely truthful, I don't like the poster. Originally, the concept was sweet, though, I don't like the type, and now? Crazy what has been done to it :( So sad...

Struggler said...

I suspect it became so popular because the words were so easy to change into funnier meanings. I like the selection of options you found!

Laura Casey Interiors said...

Love the floor mat! thanks for the smile :)

Anonymous said...

D.O.N.E.

Alicia said...

I love the last one its sooo appropo. Overdone but at least now I know the original history. Thank you for that.

Down and Out Chic said...

have you seen the "keep calm and carry guns"? hilarious.

Averill said...

Loved it at first and I still love the historical reference (and the message) but it IS getting a bit too ubiquitous.

Dumbwit Tellher said...

I'm over it purely because of seeing it EVERYWHERE. Spotted the tray at el'Target and thought it was cute & so cheap. I do love this old poster but I shy away from anything too over-done. Call me weird / :

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