Keep Calm & Carry On

18 Sep

In early 1939, with war against Germany looming, the British government formed the Ministry of Information with the responsibility for publicity and propaganda if there were hostilities.  In September 1939 shortly after the outbreak of war, staff at the Ministry of Information designed three posters to re-assure the public and to boost morale.

With bold coloured backgrounds, it was necessary that the posters were similar in style and feature the symbolic crown of King George VI along with a simple yet effective font.  The first two posters, ‘Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution will Bring Us Victory’ and ‘Freedom is in Peril’ were produced by His Majesty’s Stationery Office (HMSO).

These were posted on the public transport network, in shop windows, upon notice boards and hoardings across the nation.  The third and final poster of the set was again very straightforward and to the point – it simply read ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’.   Two and a half million, of the now iconic, red posters were printed and were to be displayed in the event of a German invasion; as this never happened the poster was never officially seen by the public.

It is believed that most of the Keep Calm posters were destroyed at the end of the war in 1945. However, nearly 60 years later, a bookseller from Barter Books in Northumberland came across a copy hidden amongst a pile of dusty books bought from an auction.  It was framed and hung behind the counter and the rest as they say is history………….



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: