Tuesday, February 17

Keep Calm and Carry On

There is an interesting article in the Telegraph today about the iconic reproduction Keep Calm and Carry On wartime poster. The discovery of a long-forgotten poster has proved a profitable find for Stuart Manley, a second-hand book dealer. As evidenced by its ubiquitous presence in the shelter magazines. Mr Manley found an original World War II propaganda poster folded in a box of books he bought at auction in 2000. He showed the poster to his wife, who also thought it to be quite wonderful.

A total of 2.5 million red and white posters were originally printed but never officially issued. The only other known copy is in the Imperial War Museum. The poster was produced by the Ministry of Information to influence public opinion during the war.

Mr Manley framed the poster and proudly displayed the rare find in his bookshop. Soon he was inundated with customers desperate to have a copy. “I love the Britishness of it and think it’s just lovely. It resonant with modern life.” You can get your own copy on the Barter Books website.

My husband and I have decided that everyone in our family needs a copy of this poster as a gentle reminder - on many levels.

On a different note, I am taking a blogging break for 2 days in order to finish up the new feature that I mentioned yesterday and to start packing! Check back on February 19th.


edina monsoon said...

I stumbled on your blog. LOVE it:) Definitely gonna bookmark it

Debra said...

Enjoy a nice break and your trip to the states.
Thank you for the story on tha poster~ it really does have several clever meanings to it~
carry on with your packing now!

Leslie Rowlands said...

Thanks for the info on the poster, I have seen it around but did not know where it originated from.
Hope your trip was a fun one!
lamaisonfou blog

jen laceda said...

This is way too odd...I wan't feeling well on Thursday last week and went home from work. On the way home, I stopped by a coffee shop called Cherry Bomb in my hometown, Toronto. In their washroom was this poster! Plus another one with a similar message ( forget what) but in lime green. When I was standing in the loo, I was thinking, damn I wish I had my camera!!

Karena said...

Wonderful poster Ronda! Be sure to go to my site and sign up for the Fabulous Friday Giveaway.

tartanscot said...

Yay . . . just ordered a poster . . don't quite know where it's going to go, but I can figure that out when it gets here.

thanks for posting !

My Domicile Style said...

I have always liked this poster, and have seen it magazines, in design blogs and in sfgirlbybay etsy's store (bright colors). I never knew the story behind the poster.

I blogged about it the other day, but was reading the too hip comments over at AT. Many thought it was now "cliche". Seeing you blog about it (and loving your blog) makes me feel vindicated!

So Lovely said...

I have had one of these posters in my home for several years. I bought it from this original source as I wanted to have the real deal. At that stage they were $6.00 (exchange rate) and that included the postage. Also included was the sweetest thank you card. At that stage they didn't even have a website - they had to be ordered through the bookshop.

I know there are many bloggers who make nasty comments about how saturated "the market" is with these - but I love the poster and have given many as gifts.

High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

I love this post. I ordered the Keep Calm and Carry On Poster over a year ago. It was one of the first things that I framed and hung in my living room. I tend to be a bit tense and I love taking a peek and reminding myself to just breathe and all will be well.

Lately it's exploded and they are all over the web. I wasn't sure if I should still keep it up. I didn't want it to turn into a trend item.

I love this post. It just reassured me that I wanted to keep it up. I ordered it thru Stuart and had to wait for it to arrive from across the pond. It was love at first sight and I'm happy to see that you enjoy it as well.

Enjoy you're little blog vacation. Can't wait to see the new feature!

Renee Finberg said...


i love the poster.
what a cool find.
and you are tight, it would make a great T.

it's a great 'moto' for these times.

xx be safe

Anonymous said...

Where it was found was actually Barter Books that have NOTHING to do with the site you have linked to..........

They can be found in many places like ebay or etsy , www.KeepCalmAndCarryOn.ca and many more :-)

ALL THE BEST said...

Dear Anonymous,
Please read the Telegraph article I linked to in the post!
Stuart Manley OWNS Barter Books and set up the ORIGINAL Keep Calm and Carry On website.

JMW said...

I love this poster - I purchased one, framed it and it now hangs in our kitchen. A constant reminder to take each day in stride.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ronda,

The site you link to in the post has nothing to do with Barter Books. In fact Stuart Manley would be horrified to know that his name is being associated with the weasel who set up the copy-cat site cashing in on the poster's fame.

Note the telling lack of links to Barter Books from the impostor's site. Boycott the site at all costs, and return any merchandise demanding a full refund - tacitly passing off the goods as authentic or endorsed by Barter Books is not on.

ALL THE BEST said...

I have changed the website to reflect the Barter Books website. Thank you!

beachbungalow8 said...

The comments are fascinating on this post. I'd so love to know the copyright info behind this piece. Are all of the copied versions legal?