“KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON,” commands a World War II-era poster. The well-executed propaganda piece has recently gained popularity among “media and advertising executives” hoping to “propel themselves through this economic downturn,” reports today’s Times.
But the reader could be forgiven for finding the poster a little familiar, given that back in July the Times Magazine published a piece on the KEEP CALM poster and the manifold imitators it had already inspired. According to the earlier article, the posters caught on in Britain “a few years back” after a used bookstore unearthed a copy in 2000. Since then, Etsy-ites and others have been riffing on the poster’s imperative phrases and clean design, producing variations like “GET EXCITED AND MAKE THINGS” with a crown made of wrenches, or “KEEP CALM AND HAVE A CUPCAKE” with a cupcake.