Keep Calm And Carry On: Poster History Explained (VIDEO)

The Backstory Of The 'Keep Calm And Carry On' Poster

There's no escaping 'Keep Calm and Carry On' poster.

From coffee mugs to bandaids and now memes, the British slogan is simply everywhere.

Perfectly, it captures the stiff upper lip culture from across the pond, which has inevitably made its way stateside.

For those who've wondered where the devil the poster first came from, here's a YouTube video to unravel the mystery of the iconic poster for you.

Coined more than 70 years ago, it was one of three propaganda posters produced by the British government in the spring of 1939 in the build up to World War II.

Though the government never officially issued them to the public, they were printed using a “special and handsome” typeface, which would be difficult for Germany to counterfeit, along with the crown of King George VI.

Then, 50 years later, one of the 2.5 million posters turned up at a secondhand bookstore called Barter Books in the northeast corner of Northumberland, England in a town called Alnick. The owner decided to frame the poster and place it on the wall in the shop. Customers loved the slogan, spurring Barter Books to reproduce more of the posters.

Can't get enough great World War II foreign propaganda art? Check out David Pollack's Vintage Posters Gallery or

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