In 1939, with war against Germany looming, the British Government designed posters to steady the public’s resolve and maintain morale.
Two-and-a-half million copies of “Keep Calm” were printed, to be distributed in the event of a national catastrophe, but since the Nazis never invaded Britan, the posters remained in storage throughout the war.
The message was all but forgotten until 2000, when a copy was discovered in a box of books bought at an auction by Stuart Manley, a bookseller from Northumberland.
Since UK Government copyrights expire after 50 years the design reached the public domain, meaning just about anybody could reproduce it. So the bookstore started to. Then, as more and more prints and rip offs were created, the phrase picked up in popularity.
Here are a selection of my favourite ones!