The Story of Keep Calm and Carry On

You can’t help but credit nostalgia and history in aiding its revival, but when evaluating the design of the “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster, it’s easy to see why, after seven decades, this propaganda piece has found its way into mainstream society. Here’s our take:

Simple Copy: Short and elegant. The advice holds value in a modern context, not just as wartime rhetoric.

Attention-Grabbing Colors: The poster was originally printed in bright background colors (red and orange) and immediately attracts the eye without distracting from the copy, which is set in a highly readable color (white). I believe that the bright backgrounds indicate panic and beg for action, while the text color offers a soothing contrast.

Striking Typography: Decisive, original typography that correlates only to that poster series.  It’s not a threatening font, but not exactly warm and fuzzy, either. It allows the viewer to focus on the meaning of the words without getting wrapped up in a jungle of over-designed letters.

Clear Branding: The crown at the top gives viewers a quick visual cue of with whom the image should be associated.

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