I sort of love the “KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON” posters that have become the darling of interior decorating bloggers and graphic design jokesters alike in the past few years. I even have one of the posters hanging in my apartment. Then I saw Merlin’s version.

i-1c4e6723465c3691ae3199fb755e579e-memeeee-thumb-510x359-40056.pngAt first I LOLed, and then I was like “huh.” How did we get here? How did this meme evolve from stoic World War II propaganda to hilarious Richard Dawkins jokes?

And thus, the phylogenetic tree of “KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON” posters was born:

i-8d1d11988945db59aac671ea189a20e5-memestree-thumb-510x893-40059.jpgHigh res here.


  1. #1 pelican
    January 27, 2010

    Missed one:


    Keep calm and carry yarn.

  2. #2 Christina
    January 27, 2010

    Oh man! That one is awesome! I know I must have missed a lot more 🙁

  3. #3 Beverly
    January 27, 2010

    Thanks for putting this together. I’ve seen these floating around here and there, but it’s fun to see it all on one page!

  4. #5 jaime
    January 27, 2010

    Keep calm and rock on (mid-century style):


  5. #6 Christina
    January 27, 2010

    Nice! Keep ’em coming, I’ll have to make a bigger tree!

  6. #7 nan lawson
    January 27, 2010

    well i recognize my type on print there! i’m part of a meme!

  7. #8 Samir
    January 28, 2010

    What stands out to me from this is that, as in evolutionary biology, sometimes the earlier well-evolved forms (in this case the original poster, which obviously had a lot of throught go into it) are often much more elegant and beautiful than later random mutations.

    Nice round-up Christina. Thanks for putting it all together.

  8. #9 Scott Burnham
    January 28, 2010

    A flickr group of these and more Keep Calm variations:


  9. #10 Lassi Hippeläinen
    January 28, 2010

    How many of those, when printed on a t-shirt, would get you arrested at an airport?

  10. #12 Mousue
    January 28, 2010

    Don’t forget “Freak Out and Throw Stuff.” it’s on Etsy somewhere

  11. #13 gretak
    January 28, 2010

    Keep calm and cover your bum.

  12. #14 victoria
    January 28, 2010

    don’t forget the newly minted conan o’brien one!

  13. #15 drbexl
    January 28, 2010
  14. #17 victoria
    January 29, 2010

    i’m still going strong, since 2006. and, through feb. 14th, i’m making a $5 donation to the red cross haitian relief efforts for every purchase.

    thanks for the fun!

  15. #19 Jen
    February 1, 2010

    I love this post…. Very funny and very close to home.. as I’m the one who made the ‘keep calm and Ride on’ print with the bike!

    ps- I think there’s another shop on Etsy that has about 50 different versions of Keep Calm..

  16. #20 Kenzie
    February 3, 2010

    I just got the crown tattooed on the inside of my wrist as a constant reminded to ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’.

  17. #21 Kate
    February 9, 2010

    Love this! I just got this print recently.http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=40289195

  18. #23 Ray
    August 11, 2011

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