The Evolution of an Internet Meme

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.

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

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!

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.

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

By Lassi Hippeläinen (not verified) on 28 Jan 2010 #permalink

Keep calm and cover your bum.

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!

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..

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