'Keep calm and carry on' — words to live and sue by

2013-05-04T21:03:00Z 'Keep calm and carry on' — words to live and sue byMcClatchy Newspapers Arizona Daily Star
May 04, 2013 9:03 pm  • 

Has a piece of advice ever seemed so apt, or so frightfully ironic?

Thirteen years ago, Stuart Manley stumbled upon a slightly faded red poster tucked at the bottom of a box of books he had bought at auction. Unfolding it, he found himself staring at a relic of World War II, a long-forgotten piece of government propaganda bearing the logo of the British crown and this pithy message:

Keep calm and carry on.

Charmed by its classic design and no-fuss stoicism, Manley and his wife, Mary, framed the vintage poster and hung it up by the cash register in their secondhand bookshop in a disused Victorian train station in the far north of England. After many admiring comments and inquiries from customers, Manley started selling copies — behind Mary’s back, because she didn’t want to commercialize it.

Ahem. Enter perhaps the most commercialized British product since David Beckham.

Manley’s little side venture spawned a marketing and cultural phenomenon, inspiring a million imitations around the world and also, alas, one very acrimonious feud.

Read more in Sunday’s Arizona Daily Star or StarNet.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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