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keep_calm_and_create_memes

When an icon becomes a meme

There are probably very few people left in the English-speaking world who haven’t seen the “Keep Calm and Carry On” image in one form or another. Over the past decade it has been copied, reproduced and altered to fit almost every possible message and communications platform. So my question, for the last of my icon posts, is why did this image become more than just another symbol? And how does an image become a meme?
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Unknown-Pleasures-joy-division-1280

Am I a brand hypocrite?

Some of my strongest influences back when I went to design school were the music of Joy Division and New Order with their record covers designed by Peter Saville. So I was horrified last year when I saw that Disney was thinking of creating a Mickey Mouse T-shirt version based on Joy Division’s 1979 album Unknown Pleasures. While I knew that the icon had become a visual meme for the art school students past and present, looking around further I was surprised at how it had become part of our commercial culture as well.

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Webers_sign

What makes a brand an icon?

How does a brand gain iconic status? Is it something that you can create yourself or is it something that can only be bestowed on you by others.

These questions crossed my mind when when I stopped at Webers on the way up north last weekend. For those not familiar with Webers, they have been serving burgers and fries on the side of Highway 11 since 1963. As it was the Friday of the Thanksgiving weekend, by early afternoon it was already busy with people heading up to their cottages. It was a scene from a ritual that has been going on for almost 50 years.
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