Get Excited And Make Things!

"GET EXCITED AND MAKE THINGS" arrives in the Howies store,  Carnaby St

It’s fair to say this post is a little behind-the-times, but I finally want to get round to recording the story behind my “Get Excited & Make Things” image – and also releasing the files, which was always my intention…

I was a little frustrated with myself and the world one day, and went to sit in Hoxton Square to do the Guardian crossword as a remedy.

Flicking through the G2 section I came across a short article about the “Keep Calm & Carry On” WW2 poster phenomenon.

18/03/2009

It occurred to me that this was exactly the wrong sentiment for this age – and in fact the stoicism it recommends was been viewed ironically in the main by those who purchased it.

I started sketching on the paper a contrary statement, where stiff upper lip was replaced by a stiff upper arm from soldering…

GET EXCITED AND LASERCUT THINGS

The royal crown was replaced by one made of spanners (or wrenches, for our yanqui friends) – and Get Excited & Make Things was born.

Don't keep calm and carry on.

I posted it to flickr, where to date it has had over 90k views. It got turned into t-shirt of the week by my friends at Howies (and became their fastest selling shirt ever, apparently!) with the proceeds going towards their Do Lectures.

howies® - t-shirt of the week

Then, an art print by Jen and friends at 20×200 – with proceeds going to Creative Commons.

Along with that, It got featured in various press articles, and there’s a flickr pool for spottings in the wild.

Get Excited & Make Things Pool

It’s still available via my mates at Mule Design – with the proceeds going to Smallcanbebig.org.

Apparently "sullen" is a "thing" which can be "made"

I only mention it’s success (though gratifying personally, obviously – and I’m very happy that it’s provided some small contributions to good causes) – because it seems that it has resonated with so many people.

And that’s the really amazing thing – that there might be a determination, en-masse – to really get the blood pumping and make our way out of the messes we’ve created.

With that in mind, I’m offering the original files under a CC-non-commercial, attribution, share-alike licence.

If you want to use the images for commercial means, we can talk of course – about you giving some donation to a good cause in exchange. I say that, as it’s cropped up in a few places being used without prior permission for commercial ends…

So here they are.

Thank you to everyone so far who has bought a shirt, a print – or just printed it out and stuck in up in their work place or college.

Please stay excited, please stay making.

21 comments
  1. Ben said:

    Great write up of a great thing.

  2. Jens said:

    Thanks for the reminder.

  3. Anonymous Coward said:

    I thought this was a really great thing too BUT that the spanner crown is a really cheesy and pointless idea, just ruins it.

    Maybe I can fix that now. Thank you.

    • moleitau said:

      Thanks for your incisive criticism, anonymous coward – please do fix it! Can’t wait to see what you do.

      • I’m a big fan of the crown ;-)

        Nicely done, Jones, good write up! Was wondering myself where exactly it came from. Finally got myself a t-shirt last week.

  4. This has achieved such a legendary status that some of my fellow RCAers actually thought you designed the original “Keep Calm and Carry On” as well (and yes, they were brits, and no, I won’t give names). So there, you created a timeless piece of quality with this one! thank you for sharing!

  5. alfie said:

    Making this and it’s subsequent embrace by people just shows you what great things can come from getting excited and making things.

  6. Petula said:

    That’s pretty cool! First time I heard/seen it… someone tweeted about it.

  7. Beautiful !
    And what makes this paper interesting is tha twe understand how you applied your motto to yourself.
    “Do what you say, say what you do”
    Bravo
    G

  8. joe said:

    matt,
    left you a message on flickr… please shoot me a line back via my email address.
    had a question about “get excited…”
    best,
    joe

  9. Lisa Doman said:

    Is the GET EXCITED AND MAKE THINGS poster available in the light green color? Who can I contact? I love it.

    Thanks!

  10. I love this slogan. I just was it for the first time.

    I’d like to do something with it myself, maybe make tee shirts of a slightly different design (here in the US, the main graphic is usually on the back with a smaller logo or something, like the crown, over the left breast). I use the CC license myself, for photos, but am unsure how to provide attribution with a tee-shirt.

    Please let me know.

  11. This T-Shirt is absolutely amazing! The design would also look good printed out in a frame. Or as a skin for a smartphone…

    All the best

  12. Jen said:

    I work under this poster every day – it is bordered by a growing collage of paper, mosaic and metal… :) but oh no! wait! I have just noticed the version I bought from amazon doesnt have the wrench crown! :( Noooooooooo! I love that bit particularly….

  13. djonma said:

    I found this post by searching for ‘get excited and make things’ after watching this week’s Man Lab where James was wearing this shirt! I’ll be buying one :-)

  14. djonma said:

    And now it turns out that Howies no longer sell them. How can I get hold of one?

    • Nigel Stirzaker said:

      the image has been released under the creative commons licenses, so you can just take it and print your own. that is what I did. I just didn’t pick good enough quality. Nigel

  15. djonma said:

    It lost my original comment – I found this post by searching for ‘get excited and make things’ after watching this week’s Man Lab and James was wearing a shirt!

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