WWII

D Day Comes Alive 69 Years Later Thanks to C4 and Digit.

69 years ago yesterday, the end of WWII began with the Normandy Invasion by allied forces. To commemorate the event, BBC Channel 4 launched an immersive online event that chronicled the 24 hour period minute by minute. The result is an impressive blend of vintage news and history, coupled to dynamic technologies that bring the history alive. For a generation of people that are removed from the Second World War, this integrated television/website/social media program brings the history alive with a new vitality.

D-Day: As it Happens” told the story of The Normandy Invasion through the perspectives of seven people who were there in 1944. Those individuals include a nurse, a paratrooper and a military cameraman, and infantrymen.

DDay

To kick off the event BBC 4 ran an hour long show on June 5 which introduced the back stories of each character. The following day there was a follow up program that recapped the events that took place on June 6, 1944. Between the timing of the first program and the follow up, internet users could track progress in real time through a breaking news-style website created by Digit and by following individual Twitter feeds set up for each of the “D-Day 7”.

DDay2

The website and TV shows used newly found and previously unseen material collected over a 15 year period by D-Day researcher Colin Henderson. Henderson’s radio reports, film, photographs and records allowed Digit to create maps plotting each of the D-Day 7’s locations throughout the day and develop a 24-hour live feed displaying their reactions, that connected to photographs and video footage of the invasion. Over the 24 hour period of time, more than 1,000 updates were posted to the site with the written accounts taken from historical records including diaries and interviews.

“The idea was to take yesterday’s news and tell it through today’s technology. If D-Day happened now, there would be rolling coverage, live feeds and constant Twitter updates. By using the web and social media, we managed to create something that had people engrossed in the characters and their stories,”

Digit creative director Adam Lawrenson.

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The History of “Keep Calm and Carry On”.

“Keep Calm and Carry On” originally arrived in the UK in 1939. Since it’s rediscovery in the early 2000’s it has become one of the iconic images of the 21st century. Frankly the saturation point of this poster, the various ripoffs, and over use of it have left Keep Calm and Carry On kind of flat for me. It is a fad that that I hope has passed, but probably hasn’t.

If you are at all the least bit curious about where this poster came from, it’s history, the history of the design… watch the video below.If you just can’t get enough of the slogan, you can download the iPhone app here, or purchase a multitude of examples from Barter Books here.

Produced by Temujin Doran, for Studio Canoe, this short film provides a little fresh air on the subject.