Scariest Posters: Watchful Eyes

Posted by Scott

I just came across this recently and was convinced it was a hoax, but apparently this poster was actually posted around London bus routes around October, 2002 in the civil-liberties crushing wake of 9/11. The imagery is shocking to say the least; shocking mostly for the fact that someone, somewhere actually thought this was a good idea. I would love to have been in on the design discussion during the production of this Orwellian gem. Who actually creates this stuff? Did anyone see it when it was up? More info

Apparently we have our very own version of this stateside.

14 Comments Leave A Comment


Scott says:

April 20, 2009 at 2:37 pm

at first I could see these as being somewhat hip, like maybe they were trying to be campy or something. But the one time I was in London, a plain clothes officer popped out of some sidehatch and started harassing my brother and I, questioning us, saying he was going to arrest us if we didn’t leave immediately. what were we doing? taking pictures of buckingham palace, which I thought was a tourist landmark. anyways, hip or not, those eyes *are* watching you.


frank says:

April 20, 2009 at 6:09 pm

It’s a beautiful illustration. Shame about the ugly text though. And what’s up with Mayor of LOND (on)?


Piers Fawkes says:

April 21, 2009 at 6:38 am

I’ve seen this – and I think it’s important to look at the context. London has become a rather violent place to live especially with the rise of knife crime. New York, where I live, is considerably safer. Riding on a bus at night can be a risky endeavour and it’s not like the bus driver behind his glass shield is going to get out of his booth and help if you’re in a spot of bother.

Saying that cctv culture in the UK is overkill. The response to an unsafe society is not more eyes but social and political motivation to cure the ills of the society that breeds this anger.


Scott Strickland says:

April 21, 2009 at 7:42 am


Wow. That’s ridiculous.

Seems like another tool to push a police-state agenda in after the wake of 9/11 under the guise of security. Perhaps what surprises me the most is how blatantly true this message is and the soviet/cold-war/propagandaish visual inspiration. It’s like it would be hip and tongue-in-cheek if it wasn’t true.

Why the designer would want to go that route visually and make that connection is very strange. Seems like you would want to be as subtle as possible.


Kyle says:

April 21, 2009 at 4:15 pm

Interesting, I wonder how many liberties, rights, and freedoms we’ll end up losing in the name of safety and terrorism. It’s not the governments job to save you from yourself.


steve says:

April 22, 2009 at 2:02 am

saw this poster yonks ago, it’s a fantastic piece of work …. an obvious tongue in cheek nod to “big brother” …. and wartime paranoia “walls have ears” “loose lips sink ships” ….. as for the comment on the clumsy type, it’s perfect …… looking back on an era of hand drawn lettering.

excellent stuff, it’s only fault being it may be a little too clever for it’s own good ………..that said, if you don’t get it then that’s very much your problem.

ever heard of irony?


Pixelfibre says:

July 30, 2009 at 4:27 am

Yeah, I remember these. They were definitely posted around London for quite some time. I think they were so shockingly Orwellian that people thought they were a joke. I still can’t find who the commissioned artist was? Anyone got any ideas?