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
Matthias says:April 20, 2009 at 1:01 pm
At least ours (the US one) looked cooler.
Scott Strickland says:April 20, 2009 at 1:19 pm
Looks like “staring eyes” on a poster supposedly creates a psychological effect on the viewer.
As a side note: As of 2007, author William Gibson thought these posters were “madly hip”.
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.
texas says:April 20, 2009 at 2:50 pm
the phone number doesn’t seem very legit.
rm says:April 20, 2009 at 3:57 pm
it looks like a london number to me.
this poster is beyond creepy
Scott says:April 20, 2009 at 4:46 pm
this is a well documented poster, a simple search of the title will turn up pages of related articles:
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)?
Rent says:April 20, 2009 at 8:45 pm
big brother gettin ups everywhere
Matt says:April 20, 2009 at 8:47 pm
Wow. I’m speechless. (almost)
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?