"Then it is dark; a night where kings in golden suits ride elephants over the mountains." - John Cheever

Monday, August 14, 2006

The retro police state


Someone has sent me a couple of public security posters - one from from Baltimore, another from London. Odd that both have got such a distinctive mid 20th century style to them, immediately suggestive of totalitarianism and Orwell's (as opposed to Channel 4's) Big Brother.



5 comments:

john said...

I remember seeing the London Transport ones a couple of years ago (bloody good idea, CCTV on buses). I wonder if the same design consultancy / ad agency was behind the campaign?

phaemon said...

I vote we add "Secure beneath The Watchful Eyes" to our tagline. :-)

Tom said...

Like it!

Given that these posters are in both Baltimore and London, I can't believe it's the same ad agency. I think some sophisticated post-structural semiotic analysis is called for.

john said...

Yeah, different ad agency - here's the link to the Robin Shepherd Group who produced the "Watch, Ride and Report" and no sign of Transport for London in their client list.

Tom said...

I can only think that the purpose of using retro-style posters is to place some kind of ironic distance from the message itself, albeit without going as far as satirizing or fatally undermining it. It provides a sort of jokey way of making a serious point, in contrast to a more literal warning which would be in danger of seeming hysterical or tyrannical.