I have been meaning to post these for a few days but I have been busy, and now I notice that Boing Boing have another post up about the new police posters turning up around Britain. Boing Boing’s previous posts are here and here . The reason I am posting about this is because the posters seem so poorly designed. The big words on the posters are the words you really don’t want to pay attention to. If you do, they come across as very authoritarian and scary. However, what you have to pay attention to is the small print. These posters are part of the police’s attempt to become more transparent in society. Take for example the poster below.

Police poster 01

The large text of this poster is scary, like everybody it is addressing is guilty of something. However, the small text is the bottom is the one to read. It says ” The Police now pledge to keep you informed on how they’re tackling neighbourhood crime. To find out more go to directgov.gov.uk/policingpledge or text PLEDGE to 66101″. Below this text is the title “The Policing Pledge”. Therefore, the poster is not meant to be part of the anti-terror posters that have crept in to the UK (here ,and here for fun remixes of the posters , noticed how all the links are to Boing Boing?)

The point I am trying to make is that this is the police is trying to make itself more personable and transparent yet they seem to be hiding the meaningful information behind intimidating wording and fonting. If you don’t spend the time reading the posters top to bottom, then you won’t get the message, which in advertising is a major problem i would think.

How about another poster to illustrate my point:

Police poster 02

Here the text underneath reads ” The police pledge to listen and respond to residents’ concerns about neighbourhood crime, To find out more go to directgov.gov.uk/policingpledge or text PLEDGE to 66101″. Again the big, bold type and words don’t help matters, and you have to spend time stopping and reading the small print.

Oh I should add that I am in Sheffield as are these posters.