Taking the London Underground can be distressing enough — trudging alongside millions of commuters, waiting for packed elevators and dealing with lost tourists walking obstinately against the flow of traffic. Let’s not even get started on the constant reminders to “mind the gap.”
But a growing number of guerrilla sticker attacks have been making the morning commute in Old Blighty a bit more interesting, the BBC reports.
These stickers appear in the same font and design as the Tube’s iconic signage but use a more subversive tone.
“Don’t acknowledge fellow passengers or sustain eye contact beyond 2 seconds. Please respect urban solitude,” one navy blue rectangle warns, in the London transit system’s signature white sans serif type.
Priority-seating notices have been modified to explain that the seats are reserved for “people who are overweight, obese or morbidly obese.” The station Shepherd’s Bush, a stop on the Central Line, has on many maps been changed to Shepherd’s Pie.
A few of the more clever signs:
- “We apologize for any incontinence caused during these engineering works”
- “Peak hours may necessitate you let other people sit on your lap”
- “Royal Seat by appointment to Her Majesty Queen’s bottom”
- “Toxic seat with high levels of gonorrhea, genital warts and herpes”
- “1st class seat for unprecedented levels of sophistication, comfort and refinement”
One stickermaker, who would only be identified as James, told the BBC that he believes the witty signs are a “form of rebellion.”
“It’s almost as though people are treating you as a drone, and the signs are very serious,” James added. “This is a bit of escapism and freedom that people can express relatively easily.”
And the Transport for London signs do not appear to be difficult to replicate. On the “Stickers on the Central Line” Facebook page, one user posted details on the signs’ color standards as an easily downloadable PDF, complete with Pantone reference codes.
Still, the British Transport Police are not amused. “The costs of graffiti are substantial for the railway industry in terms of repairs and clean-up and can leave permanent scars on the infrastructure,” the department told the BBC.