Check Out 10 Vintage, Recently Declassified Posters Created to Keep NSA Workers Hush-Hush

They're puzzling, amusing and amazing

When one thinks of the National Security Agency (NSA), creativity or wackiness are probably not the first things to come to mind. However, some recently declassified internal motivational posters for the government agency show that, in the ’50s, ’60s and ’70s, a “Hang In There, Baby” kitty poster simply wouldn’t do.

The posters weren’t exactly meant to fire the team up for the next sales convention in Del Boca Vista, but rather to keep pie holes shut since, well, secrecy is their business.

The most recent cache that came from Government Attic, a site that provides historical government documents, oddities and the like is, as expected, a remarkable variety of propaganda knockoffs, puzzling motifs, curious tropes and everywhere in between. It’s also a refreshing departure from some of the site’s more jejune offerings obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, including the 2015 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) meeting minutes for the National Food and Agriculture Council (NFAC) and The National Cryptologic School Television Center Catalog, 9th Edition, 1991.

Below are 10 that we found particularly creative, interesting or downright WTF.

First, true poetry:

Hello, PETA:


Not 100 percent sure that is a full smile from Mona:

Are those…safe dial binkies?

Possibly inspired by a popular song at the time?

I wonder what the Ad Council thinks of this one?

I mean…uh:

Alas, poor Yorick!  I knew him, Horatio, a fellow of infinite jest, who couldn’t keep a secret:

This cat won’t get out of the bag:

Hat tip to Kottke for spotting these gems.

@zanger Doug Zanger is a senior editor, agencies at Adweek, focusing on creativity and agencies.