Or are you looking for Search the Archives?

Please complete the form to email this item.

'Strictly between you and me...'

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    United Kingdom (published)

  • Date:

    1940 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Fougasse, born 1887 - died 1965 (artist)
    Ministry of Information (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Colour lithograph on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the Ministry of Information

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level C, case MB2H, shelf DR36, box DISPLAY PREPARATION

Fougasse was art editor of the magazine Punch when World War Two broke out in 1939, and he offered his services free to the British Government. He produced propaganda material for almost every ministry, and his gossiping cartoon characters injected welcome humour into propaganda posters in February 1940. Their popularity set a new tone for official mass communication. Despite an extended and illustrious career as a cartoonist, illustrator and commercial poster designer, it is probably for his 'Careless Talk Costs Lives' posters, issued by the Ministry of Information for display in public transport, that he is best known.

Physical description

'Strictly between you and me...'; Portrait format poster printed in colours on a white ground. A soldier and a sailor chatting in the street while Hitler eavesdrops from an open window above. Captioned below the illustration in script, then in larger letters at bottom of sheet 'Careless Talk Costs Lives'. The whole in a red line border; Colour lithograph print on paper.

Place of Origin

United Kingdom (published)


1940 (published)


Fougasse, born 1887 - died 1965 (artist)
Ministry of Information (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Colour lithograph on paper

Marks and inscriptions

Signature; top left corner; lithography.


Height: 30.5 cm sheet, Width: 20.3 cm sheet

Descriptive line

'Strictly between you and me...'; Design by 'Fougasse' (Cyril Kenneth Bird); One of the series of 'Careless Talk Costs Lives' posters issued by the Ministry of Information during the Second World War; Great Britain; 1940.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Summary Catalogue of British Posters to 1988 in the Victoria & Albert Museum in the Department of Design, Prints & Drawing. Emmett Publishing, 1990. 129 p. ISBN: 1 869934 12 1

Production Note

One of a set of eight images on the theme 'Careless Talk Costs Lives'.

Reason For Production: Commission


Colour printing ink; Paper


Colour lithography

Subjects depicted

Sailors; Propaganda; Soldiers; War; Spies; Spying; Windows; Politics


Propaganda; Politics; Caricatures & Cartoons; Prints; Posters

Production Type

Mass produced


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

Large image request

Please confirm you are using these images within the following terms and conditions, by acknowledging each of the following key points:

Please let us know how you intend to use the images you will be downloading.