Peep boards, photo boards … What to call them?

Photo cutout boards - what to call themWhat would you call this? Don’t say ‘Tower Bridge’.


The boards are back in town! Photo cutouts, or face-in-the-hole boards, are back in fashion and creating a marketing storm for our clients such as the BBC, Autoglass, The Royal Air Force, The National Trust, Hertz and many others. But we have a problem…


What do you call the boards you put your face in?


Peep boards, photo cutout boards, Aunt Sally boards, peep through boards, character boards, photo boards, standee boards, face-in-the-hole boards, fat lady on the beach boards … how come there are so many different names for the same thing?


Aunt Sally

Some people call them Aunt Sally boards because of the traditional English pub and fairground game of throwing sticks and other items at a model bust of ‘Aunt Sally’, a generic character used for venting spleen upon. Why everybody hated her isn’t clear. Fortunately, this tradition has largely died out, though versions are still played in Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire. The most famous use in mainstream television was Una Stubb’s Aunt Sally character in Worzel Gummidge. 

Standard Fireworks

A peepy looky-through face hole photo character standee.


Peep Boards or Standee?

Peep boards? Famed diarist Samuel Pepys wrote of one of these boards after happening upon one at a fairground. They then became known as ‘Pepys’ boards’.

All right, we made that one up.

Standee or character boards are actually not quite the ones you put your face through, but we have seen them referred to by this name. Standee/character boards are what are commonly known as ‘cardboard cutouts’ or ‘lifesize cutouts’, like the one Justin Beiber made his fans pay $2,000 to ‘meet’ backstage. They are used to promote films, but do not usually have a hole. People generally stand next to them to have their photo taken.



seaside face in the hole

Oo-err missus!


Face-in-the-hole boards? Theories abound as to the origin of this name, but we feel it’s likely to be connected to the fact that you put your face in the hole. Just a wild stab in the dark.

Fat lady on the beach boards? That one comes from the art of Donald McGill, whose name is synonymous with the saucy seaside postcards we all know and love, like this one that got McGill into a bit of trouble with the law in 1954 when he was 80.

We prefer to stick with ‘face in hole boards’ or ‘photo cutouts’ (hence our name). Check out the range of boards we make and order a one-off bespoke board at our website.

If you would like to discuss a custom-made board for your company, brand, charity or event, call us on 01842 337 100 or email the team.