Can you solve the cipher on this poster?

(click for better quality)

Hint 1

It looks like it was made in a factory

Hint 2

This painting might help

Hint 3

As you turn the poster over you notice this printed on the reversestrange circle

Hint 4

Here's a better resolution cipher if you've figured out the first part of this puzzle better resultion cipher

Hint 5

Herring aren't usually Bottom feeders ? Right

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Welcome to Puzzling.SE! Is this a puzzle you made yourself? If so, good job! If not, you'll need to provide a link to the original source (and if it's from an ongoing competition, I'm afraid it won't be allowed here). Anyway, feel free to take the tour and visit the help center to learn more about the site. $\endgroup$ – F1Krazy Mar 19 '18 at 15:28
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    $\begingroup$ Good job, and welcome! This is a very nice puzzle :) $\endgroup$ – Me myself and I Mar 19 '18 at 18:38
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    $\begingroup$ Thats a nice picture you borrowed from Wikipedia: en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_herring ;) $\endgroup$ – North Læraðr Mar 19 '18 at 23:32
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    $\begingroup$ Wow somehow I had downvoted this! Must have been fat fingers on mobile. Makes me wonder who else I have downvoted on accident $\endgroup$ – ferret Mar 20 '18 at 11:52
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    $\begingroup$ I must say this is a lovely cipher/steganography you created. Very impressive. $\endgroup$ – North Læraðr Mar 21 '18 at 15:18

Partial Answer

After a quick google search by image upload I came across an image representing the third hint. It is referred to as the..

..Peter Saville & New Order's Colour Code.

The painting of hint 2 is actually..

..the album cover for Power Corruption and Lies by New Order.

According to the internet, the colours are to be decoded using only the outer two rings of the image in the third hint. The inner segments are for decoration only. The alphabet starts with the double depth green at the top and works round clockwise. Luckily, the image I found contains a table with colours and their respective letters. This is lucky because I'm lazy.


After noticing the colour decoding image doesn't include gray, I'm going to assume that it equals a space. Each row consists of either 1 or 2 colours, doubled up with either itself, green or yellow. It's VERY hard to see whether a block is entirely green/yellow or composed of 2 green/yellow half ones.

Fast forward 15 minutes..

drum roll

The decoded message is...

Hfqmwv rssz kcli layblogv - qzy fdezs zskpg kf pwxm - eiiixk vxasu vb mogf wzvykzd - cvfnybf ah sf tskd - w truhgqroiu ygl zaxypbu - s igibqv nige jfk lbue - m kyqsn fg xvb lu gzv - gfn llqmx dl pqlw hyza

Where '-' indicates a line break in the code.

I tried using ROT 1 through 25 to try and decode that gibberish, but to no avail. Anyone willing to try? Be aware that I might have made some mistakes in decoding the code, especially with b's and v's (single yellow or two yellows) and a's and k's (1 or 2 green ones).

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    $\begingroup$ well done! Your decoded cipher is about 95% right. Correct enough to make out if your method of deciphering is correct. The colour code does have its flaws, I tried to add notchs to half height blocks to notate they were made of 2 identical colours. The 2 shades of purple are also very similar. $\endgroup$ – synj Mar 21 '18 at 11:25
  • $\begingroup$ Try putting it through a frequency analysis tester. This looks more like a substitution cipher than a Caeser Cipher $\endgroup$ – North Læraðr Mar 21 '18 at 15:16
  • $\begingroup$ So the paintrer is a conspiracy theorist? What the hey $\endgroup$ – North Læraðr Mar 21 '18 at 15:28
  • $\begingroup$ @North Tried that. I'm not that good at solving ciphers and quipqiup doesn't help me here either. $\endgroup$ – Rick van Osta Mar 22 '18 at 9:06
  • $\begingroup$ Clue #5 Might help with the cipher $\endgroup$ – synj Mar 23 '18 at 10:21

I don't know the cipher, but the image looks like

A thermographic camera of a bunch of fishes

Maybe in a factory as OP said

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  • $\begingroup$ I might suggest clicking on the image to confirm your suspicion. $\endgroup$ – a sandwhich Mar 19 '18 at 19:25
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    $\begingroup$ The fishes are smoked kippers, also sometimes referred to as red herrings $\endgroup$ – synj Mar 19 '18 at 19:25
  • $\begingroup$ @asandwhich I'm so dumb lol hahaha $\endgroup$ – Gustavo Gabriel Mar 19 '18 at 19:26

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