In starting my final major project I knew I wanted to explore an issue that I have never explored or analysed before. I wanted my project to have a strong relevance to social culture and challenge my usual approach and my working method as well as raising an interesting issue.
My inspirations mainly came from my practise of study in Advertising design. Throughout the years I have learnt the impact advertising has on people and how important for an advertiser or marketer to do extensive research in order to reach the right target audience.Other inspirations for this project about social class came from Grayson Perry’s ‘In the best possible taste’ Documentary where he explored class through the voice of the people within these societies.
For me, the subject raised a significant amount of interest as class is something that has always held its place in society no matter how society has changed over the years, within this people’s perception of class have also changed over time. Expectations and reality are often different in different social classes not everyone nowadays is typically working class for example. People’s aspiration and ideas have changed although the very existence of class is still very much present in our society.
Our personal taste and how different everybody is has always interested me. In doing this project I realised that there were a lot of contributing factors into what makes the working class who they are, what makes the middle class who they are and the same with upper class. I noticed the way brands, where we live, where we eat and many more factors contribute to our social class and its not just about income anymore.
My medium of working towards this project was mainly digital photography with some experiments with black and white film photography. Initially I set out to take series of photographs, which related to class by visiting different parts of the UK. However, as my ideas developed through research, gallery visits, social issues and contemporary trends, I started to produce my own illustrations relating to class as well.
I also researched info-graphics and the organisation of information. I noticed that elements of information organisation and photography have not been often used in design and I wanted to explore methods and techniques that I could use to do this.
My Final major project explored the different classes in the UK by showing what really makes them who they are by all the small things in our daily lives. For example, where we live, what we eat, where we eat, what brands we wear or own, plus many more factors.
The new class system was extremely relevant to my topic however I did not use much reference to the names within these classifications because I wanted my audience to engage with the piece of work and the photographs with the appropriate key and coding and not focus on the break down of the seven classes in the UK. I also didn’t want to use a reference of class through research that was based on income alone as I am trying to highlight a new approach of class classification.
In conducting this project I created and designed two books, and produced a final outcome. The two books explored an illustrative version and a photographic version all to do with the ‘class things’. In creating these books I learnt an immense amount of skills in editorial content with contemporary layouts, trends in books, paper quality, image quality as well as overall presentation.
The aspects of this project I would change would be the following:
If had the extra time I would have experimented further with black and white film photography as my attempt wasn’t as good as I hoped it would be. My images were initially over exposed and did not show at all when coming to print them in the dark room.
If I had more resources I would have also visited locations further away from London like Gloucester and Newcastle, for my people observations in class. Undertaking this project proved to be extensive in terms of travelling and it was sometimes hard to get the right images on a day I went out to take photographs in pacific locations. This is one thing I would change in terms of organising my time more efficiently to go further out of London and having the resources to do so.
Having experienced this project and having pushed my self to take more risks and extended my subject knowledge. I can say I have significantly developed and improved my self as a designer and a researcher of Design. I have learnt a lot from this project and it has given me the confidence to really be technical with my ideas and also having the confidence to deliver my outcomes well and efficiently. I know these skills I have learnt and the ones I have developed will help me in the future with any design task I may be involved with. I will know how to manage my time and also extend my thought process into achieving goals I set out for my self, like I did with my final major project.