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Final major project submission Rebecca West The most ordinary individual is the most extraordinary.

Charity: The Living Room, Epsom Baptist Photograph of Helen Thomas and Mark Minors

1 Research Development &

what are my areas of interests? My dissertation question was ‘How has photojournalism influenced fashion photography’ so I have a keen interest in exploring the reality of people’s livelihood. Photographers such as Martin Parr and Richard Billingham, took pictures of people in their most natural environment and the commodities that were attached to them. The way they use colour, capture gritty realism, crop and edit information and emphasis the most profound quality to a seemingly ordinary scenario, is what excites me. Life should be captured in a way that marks our cultural identity and expresses all spectrums of human emotion. Therefore, I have made a visual demographic of marginalized subcultures in Epsom and the surrounding area. I want to give a voice to those individuals that would not usually be celebrated in our community and to recognise the extraordinary stories of the individuals in their area. This is why I have partnered with two local charities called The Drop In and The Living Room. Through these local initiatives people can be made aware of the positive impact they are making to the most vulnerable and misrepresented people in the community.

Inspirations Barber Kruger and Jenny Holzer have inspired me typographically and have helped me understand how to best use language with imagery. I have always loved writing and collecting quotes because I find strength in the written wisdom of peoples thoughts and opinions. But to make the most of language you have to know what words engage people the most and what composition best shows off its full potential. This is why I have used the power of three words in a lot of my written slogans for The Drop In and The Living Room. “ Be the change”, “See the need”, “Bridge the divide”. Or re emphasised one key word that is empowering and sums up a whole written paragraph, e.g. “ Potential” and “ Equal”. My FMP challenges us about community through the true stories of those that are actually being supported, rather than from a 3rd person Barber Kruger

Jenny Holzer

perspective where no real relationship has been built. This is also why I think Holzer and Kruger have become so well known, because they uncover the reality of consumer culture and challenge us about isssues that are uncomfortable to face up to.

INITIAL IDEAS In order to test out photojournalism as a way to capture the reality of peoples lives, I did a day in the life documentary of a friend, from the morning to the evening. I also did an interview with my subject about her current thoughts and opinions about her life. I wanted to use this test to understand how a subjects personality came across in different scenarios and how typographically her own words related to the emotions expressed in photography. I learnt from this experiment that digital photography was more reliable than film and that making the subject feel at ease in your presence is paramount to getting the best results photographically. The photos honesty represents my friends’ personality and expresses, through the typography, the conversations that unfolded between us in one day. By using a different mixture of image layouts, through projection and InDesign, I understood what compositions worked best when communicating someone’s inner thoughts. However, my FMP direction was becoming too wide and abstract and needed to be contextualized into a more comprehensive structure. Therefore, I decided that channelling these methods into a charity would make my FMP more relevant and would be a perfect platform onto which I can build my core concept; celebrating the extraordinary stories of the everyday individuals in the community.

2 Experimentation & Positioning

CMYK Screenprint of Steve Salmon

FMP Proposal

These two community projects have been the most willing to co operate with my project and have been the most willing to share their individual stories with me. Therefore, I have

Real live community

decided to create advertisement media for these organisations.

“The most ordinary individual is the most extraordinary�

This will include:

The everyday person is the most extraordinary individual and this is what my FMP is

1. Logo designs for charities.

going to celebrate. My passion for people and their lives is what fuels my fasciation with photojournalism, as this method of photography captures people in their natural

2. A series of 6 A1 landscape posters displaying a photo of a person that is part of one

environment. Free from a fabricated reality that is artificially created to portray what

of the organisations, with a short testimony with key information and contact details of

the photographer wants us to see, but instead, documents pure reality in its truest form.

the charity.

I want the reality of peoples lives in the community to be fully recognized as a truthful and interesting depiction of what goes on within the Epsom community. I have also been in


A3 double-sided pack down posters, that on one side have a poster design and the other

contact with charities and community projects outside of Epsom (see list of contact below).

8 A5 photographs of the people from each charity with their testimonies and contact

However, through months of establishing relationships with these community projects I have

information. There will be 2 designs each, one for each charity.

decided to base my FMP on two local organizations: 4. A5 postcard packs that have photographs of people involved in the charities on one 1. The Living Room, Epsom Baptist church hall - drop in centre for the homeless, unemployed

side, and on the other side short testimonies and key information as to how to get in

and socially isolated.

contact with the charity.

2. The Drop In, St. Barabus Centre, Epsom – drop in centre for people with mental health issues.

5. A small landscape book containing photographic visuals of both charities, expressing

Why am I doing it?

not only their personal life stories, but a deeper look into the mental health history of Epsom during the 19th century.

I have chosen this subject because it is making people aware of the wider community and the needs within it. My brief is relevant and valuable to society because I want to make people

The media that I create can then be used by the organisations to help them spread further

aware that their communities are making the difference and the people it helps should be

awareness of what they do and what they provide for those in the community that are

recognized as a result. So often people will only focus on the negative issues surrounding

disadvantaged. Either through domestic, financial, psychological or mental circumstance.

their communities and will only observe all the things they do not have. But Surrey is fortunate enough to have a number of self initiated projects that support the elderly and

Aesthetically, the final media provided is not just to express the everyday physicality of

the homeless, that provide benefit help, find counselling for family break down and drug

a person, but to reveal the personalities, experiences and beliefs of these individuals.

and alcohol abuse, that give a shelter to women who are a victim of domestic violence.

The work that I have already documented have been tests to see what methods of research

The lives that have been transformed as a result of these projects should be celebrated,

works best and what type of responses I have had in return. Therefore, my FMP

so that other people can see what a difference their community is making and how they could

relies on gathering primary research, as the methods that I will be using will be:

get involved. I am also helping promote local charities and the carers and volunteers that give up their time and energy towards the livelihoods of other people. Without them, people would not have got the level of support they need as people cannot always get care


Voice recoded interviews.

from other organisations or charities. Either because they are overly populated, costly or too far away. These smaller projects provide food, a social life, activities, education and


Building conversational relationships through community projects.

counselling, which most of us would take for granted. There is a need for these “stepping stone� projects between the hospital or the care home, between the streets or the shelter.


Taking pictures of the people that are supported or volunteer with the project.

Sometimes people just need to be supported, not by professionals, but by everyday people that can provide the right guidelines and direction towards a healthier, proactive and independent life.

Who is the audience? The target audience are the people of Surrey, as a way of them seeing the goodness of the community they are in and making them aware of the extraordinary people that they did not even know existed. It is also for the people that have shared their lives with me and for

Charities and projects contacted and working with:

Contacted: The Big Issue, London - work with the homeless

the charity volunteers and leaders. SeeAbility, Epsom - support for the blind I want my work to shock, challenge and move people in a way that goes beyond an exhibition space and into the rest of their lives. I want my work to make people more proactive in helping support their vulnerable community members and have a wider effect on how they view

Homelea, Epsom - private retirement home The Pitstop, Leatherhead - drop in centre for the homeless, unemployed & socially isolated.

themselves as active members of the public. I believe people are more willing to help those in their wider community when they can see the difference it is making and can see how their skills can be used to help sustain it. Being a volunteer goes beyond putting money in a pot, it allows people to see and be part of building that little change to one

Currently working with:

persons life. The Living Room, Epsom Baptist church hall - drop in centre for the homeless, unemployed socially isolated. The Drop In, St. Barabus Centre, Epsom – drop in centre for people with mental health issues.

Feedback reflection My project has now concentrated on two local charities, 1. The Living Room, which works with people with homelessness, financial difficulties and mental illness and 2. The Drop In, which works with people with mental health issues. I have learnt from my last feedback that my FMP needed to have more direction and clarity as to what my FMP was about and how I was going to contextualize it. Therefore, my new FMP proposal clearly outlines my intensions and I feel my FMP has had more focus as a result. The methods of documentary photography that I used in my test experiments (as previously shown) I used again, to document the people that are supported by the charities and those that volunteer, (as shown on next page). My shots were not premeditated because I wanted people to honestly be themselves around me. Equally when being interviewed, I let the interviewee speak broadly about their lives in Epsom and the struggles they face. My portfolio will show all the experimentations I have undergone in order to come to a finalized outcome. I wanted to use a broad range of materials and styles, from illustration and photography. This has helped me understand what styles communicate better and what language gets across the core belief of my

Charity: The Drop In, St. Barnabus Centre, Epsom

FMP, which is that “The most ordinary individual is the most extraordinary�.

Photograph of Anna D. Barat

the drop in, st. barnabus centre, 26/11/2012 - 3/12/2012

the living room, epsom baptist, 30/11/2012 - 7/12/2012

Logo Designs for The Drop In

I found making a logo challenging because you have to quickly and clearly get across an identity and I am stronger at creating distinctive imagery. However, as I prefer to use analogue processors I played to my strengths when creating a logo. I worked from the vectored shapes first and then hand stencilled the logos with paint. I wanted everything I designed for these two charities to be completely unique and not typical of the generic charity media we see everyday. Therefore, the vector of the church building where The Drop In meets and the line drawing of one of the members profiles, seemed too obvious. The rustic stencil of a cup symbolizes that community can be centred around food and drink, which presents The Drop In as a friendly and safe place, where relationships can be developed and support can be given.

Finals The Logo designs on the left communicate a more sinister tone in comparison to the designs above. The bold swipe of the circle (above) symbolizes that everything is connected, which comes from the spiritual term known as Zen. I also wanted the typography to reflect the fun and creative activities that are available at The Drop In. The other design is more simple but has less personality, however both have been chosen as finals because they both communicate well from a distance.

Logo Designs for The Living Room I wanted to create a logo that gave a sense of where the people of The Living Room met. So I hand cut the surrounding bricks of the building and created a stencil design, which was then completed with collaged letters and stencilled vectors. However, the design is too complicated for a logo, so I have contemplated using them as business card designs or postcards, which on the back would give contact information about The Living Room. The imperfections of the stencil also gets across that the charity is not corporate owned, but Charity: The Living Room Photograph of front of Epsom Baptist Church Hall

humbly local and welcome to all.

The people that are supported by the charity are often vulnerable and desperate, so I want all my designs to have a sense of sensitivity and to make people feel there is no hidden agenda. Therefore, I think the informal personality of the hand cut letters and painted cup, all help to make The Living Room feel like an informal community hang out. The connections that The Living Room has to other local charities, that supply food, counselling and fanatical support are all brilliant at making asking for help easy and non - judgmental. I feel the simplicity of the typography works with the square shape because it communicates, like a living room in a house, that relationships are formed and opportunities arise.


Both The Living Room and The Drop In are mainly heard about through word of mouth, because people do not feel ashamed about these initiatives. There is no bureaucracy involved or a sense of expectation, people that come face a range of difficulties, but are treated as equals and become familiar with the people that come every week. Community is the main reason these charities have become so successful, the people that volunteer their time are from the community and have a personal connection or reason as to why they want to give up their time. The people that need help at The Living Room have often known each other in prison, or in the case of The Drop In have gone to similar initiatives together as friends. Therefore, the success in the charity becoming more well known comes in combining the logo, the people and their testimonies, in a way that communicates equality, respect and potential. Again I choice the logos opposite as the most successful, as they emphasis these qualities the most, when combined with the photographs and written testimonies of the people, as seen on the next page. The following images are poster and book designs that I want to use as part of the advertisement for The Drop In. All the written text has come from real people through recorded interviews and questionnaires. All photographs I have taken through day trips and monday visits to The Drop In.

Poster ideas

I wanted my posters to not be typical of what we see in charity

I have decided to use a mirage effect in these poster designs, in order to

advertisement, but to represent real lives talking about what needs to

represent how we as a community need to look into the lives of each

be done in communities and how local projects are helping peoples lives

individual that makes up our neighbourhood, and challenge the reader to

change for the better. As shown later, I have used similar techniques in

contemplate whether they are being proactive in changing their local

how I have represented people at The Living Room, because although the

community. I have used the answers to the questionnaire I sent Michael

charities deal with different people, I want the style to be represented

Preston, who is the founder of The Drop In (as seen above), in the posters.

in similar ways. Both charities have connections with sponsors, members

As well as recorded interviews done with those that are supported by the

and volunteers and all come from the same community. This emphasises how

charity. I used this information to get across an honest description of what

when we reach out to one person we can get connected to a whole community

the project does for people’s wellbeing and why community is important.

of people with similar needs and interests.

Testimonies Telling the story of what the charities do through the voices of the people I have met is paramount to making the advertisement of these charities stand out as honest and inspiring. When one person from inside a charity speaks about what it is like to serve a local community, or how their lives have been changed as a result, it makes the reader more engaged in what the charity do and are more likely to value its significance. Ultimately, I want this advertisement to inspire people to tell someone about the charities because their friend or family member could be helped by it or better still, how they could give up their time to support their community. As seen opposite, I have shown ideas for layouts that could be used not only in a poster format, but also as a postcard. It gets across a message quickly and the image is inviting and friendly, so there is an immediate connection between the person’s testimony and the reader. I have also experimented with the different uses of the logo, because when you position the logo with different images and fonts the advertisement as a whole begins to determine the personality of the charity. Therefore, I chose the logo (featured on the bottom) because it is not elitist but gets across the unity of local people coming together on an equal platform.

“ Coming to The Drop In is a way to escape that as I don’t like living in the place so its some way of escape for a little while anyway.I need to get out, the trouble is the lounge is like a dark tunnel and theres no light in it. I want somewhere that’s bright and new not full of memories of darkness. That’s what I want.”

“ Last Christmas before I came I was pretty bad and this was what happened, I was listening to the carol concerts at Christmas and then I got a message from God and He said you must get here come to The Drop In, here you will find healing and it bought me back. My weight was falling down I was falling to pieces and none of the drugs that I took worked. But when I came here, I got support and managed to keep coming back. �

George Cooper - supported by The Drop In

St. Barnabus Church, Epsom Providing food and support Every Monday from 4 - 7pm

For further information Call : St Barnabas Church 01372-722874

Testimonies Our understanding of people develops when we get to know peoples lives. This then becomes shared knowledge and this is why I decided to use the voices of those I interviewed as the main source of information within the postcards and pack down posters. Mental illness and homelessness may be taboo areas, but the more people recognize it as a real problem and less of a threat, the better educated communities become as a result. Anyone can become financially vulnerable and loose their home and everyone is on some scale

of mental

illness. Therefore, it is not ‘us’ against them, it is about recognizing that these problems can effect anyone and it is all our responsibility to support each other and work out ways to re build lives. As oppose to ignoring people that appear as ‘problematic’ in societies eyes. I have developed the idea of testimonies further in my portfolio, through the way the reader interacts with my pack down posters and postcards. As seen opposite, these are some postcard designs declaring positive statements, aimed at breaking down the prejudice against people with special needs and people who are homeless. The photos show people just offering a hand and sharing a meal, which brings an instant sense of normality to the environments that The Drop In and The Living Room provide. Inviting the reader to feel like they could step right into this space and be supported or volunteer.

Illustrations These illustrations show a more personal and intimate understanding of the people I have met. There is a sense of privacy by not showing a persons face, but instead focussing on a distinctive feature like a tattoo or hand. My photography has purposely focused on the true expressions on people faces because I want people to recognize the reality of whom these charities work with. The photos should be honest and direct and I feel illustrations achieve this to, but do not work as well as photographs.

I have used a mixture of watercolours, pencil and ink but I think one media works best rather than a combination. Therefore, I have decided to not use illustration in the final production of my FMP, but only use photography as the main basis of my work. However (as seen later) I have re appropriated the photography through projections, paintings, and screen printing. This is so I can see the most effective ways in which I can communicate people’s testimonies and promote the individuality of the charities.

Projections I have always used projection in my work in order to create scale, so that I can draw on top of it to create a large scale image. However, after looking at Holzer’s work I saw how photographing a projection is also very powerful, as it is a double emphasis on the content displayed. Therefore, I decided to project a photograph of my friend Steve Salmon (an ex drug addict and alcoholic) who was made homeless due to his wreckless lifestyle. Having a personal connection with Steve since coming to Epsom as a student, he helped me see that even in a wealthy area such as Epsom, poverty is not a 3rd world dilemma, its on our doorstep. Steve was helped by The Living Room in Tenerife and was so transformed by it that he set up his own in Epsom. This one story sets the foundations for all the voices I have been privileged enough to document.

Full story of Steve Salmon on vimeo

This is why I chose Steve’s face as the main feature for not only The Living Room but also The Drop In, as some of the people that go to The Living Room also go to The Drop In, there is a link and there is a community and this is the main heart of my FMP. “Anyone can change� represents the start of meeting one mans story, to meeting a whole spectrum of people that have been transformed by these two charities. Transitioning from one life to another is also a key message, whether it was going from being alone, homeless, ill or jobless, to then having food, shelter, friends and stability, all the people I have interviewed used to be someone and now are better for coming to these two initiatives. This transformation I wanted to capture in the layering of paintings, projections and colour separation of CMYK screen printing.

Experimentation of A2 posters with CMKY screenprint

3 Final Outcome

Charity: The Drop In, St. Barnabus Centre, Epsom Photograph of Sarah Mulling


These 6 panoramic posters (as previously seen as 6 CMYK screen prints) will be the main feature of my exhibition. Steve was my first point of contact when choosing to do my FMP on those in our community that are the most disadvantaged. I will use Steve to represent the transition of

1. POSTERS A1 Landscape/panoramic 6 posters Professionally printed at university

how one life has transformed so radically. I want to visually show how anyone can leave their past behind and have a brighter future, with the support of The Living Room and The Drop In. I will use my CMYK screen prints in order to show the transit of change that one man has undergone to get to the point he is at now. Therefore,

6 posters representing both

parts of his testimony will be placed on all 6 posters, so it becomes a

The Living Room and The Drop In

visual diary that transforms in front of your eyes. The contact

providing Steve’s testimony and

information will then be represented on the last poster for both The

contact information.

Living Room and The Drop In. Consequently, by the time people have interacted with the postcards and pack down posters, they will have experienced all the extraordinary people that I have met in the last 6 months and seen the value of a community that recognizes the needs of everyday people. The next 6 pages show the poster designs that will be shown at the exhibition with the 6th page showing the final poster that will advertise both The Living Room and The Drop In.

2. Pack down POSTERS

The pack down posters are designed to be a compilation of the poster designs and the postcard designs. There will be the same amount of contact details

A3 Portriat 6 pack down posters Double sided Professionally printed at university Designs representing both The Living Room and The Drop In. Providing poster art work on one side and contact information on the other.

available about The Living Room and The Drop In, but there will be more individual testimonies from the people that make up these charities. These pack down posters are more interactive because the reader will have to open up each A5 square that makes a whole A3 poster. On one side the opening of each segment reveals more of the charities testimonies and more visuals. On the other, an inspiring message to all those wanting to help change the lives in our communities with the message, ‘Your community needs you’. The other side of the posters will feature Steve Salmons message about community and a CMYK screen print image of his profile (as featured in the above posters). Steve’s message will be used on each of the pack down posters for The Living Room and The Drop In, in order to represent the heart behind both charities. The next 10 pages show the pack down poster designs. The first 4 pages show the testimony pages for the The Living Room with the 5th page showing the front and back designs once folded. The next 4 pages show the testimony pages for The Drop In, with the 5th page showing the front and back designs once folded.


I want to provide postcards that are completely unique and inspiring and that immediately get across the sense of intimacy,

A5 Landscape 20 double sided Professionally printed and bound by

relationship and support that the community is offering to those that need it. I wanted to avoid putting information such as ‘for the financially deprived, jobless, mental illness’ etc, as this can cause a distance and embarrassment. As previously stated, these charities will naturally be promoted

10 postcards each for both

through social workers, charities and word of mouth between

The Drop In and The Living

volunteers and

Room providing testimonies and

supported by the charities themselves. This is why using quotes and

contact information on front

slices of people testimonies is powerful because it allows a

and back.

relationship and a shared experience to immediately transition onto

most importantly through the those that are

someone that may be going through the same predicament. The next 6 pages show the front and back designs of the postcards. The first 3 pages are for The Living Room and the next 3 pages are for The Drop In.

The next 8 pages show the final printed pieces of my FMP. The first page shows the final A2 posters portraying the extraordinary narrative of


Steve Salmon. This piece will serve as the opening testimony of the many other stories that have been made available to me through knowing Steve. Steve introduced me to the The Living Room and The Drop In and is the perfect example of how one life that was destined to be destroyed, became re newed. But this was only made possible through the support of the local community and now he is giving back to the very people that used to be like him. The next 6 pages show the pack down posters and postcards for The Living Room and The Drop In. With the final page showing how the pack down posters and postcards work together as a whole. This shows how all these forms of media display an in-depth look into what the charities do, as well as a taster of what the charities have done in peoples lives. Consequently, whether your reading it because you need help yourself or whether you want to help volunteer, the reader can immediately see the heart behind the charity because of the extraordinary testimonies of ordinary people.

1. posters

2. pack down posters




3. postcards






EVALUATION I feel I have successfully and honestly uncovered the extraordinary lives of some of the

All this primary research has enabled me to visit abandoned Mental Institutes, talk to the

most vulnerable people in the Epsom community, which was my original intention for FMP that

nurses and patients that used to inhabit them, and to see the effects of government cuts on

I outlined in my proposal. Although my FMP started of by documenting one life, I learnt a

helping people find jobs and housing. It has greatly enriched my FMP because my visuals and

lot about how to use my camera and how to talk to people. As a result I wanted to build my

testimonies have not been fabricated or copied from other sources, but earned through first

FMP on something that directly works with vulnerable people in the community and this lead

hand experience. This is why I am confident that my final pieces will challenge and inspire

me to working along side existing community projects in Epsom. I am happy with my

people to be part of these projects and to tell others about it that may need their

final pieces because they as a whole tell of many stories from the same area, but all are

support. Prejudice against people with mental health issues or who have become homeless

so unique and inspiring in their own right.

build because of ignorance and a lack of education.

The failures that I came across were in how I originally wanted my FMP to be about the

However, by providing an open conversation about true life stories through my postcards and

everyday people in my house and on my street. I realized that “ The everyday person is the

posters, people can become intrigued about the positive effects that people are making to

most extraordinary �, brief that I wanted to send out to people via a direct mail brief,

their community. That these issues are not taboo, but need to be dealt with and most

was too loose and not grounded in enough research. I realized that it would not produce a

importantly, that it only takes a few people and a place to socialize together to make a

final contextualized piece that would be as coherent and relevant, as branding two local

big difference to the most disadvantaged people in our area. I also want people to

community projects in Epsom.

realize that whatever skills they have, whether its cooking, caring or being creative, all

Consequently, branding The Living Room and The Drop In became

a natural extension of all the previous photography and illustration work I had done.

these individual gifts when put together, can spark up new ways to help support

My FMP was still about giving people a voice, but through talking to Michael Preston and

peoples needs.

Steve Salmon (founders of the community projects), I began to develop not only an understanding of the individual needs of the people they support, but an understanding of the history of Epsom.

3 Bibliography


Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust (2013) patients-and-visitors/getting-to-us/epsom-hospital/ (Accessed 23/02/2013)


Forbidden places: abandoned heritage (2013) (Accessed 23/02/2013)

Minale, Marcello (1991). How to Run a Successful Multi – Disciplinary Design Company. United Kingdom. Elfande Art Publishing Ltd.

Helicar and Lewis (2010) Availale at (Accessed 9th October 2012)

Praquin, Marc (2009). My Own Business Card Designers Only. United Kingdom. Index Book & Agence.

Love me Love my Mind (2008) (Accessed 16/03/2013)

Shaughnessy, Adrian (2010). How to be a Graphic Designer without Losing your Soul. United Kingdom. Laurence King Publishing Ltd.

Martin O Neill (2012) (Accessed 10th October 2012)


The Liquid Way (2012) Available at (Accessed 9th October 2012)

Risograph: Back to the Future. Creative Review. October (2012) The straight line is godless and immoral. Adbusters UK. November/ December (2012)

exhibitions Seduced by Art, The National Portrait Gallery, December 2012, London

Websites Asylum’s demolition marks end of era in mental health (2013) health-14652885 (Accessed 23/02/2013)

Taylor Wessing Photograghic Portrait, The National Portrait Gallery, December 2012, London

For further contact: Email: Blog: Charity: The Living Room, Epsom Baptist Photograph of Epsom Baptist Church Hall


The most ordinary individual is the most extraordinary.  
The most ordinary individual is the most extraordinary.  

This portfolio showcases my final major project, which spreads awareness about two local community projects in Epsom; The Living Room, who s...