The Aesthetics of Civil Enforcement
I live with someone currently being sent letters by bailiffs, as she's in the unenviable position of being a student and attempting to subsist during the holidays (jobs not being altogether easy to come by at the moment). Anyway, the bailiffs in question have a website. I have just been made aware of this website and it looks like this, and the contents are spectacularly interesting in design terms, so I can't resist a post. Bailiffs are not, you might suspect, a group for which society has a particularly high esteem. We have an image of them as being thugs who take things away from people who already have very little - a furtive profession, which likes to keep itself to itself. Or at least that's what you'd expect - instead, you click on the site and you have four wankers auditioning for bit parts in American Psycho, lined up inside a glass and steel atrium, all criss-cross trusses and 24 colours, shot from below so that they appear to be looking down upon the unfortunate sods who click on the website to make payment (or, equally, declare to the people looking for jobs in Debt Recovery and Civil Enforcement that you too could look this hard) Click around the site, it's an intriguing example of Blairite aesthetics - look at this man here on the phone, framed by the chrome armrail and the streamlined grille, and remember that what he is supposed to be doing is negotiating with, or threatening, someone who is in rent arrears or who has been overpaid housing benefit. This is how the class war is presented today.