Tomorrow, at 8pm local time in St Denis, France will kick off against Romania in the first game of Euro 2016. What follows is a month of football where the leading teams in Europe will compete to be crowned champions of the continent. We have been inundated with projects that relate to the tournament from player-based illustrations to footie fashion and even a wall chart thrown in. Here we’ve gathered together some of the work that scored big with us.
A special edition of the Green Soccer Journal has been produced for the tournament. “After the events of the past year and a half, the 2016 European Championship in France is set to be the most poignant and emotionally charged major tournament in a generation,” says editor Josh Wilson. “With the help of illustrator Osvaldo Casanova, we have selected and captured one enduring image from each of the fourteen tournaments that stands out for its brilliance, its importance, its audacity, or a combination of all three.”
The publication will be produced in a special run of 500 copies and the website will be updated throughout the tournament with the content from the magazine.
London-based agency Parallel has designed an A1 Litho-print poster displaying the schedule of the tournament. Printed on 170 gsm gloss paper stock in vibrant blue and red pantone colours, the wall chart is a nod to the national colours of the host country. Each poster in the run of 100 is hand numbered and is a clear and simple presentation of the key information about the tournament.
We recently featured Elliot’s images when he captured the atmosphere at final game at the Boleyn Ground in East London. As Euro fever begins to spread, Elliott Wilcox examines the question of football in contemporary culture and has produced a set of images focusing on contemporary football fashion couples in the build up to Euro 2016.
“I believe that football fashion has evolved from its stigmatised past and is now inspirational and positive. With the rise in sports fashion, brands such as Nike, Adidas and Umbro have adopted for minimal design and technological advances to cater for contemporary fashion culture,” says Elliott. “This can also be seen and said for football, in its kits, boots and collaborations between fashion and sports brands such as Palace x Adidas who doth their skate caps to Adidas’s classically designed football shirts and apparel.”
“Sometimes we feel like we’ve become too process driven. My drawing takes a similar route much of the time and I wanted to return towards a more instinctive process of working,” explains illustrator and art director Ben Tallon. “After seeing my goddaughter and other children of friends creating free and organic marks, I came up with the idea of calling myself out in public by creating one portrait per day of the footballers in contention for the final Euro 2016 England squad. The difference would be that I’d use my weak left hand to do this, knowing the results would be obscene, insulting to the subject, embarrassing to me, but above all else would force me to embrace a less controlled way of image-making. I present the results. It’s been suggested that they may or may not reflect the maturity of many modern footballers…”
To celebrate Euro 2016 Belly Kids has republished artist Andy Hemming’s seminal survey of players facial furniture, Real Men: The Lost Art of the Football ‘Tache. “We explore an era where men were men. Shaggy bonnets, droopy moustaches and no amateur dramatics. It wasn’t a time for primadonnas but a golden generation of the rough and tough,” says Belly Kids’ Michael Coley. Featuring legends such as Ian Rush, Carlos Valderrama, Rudi Voller and Graham Souness the publication is peculiarly nostalgic.
Le Beau Jeu (The Beautiful Game) has been created for football fans with an interest in design. “Like a modern development of the traditional wall chart, followers ’of ’Le Beau Jeu’ will receive an abstracted infographic of each game result, and will be able to view how the tournament unfolds,” says designer Nigel Cottier. First launched for the 2012 tournament, the designers have developed a more minimal aesthetic for this edition.
For the last 14 years Studio Blackburn and Nirvana CPH have collaborated on a wall chart for the World Cup and the Euros. This year, rather than produce a flat chart that is filled in by hand, the designers have paid homage to the Panini sticker albums that are a vital part of any football fan’s youth. The pearl white A1 poster comes with a series of stickers, each printed with the national colours of each team, that are placed on the respective fixtures. The minimal design will become alive with colour as the tournament unfolds.
“One of the central tenets of wall chart design is interaction, since the very concept invites you to write, scribble and draw on it as much, or as little, as you like,” says Spencer Wallace, founder and managing director at Nirvana CPH. “We liked the idea that this year’s instalment could rethink and subtly alter that relationship; that’s why we’ve added an extra element, in the form of circular stickers that provide a graphic representation of the colours of each participating nation.”
About the Author
Owen joined It’s Nice That as Editor in November of 2015 leading and overseeing all editorial content across online, print and the events programme, before leaving in early 2018.