Get ready for some serious job envy. You’re about to read about probably the best one in the world.
It’s not made by Carlsberg, but by the three designers behind Kern, a Dutch design company based in Deventer.
The League Extraordinaire (LEO) is the latest project by Kern led by John Patrick Nijkamp, Jort Braam and Jord Schöppink. Combining their love for great art and clean design with football, they’re bringing a new lease of life to the humble European football scarf. It’s the dream job for the art-loving ultra.
Each year John, Jort and Jord start their work to find 4 talented and diverse artists to help them construct another LEO group and bolster this Champions League of street artists, graffiti artists, designers and illustrators
Once chosen, the artists are given their brief. Its beauty, like so many things, is in its simplicity:
“Take the traditional double-sided football scarf and bring your world and the world of football together”
It’s clear and it’s simple. But most importantly there’s enough scope for creativity and individual interpretation.
Each season sees a new group of artists created by Kern. So far, there are 2 groups, each with 4 artists – the first year of LEO producing Group A and this year bringing in an equally impressive Group B.
Below is a run down of the current crop, see which designs stand out for you and let us know in the comments.
I really like how each artist has had to adapt their style to fit the unusual “canvas” and also the constrictions of the material of the traditional European football scarf.
Gino Bud Hoiting
From Utrecht in the Netherlands, his style is sharp and unconstrained. His work finds its way from the streets to screen prints, ceramics, newspapers, animations and installations. Now it’s on LEO’s first crop of scarves.
ZEBU are a team of two creatives from Berlin. Their crazy abstract figures with otherworldly proportions are created with much love and a warm heart. You might remember the Wurstbande duo from Berlin? Well, this is their other alias. So if you enjoyed Wurstbande, you’ll no doubt have a soft sport for ZEBU too.
Like Gino Bud Hoiting, Merijn hails from Utrecht, and through his art loves to take you down the rabbit hole. The world he takes you to is one that is hard to leave. His work is characterised by “vibrant color orgies”, black and white landscapes, oneliners and detailed madness. So, pretty much everything!
Graphic Surgery are a dynamic duo from Amsterdam and have been know to move across various forms of of media with their constructivist style.
Their black and white compositions of industrial constructions have become their trademark. For their entry into the LEO, they made use of negative spaces and angled lines to bring their own specific take to the football scarf.
This Swedish artist is adds and takes away to create his abstract world of shapes. Spontaneity and magical mistakes lead to unpredictable compositions that only he seems to be able to pull off.
He is a true all-rounder who jumps from collage making, drawing and painting with ease. These fragmented shapes are the stand out fixture of his scarf in Group B.
Siggi is an artist who traveled the world while finding out what makes him tick. He now calls Berlin home, and spends time focusing on drawing. As they no doubt expected, he brought his A-game to the table for this project. Making patterns with geometric shapes and color combinations, his work is rare in that its quickly recogniseable as his own – this piece being no exception…
Hell’O Monsters are Belgium collective and the creative force behind some exciting graffiti and street creations as well as ink drawings, paint, sculptures and installations. Their designs include creatures and objects finding harmony in intersting and unexpected ways leading to a modern take on surrealist artwork.
For OG23 graffiti is very much his passion, and his distinct letter work is visible across his native Melbourne’s cityscape. Inspired by 70’s New York City graffiti and riding the train as a young boy, he developed his very own style.
His motto “there shouldn’t be any rules in graffiti’ has transferred to his scarf design as the final member of Group B in 2017s crop.
Then you’re going to want to get your hands on these bad boys sooner than later. With some of Group A and Group B already sold out, these limited edition football scarves won’t hang about.
Admittedly 30 EUR is a touch more than you’d fork out for your teams colours, but for that you get an extremely rare and high quality piece of art and clothing that can be worn to the game or on the street. After January’s self imposed wallet-lockdown is over, I’ll be putting my money down for a piece of OG23’s work, love that design.
If you fancy sticking one around your neck, you can put your order in on the LEO website
What a job for the 3 guys behind Kern though…I’d give up a limb to have a job that needed me to set up my own Champions League of artists to churn out ace designs.
We can all dream, huh!