77. Joma 'Streak' (2006-08)
Art doesn't often merge with the world of football. It probably should, given the amount of creativity that artists have, and the desperate need for new ideas that shirt design often lacks. Back in 2006, Joma aimed to put that right with a an unambiguous nod to the world of art in the form of two crude stripes that appear to have been painted with a 50mm decorator's brush.
While not exactly epitomising the subtlety of Pissaro's Late Afternoon in Our Meadow or Monet's Poppies, it does at least show a willingness to embrace the medium of paint, even if it's by someone gearing up for a spot of idle vandalism on the wall of an abandoned youth centre.
From left: Andorra (2006-07 home and away), Costa Rica (2006 home and away).
The crudeness of the paint streaks on this shirt template are, however, what essentially makes it interesting. For the greater part, shirt design had up to that point featured straight stripes, hoops and bands, as if neatness was all that football fans could deal with. As was proven here, the opposite was not only admissable but downright welcomed. A little informality never goes amiss, and Joma showed that it didn't necessarily equate to a loss of style.
Here we have another example of how to juggle three main colours on a football shirt. In contrast to the main background hue, those paint daubs running from one arm to the opposite shoulder introduced two more, but crucially proportioned in such a way so as to not clash with the first. Clearly this could have ended up looking clumsy in its execution had the streaks been wider or smaller, but they look just right. The same can also be said for their position on the shirt, or their start and end points.
From left: OFK Beograd (2007-08 home), Sevilla (2007-08 home, away and third).
Though it would have been brave to leave the rest of the shirt in one colour, we find the usual acoutrements in place as traditional accompaniments. There's a sculpted round neck, often in the lesser two colours, and cuffs following in similar vein, albeit incorporating a patterned, textured look. There's also an encore for that paint motif, shown vertically on the right of the shirt in the side panel.
Many interpretations of the template had one or two very slight variations here and there. Some used the Joma wordmark on the right breast while others had the additional eagle logo preceding it inside a rectangular panel. Some shirts also had Joma's ornate 'J' device on the left arm, and in the case of Costa Rica's white away shirt, both arms. Further still, Andorra's home and away shirts from 2006 did away with the vertical paint streaks, and Sporting Cristal of Peru and Vojvodina of Serbia opted for a simple ring neck. Small details, but they added a level of versatility where customisation was a priority.
From left: Sporting Cristal (2007 home and away), Vojvodina (2007-08 away).
All things considered, though, this was Joma reminding their peers that a reliance on old-fashioned thinking was likely to result in stuffy, stale end products. A slightly updated version of this template appeared around ten years later, and even that stood out from what the opposition was offering. It just goes to show that with a little imagination, football shirt manufacturers needn't paint themselves into a corner, so long as the paint is applied in the right way.
I'm very grateful to hear from Daniel Nielsen who pointed out that this template was also worn by Deportivo La Coruña during the 2006-07 season. There were three versions: the home shirt bearing Deportivo's traditional blue and white stripes, an away shirt in black and a third shirt in a fetching shade of pink with black trim.
Great to see those. Many thanks again, Daniel, and don't forget, if you know of any other versions of this or any other template featured in the series, please do let me know...
Deportivo La Coruña (2006-07 home, away and third).