They came, they saw, they smashed it. Pickles x Nike

Last week, we were lucky enough to join the guys behind the beauty that is Pickles down at Nike’s Phenomenal House.


For those that don’t know, Pickles is a quarterly, independent, football magazine. Named after the Collie who sniffed out the lost Jules Rimet trophy prior to the 1966 World Cup. It is created, built and beautifully released by a small team of damn good creative folk.


I’d urge you to give them a look – especially with a World Cup special looming!

fellaini new

The Pickles team were tasked with producing 9 original and unique artworks that would be applied to Nike’s limited edition Ordem football. Pickles Art Director, Ned Read lead the project and assembled the team of talented artists and illustrators. Each artist was allocated a word that related to football culture and London, these words were very broad and allowed for the artists interpretation and creativity. The colour palette chosen for the artists was bright and bold, it reflects the diversity of the city of London and it directly refers to the teams based in the capital. Each artist applied their own style and the result is a fantastic mix of approaches, in different media and some truly inspired work.


The finished article is a mouth watering masterpiece. Something all involved should be incredibly proud of. I’m in awe of it. The ball is super limited edition with only a handful being produced.

We’ve also been lucky enough to get the inspiration behind some of the panels from a few of those involved.


Ned Read:
It may appear to be just a sequence of lines but the pattern in my artwork relates to my favourite England game and the match that stood out most to me looking back. The pentagon has actually been divided into 90 lines. The sequence reads from left to right, yellow for yellow cards, white for England goals, navy for half-time and orange for Holland’s goal. The match was England’s 4-1 victory over Holland at Euro ’96

The design relates to a specific game and a moment in time. My memory of Euro ’96 was that of a scorching summer, a country brought together by football and a carnival spirit… It was everything that is great about football culture and it left a lasting impression. London was at the heart of it and all eyes were on Wembley.


Michael Arnold:
After speaking with Ned Read we decided an abstract pattern was the way to go, and that my style of abstract illustration would lend itself well to the movement and spirit of football. My inspiration was drawn from street art and the back alleys and industrial areas of London utilising the brick and pavements as patterns.

The movement and speed of football was something I wanted to capture in my shapes, I wanted to capture a definite flow and flourish with in my piece.

My initial idea came from using the brick work and architecture of London in an abstract way, adding layers of shapes ordered in a way that created depth and almost a path through London. Starting with the back alleys and graffitied walls where children play football in the foreground, with the sunsetting on the high-rises in the background. Incorporating some notable but subtle sights of London such as the telephone boxes and abundance of pigeons along the way.


Steve Leard:
I wanted to create something really simple, colourful and playful. Each icon represents a football team based in London and the pattern is repeated.

London is quite unique as a city with the amount of football clubs in one place, which creates a vibrant footballing culture to be surrounded with. I wanted to create a piece to show the amount of footballing diversity in London by abstractly representing the colours of London football clubs.


Edward Carvalho-Monagahan:
The thing that interests me most about football is the fan mentality, there is nothing quite like it. I love the fortitude that the fans possess, it doesn’t matter how many times their side loses, they are still the best team in their view. My panel illustrates the chanting fans and the continuous sequence.

London is the place where all the fans come and watch matches, support their team and show their camaraderie, I wanted to exhibit the unwavering spirit the fans show in the city.


Our word was Soul. A pretty complex and abstract concept, so we decided to go totally out there. The artwork should gain feelings like spirit, the flow of football and the untouchable sphere that connects so many different cultures in football.

Football always inspire and influence our work, as it is always in our heads. The panel was only a canvas.


We chose the word “Childhood”. We thought about how football effected us as kids. After school we went to our friends house and played a game called “Kopfball–Volley”… The challenge was to volley the ball through the garage door before it closed.

When we thought about it, we always had the picture of summer in mind. We ate a lot of ice cream and one friend got his first gameboy. After we played “Kopfball–Volley” we always talked about the famous players, and hoped to emulate them one day.

The graphics on our panel don’t touch each other, which is a reference to the game we played back than. It illustrates the feeling you have when children talk about famous football players and how easy it seems to achieve this goal sometimes. We also tried to create the design according to the shape of the panel. It should look like a unity.


We’re inspired by all manner of stuff; visually by signwriting, advertising and sports graphics. Our words are inspired by pop culture and colloquial language.

As football fans, the ol’ dichotomy of victory or defeat looms large every week!

The artwork was done just before Orient’s play-off semis against Peterborough, so a red win, wrapped up in a blue lose, was us being hopeful!


Meen Choi:
My inspirations are derived from my ordinary life. It can be from music, street art, or sometimes a stranger’s backpack who I met in a concert. (it happened once.)

For the Ordem ball project, I wanted to keep the surrealistic approach. Because I liked to use symbols, I first drew mind map of symbols and theme to start. And I came up with several ideas from it, and I began to work. The word I was working with was ‘Home’ so I developed ideas of a ‘defence’ and ‘a fortress’… My panel depicts a football within a castles walls, defended by a team of knights.

The love of football blended into their lifestyle and the history of the city are what I am always dreaming of. I wanted to emerge the antiquity and modernity in my surrealistic style.




Please do give Pickles a look see, you won’t be disappointed!

1 comment
  1. Pingback: The 12elfth Man

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