Not-for-profit Tschutti Heftl has created an alternative sticker album for the FIFA World Cup 2018, featuring player portraits by 32 different artists.
Rather than photos, which are commonly used in football sticker albums, the players featured are stylised portraits created by both artists and illustrators.
Swiss not-for profit Tschutti Heftl, which roughly translates as football magazine, was established solely for this project. The World Cup 2018 edition is the sixth album created so far. For each of the 32 teams, an artist or illustrator created portraits of 13 players in their own style, along with a team badge.
"The album isn't just an overview about all the teams and most of the players of the World Cup, but also of contemporary illustration and different styles of portrait art," Silvan Glanzmann, president and project leader of the collection, told Dezeen.
"I think there's a story in each of the artworks and that is what makes it so very special and unique," he continued.
The portraits are not realistic – each artist had freedom to depict the players in their team as they chose. Some artists placed the players in stereotypical scenarios, for instance the Spanish team are depicted as nobleman and the English as knights.
"I think a good artistic version of a player tries not only to make a perfect realistic image from the person, but uses the possibility of the illustration technique to tell an additional story about the players or a team," said Glanzmann. The idea for the project was born in 2008, when the European Championship was held in Switzerland and Austria.
The idea for the project was born in 2008, when the European Championship was held in Switzerland and Austria.
According to Tschutti Heftl, the Swiss ministry of culture had planned some national cultural projects during the tournament, which ended up being cancelled before the event.
"We were a couple of friends in the city of Lucerne and we were unhappy with this decision," said Glanzmann.
"In our opinion the European Championship had lost a lot of its charm of the old days – it was all about money, about sponsoring, about brands – but not about fun, not about real passion. It was no more rock 'n' roll. So we decided to do our own cultural project."
Since 2008, Tschutti Heftli has created the album every two years for the European Championships and World Cups. The organisation supports the charity Terre des hommes Switzerland, with 10 Swiss cents (7.5 pence) being donated for each pack that is sold.
This charitable aspect differentiates the album from other football sticker collections, says Glanzmann.
"Also the Tschutti Heftli is a non commercial project. That means that we're an art group and not a company," he said. "If we make profit, we first use it to pay the artist a small fee, and for upcoming art projects, like exhibitions of the stickers and match-day posters and for the next album.
The World Cup is currently in full flow in Russia. Dezeen has created a guide to all 32 kits being worn during the World Cup and a guide to the 12 stadiums hosting matches during the tournament.