Grenoble are one of those teams that everyone’s aware of in some way, but they never really seem to actually do anything significant enough, good or bad, to really get noticed. Like a Newcastle or an Edinburgh they occupy that weird mid-to-bottom of the table territory that makes them easy to overlook. Despite this, however, Grenoble have had some pretty handsome kits over the last few years, and have made the best of Kappa’s templates and been pretty unique, too…
We’ve not been a great admirer of the basic Kappa template this year – there’s something about the overall design that just reminds us of surgical scrubs, we think it might be the collar, and the fabric looks almost as disposable as the aforementioned medical garments…
Last year, we really liked Grenoble’s take on things, even if it was a little bit football shirt-y, but this year’s home kit has overcomplicated things to the point where we think it’s tipped it over the edge. The giant white panel on the front of the jersey is just… odd… it further enhances a sponsor/badge-clad chest area that’s so busy, it’s got more ugly furniture than a backstreet antiques shop.
It’s a shame, because it might have been a pretty nice shirt otherwise – we like the hints of red that set off the blue very well, though even round the back, this shirt suffers from the dual harbingers of shit that are over-sponsoring and some truly baffling extra ornamentation on the collar/upper back area. The one thing an already jersey doesn’t need it more needless crap, and if you’re gonna insist on doing it, at least try not to pick fonts that appear to have been lifted directly from Microsoft Word 95.
The away shirt is, quite obviously, a much, much better proposition. Gone is the ugly white panel on the chest, and instead we have some very fetching blue pinstripes across the front of the jersey. We think the blue in the armpit area is a bit over the top, but it doesn’t detract from what is perhaps our favourite Kappa shirt this year.
While both these shirts, as is often the way with the Top 14, suffer from a bit of over sponsoring in places, we feel like we should give credit to Grenoble where it’s due. With both shirts, they’ve ensured that the sponsor logo colours have been altered so as to not hideously clash with either jersey. Too often in modern rugby, a good shirt can be blighted by a sponsor logo that completely clashes with the colour palette of the main design, and it’s just completely baffling to us. We understand companies want their logo to be visible – they’ve spent enough money on it after all – but when it makes the jersey look like dogshit, that hardly fosters a positive attitude to your brand from the punters you’re trying to appeal to, does it?
All in all then, two shirts that are pretty alright. We know that white space is in, design wise, these days, but we’re pretty sure the home shirt isn’t what the design gurus mean when they say that. The away shirt is great, and quite some distance an improvement over last year’s Granny’s curtains European kit.