A BRITISH DESIGNER has created a unique football which now brings to life the shape seen on road signs throughout the country.
Jon-Paul Wheatley has spent several years honing his craft as a ball designer and enjoys focusing on bringing together unique projects such as his football which debuted last week.
The 36-year-old from Poole, Dorset spent four days working out how he could take the ball from the sign – made up of just hexagons and turn it into an actual football.
The creator showed off his design which he has dubbed ‘The Impossiball’ to viewers on social media alongside a video on Friday explaining how he managed to bring the street sign football to life.
The ball which is fully inflated and can be used for a game of football is made up of 63 separate panels which he has stitched together.
Jon-Paul’s video begins with him voicing over audio showing the street sign which advertises a football stadium in the UK.
He said: “Something deeply embarrassing has been happening in the UK, outside of every football stadium you’ll find these signs.
“If you’re a ball construction appreciator like I am, you’ll instantly notice that this ball construction is impossible.
“It’s constructed with hexagons only, hexagons tile a 2D plane okay, but a sphere – not possible.
“You need to add 12 pentagons in there for it to work.
“Mathematician Matt Parker has been banging this drum since 2017, starting a petition that got over 20,000 signatures from people just begging the government to change it – but they said no.
“If we can’t fix the sign then maybe we can fix the ball.”
Images from the video then show Jon-Paul as he toils away in his workshop stitching together the ball and gently rolling it along the floor.
He then continues to explain why hexagons would not work for a football by themselves.
Jon-Paul explains: “You can’t construct a ball with just hexagons but you can fake it using the icon on the sign as a reference the panels were adjusted so that from every two very specific angles the ball should looks like it’s constructed with just hexagons and nothing else.
“I call it the Impossiball – the latest prototype has 63 panels and it takes about four days of stitching to make one.
“It looks a little strange [from certain angles] but every so often the perfect angle lines up and you get treated to a little blast of hexagons.
“Now if someone mentions that ‘you know it’s impossible to construct a ball like that’, you can say it’s not.”
The video has received more than 100,000 likes with hundreds of comments from viewers impressed with the ardent Manchester United supporter’s dedication.
One said: “Its not that deep but its so deep.”
Another commented: “Impossiball is a very creative name.”
A third replied: “It’s a sign, it’s not a ball, it does it’s job, there are more important issues in the world that need money to fix them, not this. Grow up.”
Another responded: “The dedication is insane.”
A fifth joked: “Unemployed friend on a Tuesday.”
Speaking today Jon-Paul said: “I’m a ball designer that focuses on experimental ball concepts. I document the experiments through TikTok & Instagram.
“The icon has always annoyed me. Every time I drive past one I feel pain. The ball in the icon is constructed with hexagons only.
“A ball like that would be geometrically impossible to make.
“Hexagons tile a 2D plane without issue but to tile a sphere you need to add 12 pentagons.
“I call the ball I made the “Impossiball”.
“Warped panels create the illusion of a ball that’s constructed with just hexagons (only from two very specific angles).
“From other angles the ball looks a bit weird, but I think that helps make the point.
“For now the Impossiball allows everyone in the UK to save face if someone tries to call us out for our incorrect road sign.”
Jon-Paul was inspired by a petition set up by mathematician Matt Parker in 2017 to try and alter the ball seen on the road signs in the United Kingdom.
However, his petition received just over 20,000 signatures and was not debated in Parliament.