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Print Like a Ukrainian: Collection of Cool Fonts Made In UA

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Photo: Collection Of Cool Fonts Made In UA, Source: Collage The Gaze \ by Leonid Lukashenko
Photo: Collection Of Cool Fonts Made In UA, Source: Collage The Gaze \ by Leonid Lukashenko

While the Armed Forces of Ukraine reclaim Ukrainian lands from Russian occupiers, fonts created by Ukrainian designers are gaining popularity among enthusiasts of beautiful, thoughtful, and aesthetic printing worldwide.

Recently, in New York, at the prestigious international competition of the Type Directors Club, designer Mykhailo Rafailyk from the Ukrainian city of Sumy emerged victorious. The expert jury highly praised his typographic craftsmanship in the creation of the Decutto font, which ultimately won in the Type Design (Single Axis Type Family) category.

Decutto

Decutto is a font in a neo-grotesque style with a subtle hint of gothic script, elegantly wrapped in a simplified design without serifs. Its main feature is the letter shapes adorned with straight embossed edges, reminiscent of medieval English coinage, making reading easy and comfortable not only in logos and headlines but also in small text sizes. The charm of the Decutto font is enhanced by the subtle elegant triangular notch in the lower left corner of lowercase letters, as well as the thickening at the top and bottom of ascenders.

Mykhailo Rafailyk's hometown, Sumy, sits on the border with Russia and, like neighboring Kharkiv, faces hostile shelling almost daily. However, the explosions outside the window and constant air raid sirens did not deter the artist from creating his small typographic masterpiece. As a designer in wartime, Rafailyk received no privileges; the Type Directors Club jury, which has been around for over 70 years, judged the winners blindly, basing their decisions solely on the work's results without knowing the designers' names or the font names used in the texts.

Now Decutto embarks on a triumphant journey through world exhibitions, proudly displaying a mark of quality – a note that this font was "carved" in Ukraine in 2023. The promotional materials feature illustrations from Hans Holbein the Younger's "Dance of Death" series, with one poster presented entirely in Ukrainian. Additionally, a poster printed with the Decutto font will travel to exhibitions in cities across the United States, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, New Zealand, Poland, South Korea, Spain, and Taiwan, telling the story of Ukrainians who, after Russia's full-scale invasion, refused to be slaves and only grew stronger as a political nation.

However, Decutto is not the only gem of contemporary Ukrainian typography. Here are five more cool fonts worth attention.

MISTO

MISTO – a font inspired by the city of Slavutych, Ukraine's youngest city, by designer Kateryna Korolevtseva. Slavutych was founded in 1986 as a satellite town for the Chornobyl disaster survivors, designed as a utopian place for ideal living among simple five-story buildings and neat park areas, with very cheap electricity. After the Chornobyl accident, Slavutych was nearly forgotten, but the city unexpectedly reminded everyone of its existence during the full-scale invasion, when 5,000 unarmed locals staged a heroic protest against the occupying authorities, reaffirming that no one in peaceful Ukraine wants to live under the dirty boot of a Russian soldier.

ARSENAL

ARSENAL – a font by designer Andrij Shevchenko (not to be confused with the legendary Ukrainian footballer of Dynamo Kyiv and AC Milan). Arsenal won the "Modern Ukrainian Font" competition. It is convenient for reading in small sizes and stands out in large headlines, and it's also free to use.

NASTUP BASIC

NASTUP BASIC – In 2022, stencil graffiti with an arrow and the word "Ukryttya" (Shelter) began to appear en masse on the buildings of Ukrainians. Designer Maksym Kobuzan, observing them amidst the sounds of explosions from Russian missiles and drones, wanted to use this modular stencil style but imbue it with a slightly different meaning. NASTUP means "offensive" in Ukrainian. By using this font, you support the idea that the war criminal Vladimir Putin will not stop until he is stopped, and only the Armed Forces of Ukraine and reinforced military support from civilized nations are capable of doing it.

NAMU

NAMU – a font by designer Dmytro Rastvortsev, developed specifically for the National Art Museum of Ukraine, inspired by ancient letters found directly in exhibition halls. The result is an impressive geometric grotesque with a plethora of treats in the form of references to the treasures of Ukrainian cultural heritage.

KYIV TYPE

KYIV TYPE – the work of designer Dmytro Rastvortsev, created specifically for the typographic identity of the capital of Ukraine. The character of the city, its history and philosophy, as well as the talismanic tree – the chestnut of Kyiv – all find their reflection in this free typographic gift. Looking at any text printed in this font, you instantly feel transported either to the bustling Khreshchatyk or the quiet and cozy slopes of ancient Kyiv.

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