Inspired by the ever-popular 36 Days of Type, 33 Letters for Ukraine is a new challenge on Instagram that follows a similar theme but instead focuses on the 33 letters of the Ukrainian alphabet.
Dreamt up by creatives Joasia Fidler-Wieruszewska, Alina Rybacka-Gruszczyńska and Aga Kotowska, the idea is to use the power of creativity to express solidarity with Ukraine and show that it is an independent country with its own culture, history and language.
Anyone can get involved with 33 Letters for Ukraine, which rallies the global creative community to offer its support to the European country through art and design. But the event also encourages everyone to donate directly to organisations helping Ukraine during this difficult time – either by selling original artworks or prints of any produced letters.
"Learning Cyrillic is becoming increasingly important, especially here in Poland," says Joasia. "The scripts of Polish and Ukrainian alphabets are different, and we want to use this event to show our support and inspire designers to learn to read and draw Cyrillic type."
The challenge began on 7 March and will run until 8 April 2022. "We are in the middle of a challenge, but the project got positive reviews so far," Joasia continues. "Many Ukrainian designers see it as a way to share their thoughts and design something for the first time in days, to incorporate memories about Ukraine and their childhood using letters, and to pay homage to Ukrainian folk art or simply participate in a challenge closer to their heart during this difficult time.
"For Polish and international designers, meanwhile, there is a huge educational potential and almost an urgent sense of duty in learning Cyrillic script. There are already more than a million refugees from Ukraine in Poland alone, among them many children, who will now start attending Polish schools. As designers, we need to start looking for ways to incorporate these various scripts into our work, making multilingual visual communication possible."
Similar to 36 Days of Type, each day, Joasia, Aga and Alina invite one designer to be their special guest as a way to reach more people. The trio asked people from their own creative community, such as Valeria Potaichuk, Zuzanna Rogatty or Nikolas Wrobel, to participate and draw one chosen letter. "In our branding, we are using fonts exclusively by Ukrainian designers, and we want to promote Ukrainian design as much as possible," Joasia adds. "Now, we are looking for ways to reach even wider audiences because we believe this project has a lot of potential – both on a symbolic level and an educational one."