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Ukrainian custom typefaces 2014–2021

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Maidan began as a defense of the European vector of Ukrainian politics. Ultimately, Ukrainian protest against pro-Russian dictatorship in 2013-2014 not only turned the life of Ukraine upside down, but also intensified the development of many truly European values. In particular, the value of intellectual work. Today we have several online cinemas, TV subscription services, waves of indignation in social networks for stolen copyright images and fonts, and anti-plagiarism scandals.

A more thorough observance of intellectual property rights makes it possible for content platforms and applications to enter the Ukrainian market, by going to which one could previously read: "This song/book/program is not available in your country or region". And their presence here, in turn, encourages Ukrainian entrepreneurs working in the cultural industry to create competitive products.

The visual component: colors, forms, typography plays an important role in this products. However, for a long time in Ukraine, many brands did not attach much importance to a unique design, which, moreover, would not violate copyright. For comparison: for all the years before 2014 Ukrainian type designers created no more than 10 typefaces for individual customers, and after that – more than 50.

Who creates custom fonts in Ukraine

Kyrylo Tkachov (Luhansk, Lutsk)

Type designer, calligrapher, teacher. Lives and works in Lutsk. He founded a design studio "AlfaBravo" and "Prostir Liter" festival.

  • Typeface WePlayType for "WePlay Esports" website, 2018–2020
  • Typeface for computer game "Manor Matters", 2019
  • Typeface for Ministry of Culture of Ukraine, 2019
  • Typeface for brand "Торчин", 2019 (co-author)
  • Typeface for corporate identity of "Clickable", 2019
  • Typeface for Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, 2019 (co-author)
  • Typeface for "Ukrainian Institute", 2019
  • Typeface for retail network "Comfy", 2018
  • Typeface for Lviv Oblast, 2018
  • Typeface for export brand of Ukraine "Ukraine NOW", 2018
  • Typeface for comics of the publishing house "Видавництво", 2018
  • Typeface for children's books and animation "Pershosvit", 2017
  • Typeface for the city of Lutsk, 2017
  • Typeface for the city of Dnipro, 2017 (co-author)
  • Typeface for "Antonov State Enterprise", 2016
  • Typeface for the tourist brand of Ukraine, 2014

Author's website: https://alfabravo.design/
Licensed Fonts: 90 Fonts by Kyrylo Tkachov on Rentafont


Dmytro Rastvortsev (Sumy)

Type designer. Lives and works in Sumy. Since 2014 he has designed over 18 custom typefaces, for example:

  • Typeface for online collections store "Violity", 2021 (co-author)
  • Typeface for the city of Vinnytsia, 2019
  • Typeface Kyiv*Type for #newkyivlogo project, 2019
  • Typeface e-Ukraine for mobile application "Дія", 2019
  • Typeface for "National Art Museum of Ukraine (NAMU)", 2018–2019
  • Typeface for the city of Sumy, 2016–2017
  • Handwriting font KobzarKS for mobile operator "Київстар", 2014 (co-author)

Author's website: http://www.rastvor.com.ua/
Licensed Fonts: 120 Fonts by Dmytro Rastvortsev on Rentafont


Andrij Shevchenko (Berdyansk)

Type designer. Lives and works in Berdyansk. He founded "AndrijType" foundry.

  • Typeface for brand "Торчин", 2019 (co-author)
  • Typeface for Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, 2019 (co-author)
  • Typeface for the tourist brand of Zaporizhzhia, 2018
  • Typeface for the city of Mariupol, 2017 (with Serhiy Rodionov)
  • Typeface for the city of Dnipro, 2017 (co-author)
  • Typeface for TV channel "1+1", 2014–2015

Author's website: https://www.myfonts.com/foundry/AndrijType/
Licensed Fonts: 10 Fonts by Andrij Shevchenko on Rentafont


Oleksiy Chekal (Kharkiv)

Calligrapher, type designer, traveler. Lives and works in Kharkiv. Art director of "PanicDesign".

  • Typeface Tomos for the visual identity of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine, 2020
  • Typeface for Kharkiv National Opera and Ballet Theater, 2020
  • Typeface Akathist for a church in Kyiv, 2019
  • Typeface Sofia for "Ukrainian Prayer Book", 2017
  • Typeface Iosif for the publishing house of a monastery in Okhtyrka, 2014

Author's website: http://chekal.art/


Andriy Konstantynov (Kyiv)

Type designer. Lives and works in Odessa. Founder of "Mint Type" foundry.

  • Adaptation of Cyntho Next typeface for TV channel "СТБ", 2020
  • Typeface for the corporate identity of "Укрзалізниця", 2020
  • Typeface Road UA for the state road navigation of Ukraine, 2018–2020
  • Adaptation of Proba Pro typeface for publishing house "Видавництво", 2019
  • Typeface for Kyiv city wayfinding system, 2017

Author's website: https://minttype.com/
Licensed Fonts: 450 Fonts by Andriy Konstantynov on Rentafont


Viktor Kharyk (Kyiv, Dusseldorf)

Type designer. Lives and works in Dusseldorf. Founder of the charity project "Щедрик". Collaborates with "Apostrof" type foundry.

  • Pictogram font NonStopBlooming for "Невпинно" project, 2018
  • Typeface Nevpynno for "Невпинно" project, 2018
  • Typeface Strong for the publishing house "Видавництво", 2016
  • Typeface Vydavnytstvo for the publishing house "Видавництво", 2016

Author's website: https://www.facebook.com/viktor.kharyk
Licensed Fonts: 120 Fonts by Viktor Kharyk on Rentafont


Victoria Lopukhina & Vitalina Lopukhina (Kyiv)

Graphic designers, calligraphers, typographers, illustrators, teachers. Live and work in Kyiv. Founders of their own design and calligraphy studio VikaVita.

  • Typeface for online collections store "Violity", 2021 (co-author)
  • Typeface for "French Institute in Ukraine", 2017 (together with Dmytro Rastvortsev)
  • Script font for mobile operator "Київстар", 2015 (together with Dmytro Rastvortsev)

Author's website: https://vikavita.com/


Bohdan Hdal (Kyiv)

Type designer, public activist. Lives and works in Kyiv. Founder of the project "Рукотвори" .

  • Typeface for the Museum of Ivan Honchar, 2020
  • Typeface for Presidential Administration of Ukraine, 2018–2019

Author's website: https://bohdan.com.ua/
Licensed Fonts: 7 Fonts by Bohdan Hdal on Rentafont


Sergiy Tkachenko (Kremenchuk)

Type designer. Lives and works in Kremenchuk. Founder of "4th february type foundry".

  • Typeface for Armed Forces of Ukraine, 2016

Author's website: https://www.facebook.com/4thfebruary/
Licensed Fonts: 100 Fonts by Sergiy Tkachenko on Rentafont


2D Studio Design (Lviv)

2D Studio is a creative group engaged in graphic design in its various manifestations.

From a virtual one-person project to a real studio, the project grew in early spring 2008. After trial and error during the formation of the studio, a stable creative core was formed – two people – Lukyan Turetsky and Iryna Korchuk. The studio also collaborates with other professionals involved in specific projects, including our friends and partners Gennady Zarechnyuk and Volodymyr Petryshyn.

  • Handwriting font KobzarKS for mobile operator "Київстар", 2014 (Gennady Zarechnyuk, Dmytro Rastvortsev, Lukyan Turetskiy)

Foundry website: https://www.myfonts.com/fonts/2d-typo/
Licensed Fonts: 16 Fonts by 2D Studio on Rentafont


These authors and many other men and women also create fonts without customer, for distribution under commercial or free license. Since the Maidan, Ukrainian font makers have created over 1000 licensed fonts.

Why fonts are important

Typography has a long history: from the first signs on clay tablets. Form of the writing system speak for the era. For example, Ukrainian skoropys depicts the Baroque: its characteristic attention to detail, accumulation of component, splendor. And our 1910-20s are the letterings of Heorhiy Narbut and his students and followers: they combine traditional ethnic motifs and avant-garde.

Fonts evoke emotions: letters with rounded corners – pleasure, with sharp – tension and alertness. That is why "round", comfortable and cozy-looking fonts are used in children's products, and "prickly" – in those areas that sell "sharp sensations", such as souvenirs for rock music fans.

Creation of typefaces consists of creativity and research, not just programming. Often, type designers first draw letters, such as Andrij Shevchenko, working on typeface called Oksana. Rutenia typeface was created thanks to the long-term research work of calligrapher and book designer Vasyl Chebanyk.

Typography unite creative people. Fonts are associated with letters, and letters are of interest to calligraphers, designers, illustrators, book publishers, printers, historians and, of course, type designers. They take part in Ukrainian festivals ("Рутенія", "Простір літер", "TypeKyiv", "Свято кирилиці"), the set up workshops (courses of Kyrylo Tkachov and Andriy Konstantynov on the platform "Projector", Edik Ghabuzyan in Kharkiv, Andrij Shevchenko in Berdyansk and Oleksiy Chekal all over the world) and start lively online discussions, for example, to switch Ukrainian to Latin or keep it Cyrillic. Rentafont has also brought together almost all Ukrainian font makers on one marketplace.

It always hurts Ukrainians to remember the Maidan. Despite a lot of effort and loss, we did not wake up in a brand new country. Among the many things to change – the development of Ukrainian business, copyright protection, decent wages in the field of culture and education, the production of competitive things on the world market, the formation of the image of Ukraine as a state with a European vector. That is why it is so important to create opportunities for the legal purchase of cultural products and to support the platforms that promote them.

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