Ukraine country brand looks to challenge misconceptions

Ukraine has declared itself open for business and tourism with its new brand identity, which looks to present the country as a place of opportunity.

A new global identity for Ukraine has been created to boost business and tourism while presenting the country as a place of opportunity rather than one of “corruption, war and revolution”, as it has been perceived.

These three adjectives were most commonly associated with the country when brand strategy work was carried out by Ogilvy UK, which began the project with an audit around perception.

After former president Viktor Yanukovych suspended the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement in 2013, he sought closer ties with Russia, which caused discontent in Ukraine. These events saw a revolution take place in 2014 culminating in Yanukovych being overthrown. Shortly after this, Pro-Russian separatists and Russian Armed forces took control of Crimea, which had been an autonomous republic of Ukraine.

Country of opportunity

Following a recent turbulent history, Ukraine is gaining stability. This is the first time that Ukraine has had a country brand. Ukraine state secretary Artem Bidenko told Design Week that the country has been working with the UK government since 2015 to receive technical support.

He says, “We became inspired by the Great Britain campaign and worked with Ogilvy UK to think about Ukraine’s position in the world.

“We found that it’s a country of opportunities and that after a revolution anything is possible. The clubbing culture people used to associate with Berlin you can now find in Ukraine, or if you see a beautiful field, you can drive off the road and straight into it. You can invest money here too. The market has a wild energy.”

Ukraine Now

Kiev-based design studio Banda has used Ukraine’s national colours to express its national identity and coupled this with rectangular templates to communicate different messages. The core message is Ukraine Now.

While the colours can also be perceived as “playful and modern” the typeface is “rough around the edges” to give the brand personality, according to Banda.

The font Ermilov, has been created by Ukrainian type designer Kirill Tkachev, and was named after and inspired by the work of late artist-constructivist Vasyl Yermilov. It has been designed specifically for the use of “Ukraine NOW”, which aims to give the brand a sense of immediacy and act as a call to action.

Roll out of the brand will include promotional and informational products, liveries on busses and planes, as well as travel bags and stickers. A brand book will be delivered in September and the brand will begin to officially roll out in October.

A spokesman for Ukraine Now says: “People who have never been to Ukraine see Ukrainians as closed, aggressive and intolerant. This image is shaped from what they largely hear in the news… Those who have been to the country to celebrate the hospitality of Ukrainians, the wonderful landscapes, culture and architecture.”

Hide Comments (12)Show Comments (12)
  • joanna burbridge July 29, 2018 at 3:53 pm

    Great! simple, communicative, dynamic, if not this black, bold letters I would say it is too light for big country, with them it is great – bravo Banda!

  • Olga Protasova August 3, 2018 at 9:31 am

    Please correct, that font was designed by ukrainian type designer Kirill Tkachev — based on Ermilov works. Thank you.

  • kirill tkachev August 3, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    You are mistaken. I am the author of the Ermilov font.

  • Bohdan August 4, 2018 at 9:22 am

    This font created by ukrainian designer Kirill Tkachov. Not Ermilov.

  • Victor August 4, 2018 at 9:47 am

    The font Ermilov has been created by Ukranian artist-constructivist Vasyl Yermilov — That is a mistake. Artist-constructivist Vasyl Yermilov can’t do that because he’s dead since 1968 (wiki). The designer of Ermilov font is Kiril Tkachov. And he was inspired by Vasyl Yermilov works. Therefore it’s called Ermilov font.

  • Vladyslav Kovalenko August 4, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    Author of Ermilov font is Kirill Tkachev. Vasyl Yermilov died in 1968.

  • Yevgen Sadko August 4, 2018 at 2:55 pm

    Ermilov Typeface was created by Kyrylo Tkachov in 2018. The typeface just named in honor of the artist Vasyl Yermilov – Ukrainian constructivist worked in 1920s.

  • Andriy Konstantynov August 4, 2018 at 8:04 pm

    Please correct: font Ermilov is named after Vasyl Yermilov (1894–1968), but created by Ukrainian typographer Kyryli Tkachenko – and yes, specially for this brand

  • Olkwhite August 5, 2018 at 7:30 am

    But this font created by Kirill Tkachov and called Ermilov, for memory of this artist

  • Alexander August 5, 2018 at 2:17 pm

    The font wasn’t created by Vasyl Yermilov.
    Original author is Kyrylo Tkachov.

  • Blake August 6, 2018 at 9:15 am

    Mind, font Ermilov has NOT been created by Ukranian artist-constructivist Vasyl Yermilov. Font was created by this designer
    Vasyl Yermilov died in 1968. He couldn’t create font in 21 century))))))

  • Sarah Dawood August 6, 2018 at 2:34 pm


    The credit to Kirill Tkachev has been added.

    Design Week team

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