Tuesday, 15 Mar 2022 16:11 GMT

Industry reacts to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine

The sign and wide-format print industries have been working to raise funds and collaborate to help Ukraine in its fight against Russia.

Governments and businesses have made massive moves to put strain on Russia’s economy and show their opposition to the brutal tactics of Putin and his forces.

Big companies such as Coca-Cola, McDonalds, Netflix, and Unilever have ceased business and trade with Russia, while payment firms such as Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal have also stopped business with the country.

With the loss of tech giants like Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Adobe, Russian citizens and its stock market will be feeling the impact of waging war in 2022.

Within our own industry, Fujifilm has paused several business dealings with Russia, bar medical related services. The company has also donated $2m (£1.5m) to support humanitarian efforts and medical equipment in Ukraine.

The ‘Print for Ukraine’ project started by FESPA UK will send donations from Britain to Ukraine

The situation has also been highlighted by graphics and colour systems company Pantone which has highlighted the colours of Freedom Blue and Energizing Yellow from the Ukrainian flag. The company hopes the colours will help users with spreading awareness of the crisis.

Pantone has also committed $1m (£763,000) to Global Giving, Save the Children, and International Rescue Committee, via its parent company Danaher.

Canon says: “As part of the world-wide relief efforts supporting Ukraine, we are donating to international aid and humanitarian organisations in Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia […] We stand united in desire for peace.”

Epson and its Group companies have also responded to the war by suspending exports to Russia and Belarus, as well as donating $1m (£763,000) through the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Red Cross. The company will also match all funds raised through staff donations to the Red Cross.

As part of the world-wide relief efforts supporting Ukraine, we are donating to international aid and humanitarian organisations in Ukraine, Poland, Romania, Moldova, Czech Republic, Hungary, and Slovakia […] We stand united in desire for peace.

Similarly, HP has suspended shipments to Russia and Belarus, along with pausing all marketing and advertising. The company say it is “deeply disturbed by the escalating images of war’ and is joining calls to end the violence.

The company says: “We are acting with urgency to support HP employees, their families and our partners in Ukraine, Russia, and neighbouring countries. The HP Foundation is also providing grants to support Ukrainian relief efforts, working with NGOs such as UNICEF, UNHCR and the Polish Red Cross, and matching employee donations made through the HP Giving and Volunteering program.”

While the situation has affected and shocked everyone around the world, it has especially had a big impact on countries highly affected by the conflict. Reports and interviews suggest many print houses in Ukraine have been closed or destroyed, with many workers now in other EU countries, or helping with the war effort.

In the UK, many companies and businesses have been doing their bit to show support for Ukraine via window displays, special prints, and illuminated displays.

Printing Expo Online has said it will be donating to UNICEF, while also adding virtual spinners to the digital exhibition to encourage visitors to donate in order to protect the children in Ukraine.

Many larger print companies in the UK and the world have yet to comment on the situation 

Companies such as Grapefruit Graphics, Josero, and Imageco have donated to fund raisers, along with pledging support to the Print for Ukraine initiative set up by Dan Tyler of Vism, and FESPA UK.

Due to his links to Ukraine through his company Vism, Dan Tyler has received support from RMC Digital Print and Wild VC who both contributed £2,000 to donations. While graphics and signage companies MacroArt and Stylo also pledged £500 each to go towards supplies.

President of the ISA-UK and managing director of Make it Happen, Sam Armstrong donated all the proceeds of a Make it Happen course to the cause after seeing the Ukraine crisis unfold on the news.

If you want to share with us how you are helping Ukraine, you can email david@linkpublishing.co.uk or tag us on social media in order to help the industry collaborate and raise awareness for the crisis and demonstrate our opposition to war.