“Our country grew bigger!”: Paratype CEO congratulated everyone on the annexation of Ukrainian lands

Paratype CEO Anna Yakupova posted salutations on Ukrainian lands annexation after sham referendums held by the occupational government in invaded Ukrainian regions. 

  • Paratype is a well-known Russian business, operating since 90-ties. The company creates and sells fonts for navigation, advertising and web design. Google, Apple, Microsoft, Nestle, Wargaming and other big companies are among its clients. 
  • The sham referenda were held by the occupational government and collaborators in Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia, Donetsk and Kherson regions from 23 to 27th of September. They are not recognised by world governments. A couple of percent of the local population took part in them, often at gunpoint, fearing for their life and freedom. The Russian government falsified the approval rate to be at 90% and higher. Even when they tampered with presidential election results in Russia, the approval rates were lower. 
  • Nevertheless, Paratype CEO congratulated everyone on this annexation in a Telegram chat for designers and font makers T T chat (closed now):
  • The chat is open and the screenshots of her joyful statement soon got to be publicly known. Kyiv designer Yevhen Anfalov was the first one to spot them. After that font designer Serhiy Rasskasov reposted the information. That started a discussion of Yakupova’s statement. 
  • The company posted a reaction to the scandal (not having much choice given that Paratype has a US-based affiliate Paratype, Inc.). They didn’t put much effort into it though. The company statement begins with the idea of Anna’s words are out of context (as if her words could be interpreted in any other way than welcoming Russia’s criminal actions). And ends with ‘Paratype team is united by love for typography, not political views’.

Why it is important: such statements are the direct indication of common Russians approving of their president’s actions, and not caring much about what’s going on in another country. There’s more to it: such actions show that the representatives of all the Russian industries participate in political processes in spite of their proclamations: Keep politics out of art. Such wording couldn’t be possibly taken out of context, she said what she said.