Language Supp Ukraina is an initiative of free online language platforms; it supports children from refugee families who have fled Ukraine in learning a new language and, in this case, with Polish lessons, to help with the transition to a new country. Warsaw-based Podpunkt is the design studio behind its identity. “It was created in response to the urgent need to help refugees from Ukraine, so it took an unusual and dynamic work model,” says It’s Nice That studio. The ‘biggest goal’ of the project, however, was the introduction of ‘warmth’ – to create a friendly and ‘slightly abstract’ space for children, young people and their guardians to learn about an unfamiliar language.
Language Supp Ukraina incorporates several cross symbols, all based on the concept of language as a mode of communication. First there are the “wordcreatures”: illustrated characters whose bodies are constructed from the letters and diacritics of various alphabets. By switching from one alphabet to another, Podpunkt seeks to “build a sense of equality and community between different cultures”, but also signals the potential introduction of more languages to the platform. Another key symbol of the project is how “word creatures” often communicate with each other via speech bubbles; they find mutual understanding with each other as the course progresses.
Alphabets and speech bubbles may all seem like an expected approach to branded language lessons, but making unrecognizable language symbols less scary is important for a platform like Supp. While ‘word creatures’ bring a whimsical touch to unfamiliar alphabets, ‘typography, handwriting, gestures, symbols and thoughts’ are integrated to emphasize the importance of language for interacting with the world. that surrounds us. It also shows users how the work produced by Supp will positively impact their daily lives.