‘Print Against War’ documents the conditions of Ukrainian printers and converters

Before the war, the printing and packaging industry in Ukraine employed more than 100,000 people, including 16,000 freelancers, working at more than 5,000 print and packaging companies. Those who did not suffer damage or destruction can still work, but they lost most of their orders and turnover. Since February 24th, the lives of all these people have been disrupted. Many of them receive minimum wage or not even that. Print Against War is trying to taking care of as many of these people as possible, involving them, listening to them, and understanding their needs.

Some of the early names involved with ‘Print Against War’. From top left, clockwise: Yurii Steshenko, Rostyslav Burlaka, Viktor Artyushchenko, Olga Dudarenko, Oleg Pylypovych, Igor Wolf, Hennadii Vasylenko, Sergii Mamonov.

“We were able to talk to some medium and large sized commercial printers,” says Lorenzo Villa, co-founder of the Meaningful Print Foundation. “They are ready to handle large print volumes using their B1 and B2 size offset presses and bindery departments. We also met with several digital print houses specializing in short runs, just-in-time jobs, indoor and outdoor campaigns, using sheetfed digital presses, large format printers, and cutters. Besides integrated groups, several small and medium-sized packaging converters can produce printed and embellished boxes and labels. Some have invested in state-of-the-art digital embellishment and narrow-web digital label presses.”

Through direct calls, recorded interviews, and interactions in the discussion group, the Print Against War team is in touch with dozens of companies, recording their difficulties and gathering their requests for help. Most of them prioritise keeping their company open and ensuring a minimum wage for employees and their families. Unable to rely on domestic orders and exports to Russia, Ukrainian printers and converters seek partnerships with European companies, to which they can supply printed materials at reasonable costs. Logistics is an issue, but many are ready to produce and ship.

If you’re interested in meeting these entrepreneurs, talking to them, and discussing how you can help, please join the Print Against War community, which already includes dozens of friends worldwide. The group is a private and safe place to meet and cross-reference requests and offers of help. In the community, and on the Print Against War website, you can discover the stories and needs of many members of the Ukrainian print and packaging family. “In the coming weeks we will continue to meet with them, engage them, and gather their needs. The platform has already engaged in conversations with several Ukrainian operations. We invite you to read more about their stories here,” concludes Villa.

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