The letter Z has become a symbol of support for Vladimir Putin and the invasion of Ukraine. Since the first Russian convoys approached Ukrainian territory, the vehicles were already adorned with a Z. The symbol , graphically simple, supposedly began to be used to identify friendly fire, but later became part of an ideological discourse when used by the official accounts of the Kremlin despite the fact that Z is not part of the Cyrillic alphabet. Those who support Putin began to use it to Z and today it can be seen on bus shelters, murals, graffiti in the streets and on the uniforms of Russian athletes, such as Evgeny Ryov , the swimmer who lost a sponsor for wearing the symbol.
Away from the oz and the hammer, and its socialist connotation, the Z is a fresh and powerful symbol that has gained followers to the point that there are stores in Russia that sell T-shirts, thermoses and posters with the Z.
As a measure to communicate the repudiation of the Russian invasion , a creative agency in Ukraine has launched an aggressive initiative: remove the letter Z from the logos of the big brands that use it, until the war is over. The initiative called “Stop Z” was dreamed up by Nebo , a Kiev-based creative agency. On its landing page there is a manifesto that explains the project: “Z is the death of Ukrainian children, women and elderly. Z are the cities destroyed and nuclear plants captured. Z is hunger, bullying and assaults. Z in a new lie. Z is the new swastika. Z is Russia, which revived fascism in Europe.”
Then comes the call for the big brands to stop using the Z in their logos and replace it with a number 3 (with the colors of Ukraine). On the page you can see examples of the Amazon, Zara, Jay-Z and Harper’s Bazaar logos with this graphic proposal.
Last week the Zurich insurance company removed the white Z-on-blue logo from some of its social media channels to avoid associations with support for Russia (although, as far as we know, it had nothing to do with the “Stop Russia” project). Z”).