When Russia began its invasion of Ukraine, Ukrainian designers Maxim Aksenov and Evgeniya Dyupina spotted an initiative on Instagram asking users to buy tickets to Mykolaiv Zoo. With the zoo closed and the city under fire, “zoo workers needed money for food, medicine and transporting the animals,” says Evgeniya. This snowballed into the creation of 3oo – a simple but effective illustrated site allowing users to buy zoo tickets to support the animals and the workers behind them.
While the two designers initially shared the Mykolaiv Zoo donation link on Instagram, they realized the links were misdirected. They also discovered that this was actually a problem affecting zoos across Ukraine – “some zoos were being bombed daily, some evacuated, with private shelters and citizens helping lost animals”, explains Max. Maxim and Evgeniya began collecting information about other zoos in need, often found through “random tweets or IG stories,” says Evgeniya. What was missing, the designers decided, was a functional “Link in bio” landing page that pulls together all the donation information. They also understood the urgency of the situation, which meant that 3oo had to get together quickly; the first version of the site took an incredible two days to launch.
“The design goal was mainly to make it fast,” Maksim tells us. “However, we wanted to show the expression in the illustration and make it poster-like while still being a bit interactive.” Maksim, who created the landing page, started with a palette based on the Ukrainian flag, but expanded to represent the wide range of real animals and workers in need of assistance.