November 16 2015

Peace for Paris Symbol Gets Spread Throughout the World

When French-born, London-based graphic designer Jean Jullien heard about the horrible terrorist attacks on Paris, he knew right away what he had to do. As he told Fast Company, “I was deeply shocked, saddened, and confused. Because I’m an illustrator, drawing is my first natural reaction to communicate things in general.” On his lap, taking a loose sketchbook, a brush and ink, he painting a black and white peace sign while incorporating the iconic Eiffel Tower. There was no initial sketching. Simple, straightforward but incredibly powerful, his “Peace for Paris” image quickly went viral. It has now been retweeted over 59,000 times, liked 160,000 times on Instagram and liked over 24,000 times on Facebook.

As he told Wired:

It was a reaction. The first thing that came to me was the idea of peace, that we needed peace. I was trying to look for a symbol of Paris, and obviously the Eiffel Tower was the first thing that sprang to my mind. I just connected both of them. You know, there wasn’t much work process behind that. It was more an instinctive, human reaction than an illustrator’s reaction.

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Photograph: Roger Tooth/for the Guardian

What’s even more powerful than seeing it online is seeing the work offline at vigils, on t-shirts, on posters, on flags or drawn on people’s faces. It’s rare when a symbol can spark up a feeling of solidarity, especially in the wake of such tragic events. Our thoughts are with you, Paris.

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