November 19, 2015 3:38 pm
Updated: November 19, 2015 4:39 pm

How the ‘Peace For Paris’ image went viral following the Paris attacks

A drawing of French artist Jean Jullien named 'Peace for Paris' is hung on the Nantes cityhall as people observe a minute of silence in tribute to the victims of the attacks in Paris on November 16, 2015.

(JEAN-SEBASTIEN EVRARD/AFP/Getty Images)
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In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris one image quickly spread around the world becoming a global symbol of peace and solidarity with the victims of the tragic events.

Jean Jullien, a 32-year-old French graphic designer and illustrator, created the now famous “Peace For Paris” sign by combining the Eiffel tower and the universal symbol of peace.

The simple yet powerful design resonated with millions around the world; appearing on social media feeds, displayed at vigils, and drawn on concrete in public spaces.

Jullien was on vacation at the time he learned about the shootings in Paris, but quickly grabbed a brush and ink and drew the first thing that came to mind.

“I was shocked, horrified, worried. All kinds of dark feelings,” he told the Washington Post. “I felt compelled to reach out to show support to Paris, the Parisians, and to do so with a sign of peace, which appeared to me as the most desired reaction in the face of senseless violence.”

READ MORE: After two attacks in Paris, former ‘Charlie Hebdo’ writer says we are ‘in wartime’

Jullien, who has worked for the Post, also created an iconic illustration in the wake of the shootings that killed 12 at the offices of Charlie Hebdo featuring the phrase “Je Suis Charlie” with a pencil stuck into the end of an AK-47.

He also captured the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson and the issue of police violence in a poignant drawing.

On Tuesday, Jullien said he drew the Paris illustration out of a “spontaneous” reaction to the attacks that killed at least 129 and wounded more than 350.

“I did it in the most spontaneous and sincere way, as a heartfelt reaction to what was happening. It’s a drawing for Paris, for all the victims and their families. It is the worst way for me to be recognized as I normally try to make people smile with my work. This drawing is not about me, it not about credit.

READ MORE: Charlie Hebdo responds to Paris attacks: ‘We have champagne!’

Hunter Tura, president and CEO of the Bruce Mau Design, called the symbol a “simple and eloquent expression of resistance to the barbarism of the Islamic State.”

“The immediacy of the brushstrokes gave the image an expression of humanity that was so badly needed in the aftermath of the attacks and the rapid exportability of the image through social media made it possible to express solidarity with the victims, their families and the people of Paris,” Tura said in an email.

“It is a powerful counterpoint to the black flag of ISIS.”

In Tuesday’s image posted on Twitter Jullien drew a picture of himself pointing to his heart.

“The victims of the attacks in Paris were doing what Paris does best: laughing, drinking, chatting, and listening to music. Living and Loving. So that’s what I could draw today, my heart and love to the victims and to Paris.”

Below are images of the “Peace for Paris” symbol in France and around the world.

© 2015 Shaw Media

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