London based French graphic designer Jean Jullien, 32, has shown the innate power of a simple graphic—something we all in advertising/marketing and direct marketing appreciate. Following the horrific ISIS attack on Paris this past weekend, Jullien posted an image to social media he’d painted of a peace sign-Eiffel Tower combination. The reaction on Instagram and Twitter was swift and decisive: the graphic representing the unity coming from the news story has become the defining symbol of the event.
Jullien is quoted on CNN: “It was the most spontaneous thing. I heard the news on the radio, and I had this heartfelt reaction. I wanted to draw something that could symbolize peace and solidarity, and I wanted something with the context of Paris.”
He reveals that the image was the first thing his brush did on the paper. The “Peace for Paris” graphic is now appearing around the world.
An interesting development: Jullien appears to take no proprietary sense of profit from his creation. The illustration is now being used in publicly, drawn onto posters, T-shirts and all manner of support materials. Images of the graphic have been photographed worldwide.
He is moved by the response. “[The response] has been overwhelming — especially since I didn’t have any control over it. But I can’t feel pride or happiness because it is such a dark time. It’s undesired exposure. A horrible moment. But, I’m just somehow glad people made use of it.”
Especially germane to our profession is his pride in what he proves about the social potential inherent in graphic design.
“People think it’s just an everyday tool to sell things like cars or advertise products, but graphic arts is a means of expression beyond words.
“Words can sometimes be difficult to translate. I think the simpler, the better, the more universally understood it can be,” Jullien says.
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