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A tribute, nod to strength, image of hope and love, designer of Stronger Than Hate logo says

Aaron Aupperlee
| Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018, 3:00 p.m.
The 'Stronger Than Hate' image has spread since the Oct. 27, 2018, shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
Tim Hindes
The 'Stronger Than Hate' image has spread since the Oct. 27, 2018, shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
Tim Hindes, CEO of TrailBlaze Creative, designed the 'Stronger Than Hate' image that has spread since the Oct. 27, 2018, shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
Tim Hindes
Tim Hindes, CEO of TrailBlaze Creative, designed the 'Stronger Than Hate' image that has spread since the Oct. 27, 2018, shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue.

It is plastered across social media, posted on news feeds or as profile pictures.

Someone put it on cookies.

School students in Florida are making T-shirts with it to raise money for Pittsburgh’s Jewish community.

An image featuring the familiar steel logo with one of its three diamonds changed to the Star of David accompanied by the words “Stronger Than Hate” appeared shortly after a gunman killed 11 inside a Squirrel Hill synagogue and has spread far and wide in the days since.

“While it’s a tribute to the victims and the Jewish community, and while it’s a nod to the strength of Pittsburgh, I think it’s also an image of hope,” said Tim Hindes, who designed the image.

“It’s a image of love being shared.”

Hindes is the CEO of TrailBlaze Creative, a marketing agency in Pittsburgh that works with nonprofits and municipalities. On Saturday morning, he was helping a friend in Greenfield move when he heard the sirens rushing toward Tree of Life Congregation in nearby Squirrel Hill. When he later checked his phone and saw the news, his heart sunk, he wrote in a Facebook post.

“Unfortunately, it wasn’t because of the shooting, but because (I had feared) it was fueled by hate,” Hindes wrote.

As he began to process what had happened, Hindes sat in front of his laptop and started to doodle. He had the news on as the image came together. He didn’t think too much about what he was doing.

“It was all emotion,” he said.

The image riffs on the familiar Steelmark, a logo used for decades by U.S. Steel, the steel industry and the Pittsburgh Steelers. The original Steelmark contains three diamonds, or hypocycloids. U.S. Steel used the logo as part of a marketing campaign where the diamonds meant that steel would lighten your work, brighten your leisure and widen your world, according to the American Iron and Steel Institute , which owns the logo. The diamonds also represent the materials used to make steel: yellow for coal, orange for iron ore and blue for steel scrap.

Hindes, who grew up in Whitehall, lived in Squirrel Hill for a year and now lives in South Park, changed the yellow diamond to the Star of David.

“It wasn’t something that I thought would ever have the impact that it has had,” Hindes said. “It was me. I’m a Pittsburgher. I lived in Squirrel Hill. I know what that community is like.”

Hindes said he’s heard from people around the world about the image. His Facebook post includes a little background on Pittsburgh for people stumbling across the image from out of town.

“Now, for anyone reading this unfamiliar with Pittsburgh, there’s something that you should know — we don’t get rattled easily. This fortitude was instilled in our community by our pierogi-pinching grandmothers who didn’t take any crap from any jag offs. We were strong before this tragedy. A tragedy like this just makes us stronger. Just like you can’t break steel, you can’t break the resiliency of a Pittsburgher. We are stronger than hate,” Hindes wrote.

Hindes said it is how people from Pittsburgh are brought up. They have a strong, blue-collar work ethic. They are tough.

“If a tragedy like this has to happen, then the city of Pittsburgh is one that I know can unfortunately take it and move forward.”

Hindes said he has been encouraged over the past few days by everyone coming together. People have asked to use the image for all sorts of reasons. Hindes has allowed it, without credit to him, as long as the image is used for love and any profit goes to help the victims or a Pittsburgh nonprofit dedicated to stopping hate.

Aaron Aupperlee is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Aaron at 412-336-8448, aaupperlee@tribweb.com or via Twitter @tinynotebook.

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