Daniel Blue, lead singer of the alt-psych band Motoponyis the creator of the 253 heart.
South Sound Magazine explains in a 2015 interview;
“In the spirit of community I was excited about expressing love for a place,” Blue said. “Tacoma kind of became my family, and where my heart was.”
Blue explains that his heart creation was pure happenstance.
“I was experimenting with a type of graffiti where you don’t pick up the pen, which kind of allows you to write a little faster once you sort of learn the shape really well,” he said. “I figured out a way to write those three numbers without picking up the pen. I was doing it over and over trying to get my muscle memory down and at some point I was just like ‘Whoa. That’s a heart.’”
Longtime friend, former band manager, and current owner of the 253 heart design, Steve Naccarato, credits some of Blue’s success in Motopony to the 253 heart, and its meager yet crucial income, which helped him get by while his music career was taking off.
“I always felt that it was a gift to Daniel,” said Naccarato. “The way it happened; he just sat down to doodle and out came this design in the shape of a heart with our area code in it. It was just one of the little pieces that allowed him to keep pursuing his heart, his dream.”