Who Invented the Smiley Face and Where Did the Original Yellow Icon Come From?

The yellow smiley face, with its dotted black eyes, first appeared with a slightly crooked smile as a promotion for the deejays of radio station WMCA in New York in 1962.

However, in 1963, commercial artist Harvey Ball introduced the version that’s still with us when he curved the smile as a promotion for a major insurance company.

Unable to copyright his smiley face, Ball received forty-five dollars for its creation.

Smiley has been a registered trademark in some countries since 1971.

French journalist Franklin Loufrani created “Smiley World” to sell, advertise and license the smiley face image in the United Kingdom and Europe.

One of the simplest typographical smiley face is “:)”, also known as classic smiley without a nose.

Others include classic smile with nose, “:-)”, for fancy people.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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