The History of Smiley
For over 40 years Smiley has shaped the way we share happiness and express ourselves through iconic and creative products found all over the world. Smiley is a truly unlimited brand, evergreen and unique in that it has influenced musical generations, social movements, popular culture and the pursuits of happiness. Over four decades on, Smiley has become more than just an icon, a brand and a lifestyle: it is now a spirit and a philosophy, reminding people just how powerful a smile can be. Take a look at the history of Smiley timeline below.
First Happy Face discovered
The first record of a Happy Face is found in Nîmes, France. This earliest recorded Happy Face was found on a stone in a cave and dates back to the Neolithic era, circa 2500 BC. The perfectly round stone is a pictograph showing two rounded eyes and an arched mouth - representing a smile.
Happy Faces on film poster
Happy Faces feature on the poster artwork for the award winning film Lili. This heartwarming story of a touchingly naïve French girl's relationship with a carnival puppeteer won an academy award and was also entered into the 1953 Cannes Film Festival.
Early Happy Face promotions
A Happy Face sweatshirt is worn by iconic rock star Mick Jagger in 1964 as part of a promotion on the New York based WMCA Radio Station which launched during the 1960's. In 1963, the State Mutual Life Insurance Company of Worcester Massachusetts, also uses The Smile badge as a part of a promotional campaign.
Smiley is born!
On Saturday, January 1st 1972 Smiley is born when French newspaper France Soir prints journalist Franklin Loufrani’s happiness promotion. In the promotion the Smiley logo is used to highlight good news stories. Loufrani soon trademarks Smiley and starts a brand that produces a range of Smiley merchandise and licenses the Smiley for promotional use.
Smiley becomes music icon
In the 1980's Smiley becomes an icon of electronic dance music and permanently establishes its identity in 'Pop' culture. The Smiley brand quickly begins to be globally recognised as the universal symbol of the electronic dance music culture that would continue to grow over the coming decades.
Emoticons are born!
In 1997, Nicolas Loufrani starts to create icons based on Smiley to replace the popular 'text emoticons' made solely of punctuation marks. From these world’s first graphical emoticons and 3D Smileys Loufrani publishes an online dictionary of emoticons translated against the pre-existing emoticons made of punctuation marks.
Smiley a household name
Smiley achieves 97% recognition as a symbol for positivity and happiness across the world, influencing fashion and music trends globally. In the 2000's Smiley gains huge exposure through its new Millennium campaign and placement in the cult DC Comics movie Watchmen.
Smiley a global phenomena
The happiness revolution becomes a major phenomena in music, entertainment, fashion & advertising. Billions of emoticons are sent everyday and Smiley grows 4.2 million fans on social media. Smiley collaborates with the world’s most influential fashion designers and Smiley features in London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony.
Smiley has been setting trends for decades and has always been at the forefront of pop culture. Because of this, the brand continues to be regularly worn by some of the biggest celebrities in the world, is rocked on the catwalk by some of the most famous designers on the planet and sits permanently at the centre of the world's press interest.
Welcome to the directory of Smiley emoticons. As you can see, we have loads of great emoticons to choose from. You’ll find an incredible selection of familiar Smiley faces, as well as thousands of Smileys you might never have seen before that are all available to you for FREE. Now you can easily express yourself to your friends when you are happy, sad, in love, grumpy (or experiencing just about any emotion) and share it on Facebook, Instagram, via email, or any instant messaging app. Just choose the emoticon that best suits your mood and either drag and drop them onto your desktop, or save them onto your phone to send!
Learn more about the last four decades of Smiley’s iconic relationship with music and the variety of influential and cutting edge music genres associated with Smiley. This is a place to come and enjoy some of the amazing content that continues to keep the brand at the forefront of all these music scenes and sub-cultures.
Spread some happiness and positivity into your day and enjoy a wide variety of fun, inspirational and uplifting content that you can share with friends or simply use to help motivate you into a happy mindset. After all, our job is to make you smile.
Read the latest news stories from the Smiley blog.