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.
The first Happy Face discovered
The first record of a Happy Face is found in France on a stone in a cave in Nîmes.
Happy Faces appears on film poster
Happy Faces feature on the poster artwork for Academy Award winning film Lili.
Early Happy Face promotions
Happy Face sweatshirt worn by iconic rock star Mick Jagger in 1964 as part of a promotion on radio station WMCA which launched during 1960 in the USA. In 1963, the State Mutual Life Insurance Company also uses The Smile badge as a part of a promotional campaign.
Smiley is born
On Saturday 1st January 1972, Smiley was born when French newspaper France Soir prints journalist Franklin Loufrani’s happiness promotion, in which he uses the Smiley logo to highlight good news stories. Loufrani trademarks Smiley and starts a brand that produces a range of Smiley merchandise and also licenses it for promotional use.
Smiley becomes icon of electronic dance music
Smiley begins to be globally recognised as an icon with the brand establishing its identity in 'Pop' culture and becoming the universal symbol of electronic dance music culture.
Emoticons are born
In 1997, Nicolas Loufrani starts to create icons based on Smiley to replace 'text emoticons' made solely of punctuation marks and is responsible for creating the world’s first graphical emoticons and 3D Smileys. From these Loufrani published an online dictionary of emoticons which translated against the pre existing emoticons made of punctuation marks.
Smiley becomes a household name
Smiley has 97% recognition as a symbol for positivity and happiness across the world, influencing fashion and music trends the world over and gaining huge exposure through its new Millenium campaign, as well as placement in cult DC Comics movie Watchmen.
Smiley becomes a global phenomena
The happiness revolution becomes a major phenomena in music, entertainment, fashion & advertising. Smiley grows 4.2 million fans on social media & billions of emoticons are sent each day. Smiley collaborates with the world’s most influential fashion designers & features, as pictured left, 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.