This is the story of how the iconic Smiley took on a different dimension when Nicolas Loufrani took the reigns of the Smiley company over from his father and founder Franklin Loufrani.

Taking advantage of the Internet boom in the late 90s, he expanded to include other emotions, and emoticons were born! Working with designers in New York, he created a dictionary containing thousands of Smileys, which when released in 1998 became the world’s first graphical emoticons. This one idea allowed Smiley to diversify and create SmileyWorld that expressed thousands of emotions and could be applied to a wide range of products.


This series from Aviva France focusses on the history of 6 iconic French businessmen, whose ideas have had a real impact on the way their industries have developed around them. We at Smiley are proud that Nicolas was chosen by Aviva as one of the faces of this fantastic campaign, which will be featured on their French site and promoted via social media over the next month.

For more information visit their website: