A smiley (sometimes simply called a happy or smiling face) is a stylized representation of a smiling humanoid face, an important part of popular culture. The classic form designed in 1963 comprises a yellow circle with two black dots representing eyes and a black arc representing the mouth.
Ingmar Bergman's 1948 film Port of Call includes a scene where the unhappy Berit draws a sad face – closely resembling the modern "frowny", but including a dot for the nose – in lipstick on her mirror, before being interrupted. In 1953 and 1958, similar happy faces were used in promotional campaigns for the films Lili and Gigi.
In 1963, Harvey Ball, an American commercial artist, was employed by State Mutual Life Assurance Company of Worcester, Massachusetts (now known as Hanover Insurance) to create a happy face to raise the morale of the employees. Ball created the design in ten minutes and was paid $45 (equivalent to $330 USD in 2012 currency). His rendition, with bright yellow background, dark oval eyes, full smile and creases at the sides of the mouth was imprinted on more than fifty million buttons and was familiar around the world. The design is so simple that it is certain that similar versions were produced before 1963, including those cited above. However, Ball’s rendition, as described here, has become the most iconic version. In 1967, Seattle graphic artist, George Tenagi, drew his own version at the request of advertising agent, David Stern. Tenagi's design was used in an advertising campaign for Seattle-based University Federal Savings & Loan. The ad campaign was inspired by Charles Strouse' lyrics in Put on a Happy Face from the musical Bye Bye Birdie. Stern, the man behind this campaign, incorporated the Happy Face in his run for Seattle Mayor in 1993.
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