Monday, April 13, 2009
Orgins of the Happy Face
From wikipedia we learn that the smiley face origins are very interesting.
The very earliest known examples of the graphic are attributed to Harvey Ball, a commercial artist in Worcester, Massachusetts. He decided to design the face in 1963 for the State Mutual Life Assurance Company, which wanted an internal campaign to improve employee morale. Ball never attempted to use, promote or trademark the image; it fell into the public domain in the United States before that could be accomplished. As a result, Ball never made any profit for the iconic image beyond his initial $45 fee. Also in 1963, a children's cartoon series titled The Funny Company began airing on television, which also featured a version of the smiley on the caps worn by the animated children.
David Stern of David Stern Inc., a Seattle-based advertising agency also claimed to have created the smiley. Stern reportedly developed his version in 1967 as part of an ad campaign for Washington Mutual, but says he did not think to trademark it.