We all know the smiley – that happy face that for some inexplicable reason is frequently bright yellow – but did you know that it was designed in 1963? Yep, for over fifty years we’ve been showing our good feelings with a (often) yellow circle, two black dots for the eyes and a black arc for the mouth. On the internet, and then progressing into text messages and even into the offline world, the sideways smiley has become popular too. : )
Going back in time a bit the non-yellow smiley has popped up in posters, on t-shirts, in films and elsewhere since at least 1948. The smiley really broke through into popular culture in 1962 when WMCA, a New York radio station, ran a competition in which the prize was a yellow sweatshirt with a big yellow smiley on the front. Thousands were given away and the smiley was out there in the real world. Then, one year later, a life insurance company in Worcester, Massachusetts had smiley buttons made to boost employee morale and the town now likes to promote itself as the home of the smiley.