23
Aug
09

Origin of smilies


The very earliest known examples of the graphic are attributed to Harvey Ball, a commercial artist in Worcester, Massachusetts. He devised the face in 1963 for an insurance firm that 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.  (Read more)

The graphic was popularized in the early 1970s by Bernard and Murray Spain, who seized upon it in a campaign to sell novelty items. The two produced buttons as well as coffee mugs, t-shirts, bumper stickers and many other items emblazoned with the symbol and the phrase “Have a happy day” (devised by Gyula Bogar).

The smiley has become an essential part of Internet culture, with animated GIF and other image representations, as well as the ubiquitous text-based emoticon, ” 🙂 “.

KaoaniThere are some special type of animated smilies (the one on the left is an example) that have their origins in Japan. They are known as Kaoani. Kaoanis usually bounce up and down to look like they are floating. Kaoani comes from the Japanese kao (face) and ani (nimation). Kaoanis are also known as puffs, anime blobs, anikaos or anime emoticons. Wiki gives more information.

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