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Smiley (eng. Smiley - “smiling”) or a happy face (☺ / ☻) - a stylized graphic image of a smiling human face; traditionally depicted as a yellow circle with two black dots representing the eyes and a black arc symbolizing the mouth. Emoticons are widely used in popular culture, the word "emoticon" is also often used as a general term for any emoticon (images of emotions are not graphics, but punctuation marks).
To signify positive emotions, a smiley (as an icon) was used in Slovakia in the 17th century: archivists found a document where a local lawyer with a smiley showed his satisfaction with the documents read. Four smiles (sad and funny) were used in the notes of his eccentric play “In Futurum” (1919) by Erwin Schulhof. The stylized image of a human face was used by director Ingmar Bergman in the film “Port City” to express emotions, but this image expressed suffering. Later, a happy face was used in the advertising campaigns of the films "Lily" in 1953 and "Gigi" in 1958. In 1958, when the WMCA radio station in New York held a contest for the most popular radio show of the time, “Cousin Brucey,” the listeners who answered the questions by phone were awarded the “Good Guys!” Hoodie, which included a picture of a happy face. Thousands of these hoodies were handed out in the late 1950s.
In 1963, Harvey Ball, an American commercial artist, was invited to an advertising company to create an image of a happy face, which was supposed to be used on buttons. The image he made in the form of dark oval eyes and folds on the sides of the mouth against a bright yellow background became the most iconic version.
In 1967, Ball's design was used in an advertising campaign for the University of Federal Savings and Loans in Seattle. Later, the person who organized the campaign, David Stern, ran for Seattle’s mayor in 1993, and he used the image again.
In 1972, Franklin Laufrani presented the image of the happy face of a European audience, giving it the name "Smiley". On January 1, the French newspaper France Soir launched the “Take Time to Smile” promotion. It used the emoticon logo to highlight good news, and people could choose positive and upbeat articles for reading.
In the early 1970s, the image was popularized by the brothers Bernard and Murray Spein from Philadelphia, who used it in a campaign to sell a new product. They produced buttons, coffee mugs, T-shirts, bumper stickers and many other items, decorated with a smiley and the phrase “Happy Day” (design by Gyula Bogar). The phrase later mutated into "Have a nice day." Working with the New York-based button maker NG Slater, they sold around 50 million images of a happy face by 1972 .
In the 1970s, the image of a happy face (accompanying his cliche of “A Good Day”) became a zombie for an empty mood, a symbol of the Nixon era in America and the transition from optimism of the “summer of love” to a new, more cynical decade. This motif appears in the era of “paranoid souls,” including in Smiling Faces Sometimes - The Temptations (and The Undisputed Truth, 1971), I'll Take You There - The Staple Singers (February 1972), Don't Call Me Brother - The O'Jays (November 1973), Back Stabbers - The O'Jays (August 1972), You Caught Me Smilin - Sly & the Family Stone (November 1971). This image was parodied in the famous scene from the movie Forrest Gump, when Forrest makes numerous runs across America and wipes his face with a T-shirt, which was given to him by a bankrupt seller, and on the T-shirt it’s like Forrest’s face, and you can see the image of a happy face, after which the idea dawns on him . A happy face could also be seen on the van in the series Mork and Mindy; the van was driven by the people who abducted him.
In 2005-2013, the emoticon was the official emblem of the All-Russian Youth Forum Seliger.