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A smiley, smiley face, happy face, or :) is a stylized representation of a smiling humanoid face, commonly occurring in popular culture. It is commonly represented as a yellow (many other colors are also used) circle (or sphere) with two black dots representing eyes and a black arc representing the mouth. "Smiley" is also sometimes used as a generic term for any emoticon :)
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The first happy face recorded on film can be seen in Ingmar Bergman's 1948 film "Hamnstad". Later on, in 1953 and 1958, the happy face was used in promotional campaigns for motion pictures Lili and Gigi, respectively.
The happy face was first introduced to popular culture in 1962 when the WMCA radio station in New York ran a competition for the most popular radio show at the time, "Cousin Brucie". Listeners who answered their phone "WMCA Good Guys!" were rewarded with a "WMCA good guys" sweatshirt that incorporated a happy face into its design. Thousands of these sweatshirts were given away. The WMCA smiley was yellow with black dots as eyes, but it had a slightly crooked smile instead of a full smile, and no creases in the mouth.
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. 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, but Ball’s rendition as described here became the most iconic version.
In 1967, Ball's design was used in an advertising campaign for Seattle-based University Federal Savings & Loan. This was later used when the man behind this campaign, David Stern, ran for Seattle Mayor in 1993.
In 1972, Franklin Loufrani introduced the happy face to a European audience, giving it the name "Smiley". On January 1, the "take the time to smiley" promotion was launched in the French newspaper France Soir. The Smiley logo was used to highlight all good news so people could choose to read positive and uplifting articles.
The graphic was popularized in the early 1970s by Philadelphia brothers Bernard and Murray Spain, who seized upon it in September 1970 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) which mutated into "have a nice day". Working with New York button manufacturer NG Slater, some 50 million happy face badges were produced by 1972.
In the 1970s, the happy face (and the accompanying "have a nice day" mantra) is also said[by whom?] to have become a zombifying hollow sentiment, emblematic of Nixon-era America and the passing from the optimism of the Summer of Love into the more cynical decade that followed. This motif is evidenced in the era of "paranoid soul" such as "Smiling Faces Sometimes" (released by The Temptations in April 1971, and made a hit by The Undisputed Truth in July 1971), "I'll Take You There" (The Staples Singers, 1972), "Don't Call Me Brother" (The O'Jays, 1973), "Back Stabbers" (The O'Jays), and "You Caught Me Smilin'" (Sly and the Family Stone, 1971). The origins of this was parodied in a famous scene from the movie Forrest Gump when Forrest is on his multiple jogs across America, and wipes his face on a T shirt given him by a struggling salesman, and on the shirt, as if transferred there by Forrest's face, is the image of the happy face, whereupon the man gets his idea.
In the UK, the happy face has been associated with psychedelic culture since Ubi Dwyer and the Windsor Free Festival in the 1970s and the dance music culture that emerged during the second summer of love in the late 1980s. The association was cemented when the band Bomb The Bass used an extracted smiley from Watchmen on the centre of its Beat Dis hit single.
The smiley is the printable version of characters 1 and 2 of (black-and-white versions of) codepage 437 (1981) of the first IBM PC and all subsequent PC compatible computers. For modern computers, all versions of Microsoft Windows after Windows 95 can use the smiley as part of Windows Glyph List 4, although some computer fonts miss some characters, and some characters cannot be reproduced by programs not compatible with Unicode. It also appears in Unicode's Basic Multilingual Plane.
|Unicode smiley characters :|
|☺||U+263A or alt(+)1||White Smiling Face|
|☻||U+263B or alt(+)2||Black Smiling Face|
|Unicode also contains the "sad" face:|
|☹||U+2639||White Frowning Face|
The rights to the Smiley trademark in one hundred countries are owned by the Smiley company. Its subsidiary SmileyWorld Ltd in London headed by Nicolas Loufrani  is creating all the Smiley products sold throughout the world. The Smiley brand and logo have a huge exposure through licensees from industries such as clothing, home decor, perfumes, plush, stationery, publishing, promotional campaigns... The Smiley Company is one of the 100 biggest licensing companies in the world, with a turnover of US$167 million. The first Smiley shop has open in London in the Boxpark shopping mall in December 2011.
In 1997, Franklin Loufrani and Smiley World attempted to acquire trademark rights to the symbol (and even to the word "smiley" itself) in the United States. This brought Loufrani into conflict with Wal-Mart, which had begun prominently featuring a happy face in its "Rolling Back Prices" campaign over a year earlier. Wal-Mart responded first by trying to block Loufrani's application, then later by trying to register the smiley face themselves; Loufrani in turn sued to stop Wal-Mart's application, and in 2002 the issue went to court, where it would languish for seven years before a decision.
Wal-mart began phasing out the smiley face on its vests and its website in 2006. Despite that, Wal-Mart sued an online parodist for alleged "trademark infringement" after he used the symbol (as well as various portmanteaus of "Wal-", such as "Walocaust"); and they lost that case in March 2008, when the judge declared that the smiley face is not a "distinctive" mark, and therefore cannot be trademarked by anyone—and thus, Wal-Mart has no claim to it.