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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

20 March 2013

Positive thinking. My new boss tells me all the time - "Alex, stop and smell the roses."
I tell her, "But Despina, sometimes it's hard to smell the roses for all the fertilizer."

And so sums up my attempts at positive thinking. Fortunately, American graphic artist Harvey Ross Ball was not as dark-humoured when he came up with his iconic design.

Yes, this was the origin of the smiley face you see before you.
Today's Daily Quota is a light-hearted (hah!) piece from The Smithsonian's Design Decoded section - it's called 'Who Really Invented the Smiley Face?', and it delivers as promised.

Ball's initial design in 1963 grew momentum rapidly. In the early 1970's, the Spain Brothers (owners of Hallmark) were able to copyright the image with a few modifications and the addition of a "Have a Happy Day".
It was also expanded upon in Europe, and grew into the Happy Company. Don't laugh - as of today, they bring in almost $130 million a year in revenue.

Its presence in popular culture, and life in general, cannot be overstated. It appeared as a recurring motif in my personal favourite work, the Watchmen graphic novel.

Read up on the history of this iconic design, and make that water cooler talk that little bit more enlightening.


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