Smiling Through The '60s And '70s: The Smiley Face's Story

By | January 4, 2018

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A smiley face patch was always one of the offerings in comic-book patch advertisements; in 1986, Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons brought the smiley face back in 'Watchmen.' Source: Flickr, Pinterest

The smiley face -- that grinning, noseless, circular yellow visage you've seen a million times, dates to 1963. Though we might associate the smiley face with the '70s, when it seemed ubiquitous on patches and posters, smiley faces were around long before that, and the face itself wasn't necessarily stoned. But hippies and stoners embraced the face nonetheless, and it's been an emblem of old-school happiness ever since.

The Designer

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Harvey Ross Ball

The smiley face was invented by the late Harvey Ross Ball. Ball hailed from Worcester, Massachusetts. Ball was a graphic artist who made a living creating catchy graphics for advertising purposes.