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An emoticon is a typographic display of a facial expression, used to convey emotion in a text-only medium. For a long time, apart from 🙂 and 🙁 most people couldn’t decipher them, despite being reinvented multiple times over human history.


Born in 1971 Nicolas Loufrani created the SMILEY trade mark and in 1972 the Take Time to Smile campaign was first published in France Soir, De Telegraff. Smiley’s simple message of ‘Take Time To Smile’ is still as relevant as ever, 50 years on!

Smiley has become more than just an icon or brand – it is a spirit a philosophy, a reminder just how powerful a smile can be.

1972, SMILEY born to highlight happy news stories and acts as a global symbol of positivity.

1996, SMILEY goes digital. The first SMILEY appears on an Alcatel mobile.

1997, Nicolas Loufrani creates and copyrights the worlds first graphical emoticions.

THE SMILEY dictionary launches on the internet in 2001, announcing “The birth of a universal language”.

2003, The official SMILEY dictionary becomes better known as ‘SMILEY World’

2012, SMILEY is seen bt 1Billion people as it featured in The London Olympics 2012 opening ceremony.


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