World Smile Day 2022: Man behind 'Smiley emoji', history behind this day, and significance

World Smile day is on October 7; the day was started by an American graphic artist 'Harvey Ball' in 1999

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Thursday, October 06, 2022, 08:55 PM IST
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Harvey Ball: The artist who designed the 'Smiley emoji' | sourced

World Smile day is celebrated on the first Friday of October each year. This year, the first Friday that is October 7 will be celebrated as 'World Smile Day'. The day was started by an American graphic artist 'Harvey Ball' from Worcester, Massachusetts. He created the first ever smiley emoji in 1963 for a client of his advertising agency.

Smiley emoji is the one with a smile on a yellow face. It is used to express emotions like happiness, positivity, pleasure, friendliness.

The artist created the smiley face for an insurance company as the company wanted to create an image to boost the morale of its employees. He therefore, then created the first ever smiley.

Ball realised that the smiley emoji is getting commercialized. So, this would lessen the meaning of the actual thought behind this emoji, the power of smiling. The symbol is widely used till today in key chains, balls, clothing, comic books, coffee mugs, diaries, croceries and more. So, the artist thought a day in a year should atleast be dedicated to smiling. Hence World Smile Day came into existence in 1999 on first friday of October every year.

A foundation was created in 2001 in memory of Harvey Ball after his death known as 'Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation'. The foundation raises money for small, grassroots charities that would otherwise receive little attention or funding.

The theme for World Smile Day every year is to "Take the WORLD SMILE DAY CHALLENGE. Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile."

The day is observed to encourage people to do acts of kindness and make another person happy. Smiling and laughing improves one's overall health and boosts immune system. It increases feelings of positivity, gratitude and friendliness among people.

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