Welcome to Worldsmile.org

Thank you for visiting the online home of The Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation.

This site contains information about the Foundation, its mission, and activities.  Also provided is information and links for Smiley Licensing and Merchandising.

For any and all licensing information please contact Isao Takahashi, President, JASS International at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or through the links provided.

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About Smiley

In 1963, State Mutual Life Assurance Company in Worcester faced a problem. The Worcester-based firm had purchased Guarantee Mutual Company of Ohio the previous year to work with Worcester Mutual Fire Insurance Company, a State Mutual subsidiary.

Low employee morale in the merged companies prompted State Mutual Vice President John Adam, Jr. to suggest a "friendship campaign." He asked Joy Young, Assistant Director of Sales and Marketing, to develop something.

Original Smiley ButtonYoung turned to Worcester freelance artist Harvey Ball, requesting he create a little smile to be used on buttons, desk cards and posters. Ball drew a smile but, not satisfied with the result; he added two eyes, making a smiley face. The whole drawing, he recalled later, took ten minutes. He was paid $240 for the entire campaign, and never received any further profit from his smiley face design.

Today, State Mutual is Allmerica Financial, and Worcester Mutual Fire Insurance is no longer a subsidiary of State Mutual. Now called Worcester Insurance Company, it still uses the smiley face on its promotional material.

Harvey BallThe smiley face attained a life of its own well beyond the company's walls. Harvey Ball's design sparked a fad that swept the nation in the early 1970s. By 1971, smiley face was the hottest selling image in the country: an estimated fifty million smiley buttons alone had been sold, and the image appeared on countless other products as well.

Eventually, smiley's popularity began to wane, and by the mid-1970s the fad was over. The image never entirely disappeared though, and began to make a significant comeback in the late 1980s, with the resurgence of sixties-and seventies-inspired symbols, fashions, and music. Smiley's popularity continues today, its appeal both universal and enduring.

Visit Smiley Cafe Store

Smiley CafeWe offer a variety of smiley branded clothing items, merchandise, and World Smile Day items through Cafe Press.

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Visit Smiley Stamp Store

smiley stamp cafeIn addition to the Smiley Cafe we offer additional branded items including US postage stamps through Zazzle..

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Visit Smiley Merchandising


We encourage manufacturers to consider using our smiley logos on products and we encourage retailers to consider carrying those products.

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