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Grey and antique white premium weight slub cotton wide stripe Broder tee with water based ink print featuring original 1960's Happy Face design
American graphic artist and ad man Harvey Ball came up with the smiling face design in 1963 when he was commissioned to create a graphic to raise morale among the employees of an insurance company. The State Mutual Life Assurance Company made posters, buttons, and signs adorned with the jaundiced grin in the attempt to get their employees to smile more. The Smiling face was the perfect feel good symbol of a moment when 1960s ideas of freedom, hedonism and experimentation hit the American masses. The fad was so mainstream that it bypassed the iconography of post-hippy rock, which, still remaining in thrall to counter-cultural ideas, ignored such mass pablum and utilised the design on LSD tabs and pills. By the 1970's the graphic began to help return a nation’s optimism during the Vietnam War (or provide grunts with an ironic addition to their helmets).