Yellow button with black text surrounding a smiley face
Art Express Chicago
“Don’t Worry Be Happy” is a phrase used most often in the 1960s. It was spoken first by Indian Spiritual Guru Meher Baba 1894-1969. Baba believed himself to be an Avatar which is God in human form. In 1988, the musician Bobby McFerrin released a song titled “Don’t Worry Be Happy” and it was the first a cappella song to reach the Billboard 100.
The classic yellow smiley face is comprised of a yellow circle, two black dots for eyes, and a black arc ending in serifs for a mouth. It was designed in 1963 by commercial artist, Harvey Ross Ball. Ball was commissioned by The State Mutual Life Insurance Company to create a happy face to raise the morale of their employees. His version was created in 10 minutes. The design was printed onto more than 50 million buttons. Neither Ball nor the company copyrighted this smiley, so it was continually used by other businesses in their promotions.
The design and concept is quite simple and was definitely used before Ball’s 1963 version. However, his has become the most iconic. Variations have been used for advertising campaigns and in popular culture ever since.
About Harvey Ball. (n.d.). Retrieved September 12, 2020, from https://www.worldsmileday.com/index.php/article-index/item/380-about-har...
Don't Worry, Be Happy. (2020, September 24). Retrieved September 27, 2020, from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don't_Worry,_Be_Happy