Just Pants

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Text on Button Just Pants
Image Description

Black smiley face with text on mouth on yellow background.

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Just Pants was an American franchise headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.  It sold just pants and was the US's largest jean franchise in the late 1970s. The franchise's success decreased during the 1980s and 1990s because of increasing competition. The last store closed in 1998.

This button depicts a variation of the classic yellow smiley face which 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 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.



Catalog ID SM0004