Illustration of a smiley face in blue with a blue bow tie with yellow text on it on a yellow background
DEB-KAY CO., HBG., PA
Tastee Freez is a soft serve ice cream which can be found at TasteeFreez fast food restaurants. The first Tastee Freez was established in Illinois in 1950 by Leo Moranz and Harry Axene. The business franchised several locations and expanded the Tastee Freez brand. In 1952 there were 315 locations, and by 1957 there were almost 1800. Though Tastee Freez expanded its menu to include a variety of food items along with their famous Tastee Freez soft serve, the number of locations have declined in recent decades.
This button is a variation on the classic yellow smiley face that 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.