The Wonder Stuff

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Yellow button with black smiley face and text in the smile. 

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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.

The Wonder Stuff is a British alternative rock band active in the late 80s and early 90s, who took a hiatus, then reunited in the year 2000 to the present day. They have one number 1 single for the song, “Dizzy,” and have six songs on the Billboard Alternative Songs Chart in the United States.


About Harvey Ball. (n.d.). Retrieved September 12, 2020, from…

(n.d.). Retrieved from

Catalog ID SM0131