Come and find me at Spitalfields Market every Monday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday

Smiley culture

From the summer of love and acid house right through to the present day the  Smiley image has become a universally recognised symbol.

Harvey Ross Ball an American commercial artist is recognised as the designer of the popular smiley graphic picture, which became an enduring and notable international icon. 


One company who had the foresight to turn the Smiley face into a huge business empire was the London based Smiley Company. This simple icon — a yellow circle, two dots, a smile — retained relevancy through 50 years of cultural movements, from free love to raves to the digital revolution. And in the process, it became a family-owned global licensing empire worth more than $500m per year.


The UK club scene was also a major factor in the Smiley face being adopted by the mainstream. In the late eighties The Second Summer of Love began, with the rise of the nightclubs Shoom, Future, Trip and The Haçienda in Manchester. 
The DJs from these nights were inspired to start there own events after holidaying on Ibiza in the summer of 1987. Ibiza was where acid house music first became popular in Europe and the after-hours nature of the club scene emerged.

In the early stages of the Second Summer of Love, the events and parties were often held in empty warehouses across the UK and were essentially illegal.
Flyers around towns and cities advertised events and information travelled by word of mouth between clubbers. Increasingly huge parties started to be put on around the M25 orbital of London by promoters including GenesisSunrise and Biology. In London, events were put on by Raindance, and at Labrynth/Four Aces.

The symbol of the time became the smiley face after the London crowd picked up the design when it was posted on one of the flyers from the third Shoom party. Revellers would soon become adorned in smiley t-shirts and badges.
The rest is history. 

So in homage to the timeless Smiley we’ve produced a print to remind people to keep smiling, keep moving forward and "Keep On Truckin".  

If you’d like to brighten up your walls and bring a little sunshine into your life
click on the image below and bag yourself one of our brand new
"Keep On Truckin" screen prints.
This is a one colour, signed edition of 100 on bright yellow paper.
The size is 50 x 70 cm's. 
£40 (Free UK postage) 


Until next time