The Story Of The Smiley Company

  • 7 years ago
There’s a brand behind the fluorescent smiley face that dominated the 90s rave scene, prudently named The Smiley Company. Now, after decades of running it as a licensing and merchandising company, its founder’s son and self-styled ‘beloved leader’ has set his sights on greater things for the company.

Rich in both heritage and purpose, the Smiley story is one most brands would kill for. 45 years ago Franklin Loufrani developed a promotion on a French newspaper France Soir to highlight positive news by putting a little smiley face next to the print title’s happier stories. He went on to trademark the icon and form The Smiley Company to handle its licensing and merchandising opportunities.

These operations pottered on until the 90s when Loufrani’s son Nicholas officially joined the business with a mind to shake things up. Arguably he started this process with his job title, which in full reads: creative mastermind, spiritual guide, beloved leader and commander-in-chief of the happiness forces.