A lot of people don't need a particular day to provoke them to smile. For those who don't smile that often, perhaps knowing that the first Friday in October every year is World Smile Day will cause them to turn that frown upside down into a smile. That particular day was set aside by Harvey Ball. You probably don't know who Harvey Ball is, but you use something he created almost daily.

Harvey Ball

The Worchester, Massachusetts native who lived from July 10, 1921 to April 12, 2001 was a commercial artist who created the smiley face in 1963 long before emojis became popular.

He was commissioned by the State Mutual Life Assurance Company to design the symbol to boost company employee morale when it was at an all-time low. The freelance artist came up with the design in only ten minutes and was paid $45 for it.

It was not until 1999 that the first World Smile Day was held to recognize the artist who got the public hooked on the symbol. After the artist died in 2001, a foundation was established in his memory. The mission of the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation is to help improve this world with one smile at a time. People can use the symbol on their social media postings and in other communication to remind people to smile.

The authentic Smiley Face

Not every smiley face is an authentic Harvey Ball's symbol.

There have been hundreds of replicas in different colors, sizes, and various designs. However, there are three distinguishing features in Harvey's creation. First of all, the real one is always bright yellow and no other color. The eyes are narrow and oval with the right eye deliberately larger than the left. The mouth is slightly off center.

In other words, the face is not perfect, and it was not meant to be.

Every year in Worcester, people celebrate with a hot air balloon, activities, and the world's largest human smiley face.The day is also celebrated around the world in honor of the yellow illustration. Since the symbol is so popular, it is found on plenty of items including bedspreads, sheets, bath towels, and items used around the house.

The big yellow face is found on notebooks, stationery, and kids' school supplies.

In a world where there is so much pain, seeing a smiley face will more than likely brighten your day. However, you do not have to wait for someone to brighten your day. Instead, you can lift someone's spirit by sending a smiley face in whatever fashion you desire. It will put a smile on the person's face when he or she receives it.