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Inventor of the 'Smiley' talks emoji's

Monday, July 31, 2017 - 02:03

The son of the man who created the Smiley emoticon in the 1970's says that he took over his fathers' business and revolutionised communication. Sarah Mills reports.

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It is the mother of all emojis. 45 years ago, Franklin Loufrani created a new icon which was printed in a French newspaper on New Year's Day. The idea was to bring happiness during a difficult time - and so the smiley was born. For 25 years the smiley brand logo was licensed to a variety of products and it became a merchandising phenomenon until the mid-90's. Today Franklin's son Nicolas runs the business. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CREATIVE CHIEF SMILEYWORLD LTD, NICOLAS LOUFRANI, SAYING: "My first idea was that I had to give life to the logo. It had always been a flat logo with this black outline and the same smile. I started changing the emotions creating lots of different emotions to express various feelings. I realized that they could become a language on their own or a way to communicate" The smiley emoticon is big business - according to the company's website, The Smiley Company generates an annual turnover of 265 million US dollars. And now the popularity of all kinds of emoticons can be seen on the big screen in animation 'The Emoji Movie' Star Trek actor, Sir Parick Stewart, lends his voice and praises one of the most used emoticons. (SOUNDBITE) (English) SIR. PATRICK STEWART, SAYING: "What's fun about 'Poop' is that he has insight into who and what he is and out of that insight comes a sense of humor which allows him to use euphemisms about what he represents in a witty way." Credit for the development from the 'Smiley' to what we know as the emoji is given to Apple and the introduction of smartphones. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CREATIVE CHIEF SMILEYWORLD LTD, NICOLAS LOUFRANI, SAYING: "What was the next stage and what enabled the phenomenon we see today was the was the emoji was thanks to Apple and the first smartphone so having a smartphone enabled people to insert icons in their text messages." It seems emojis are here to stay.

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Inventor of the 'Smiley' talks emoji's

Monday, July 31, 2017 - 02:03