Tattoos with a Smile

In 1963, artist Harvey Ball was asked by an advertising agency to create a happy face that would appear on promotional buttons. The design that he came up with is what we recognize today as the “smiley face”. This is the yellow circle with two dots for eyes and an arc for a mouth. Since its inception, the smiley face has gone on to inspire a series of other icons that represent various emotions. These are commonly known as emoticons. :)


Smiley Face Tattoos

Bold symbols such as the smiley face are popular tattoo designs, as they are easy to recognize from a distance. The basic smiley design elicits a happy response in the viewer, as it has no social, political or religious connotations.






Evil Smiley Face Tattoos

There are a number of popular evil smiley face tattoo designs available. These incorporate design elements that are symbolic of evil, such as skeletons, devil’s horns or blood. In many evil smiley tattoos, the smiley face design has been changed to have a diabolical grin.

 Evil Grinning Smiley Face Tattoo

Skeleton Grin Smiley Face Tattoo



Smiley Face Tattoo Designs

Hundreds of smiley face tattoo designs exist. Most of them use the traditional yellow color of Harvey Ball’s original image, but many of them have additional design elements that give the smiley face more character. The meaning of these tattoos can be personal in nature or a comment by the bearer of the tattoo on social or cultural issues.

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One Comment to Tattoos with a Smile
    • Sebastian Swiecki
    • Just wanted to let you know that I also have a grinning face tattooed on my shoulder, I designed it and had my friend tattoo it. it is similar to the “evil smiley face” one with the cross-bones. Mine is a lot better done though, so if you would like a picture of it, please feel free to email me. Have a good day :D

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