Throughout the generations, Smileys have been a symbol of positivity with a message of peace. Hollywood movies, graphic design and even fine art have all seen appropriations. Creative people all over the world have kept it alive by woven and winking it into the zeitgeist and cultural fabric of our physical and digital universes. As Smiley is reinvented by new generations of activists, artists, and creators, it will continue to thrive and influence future generations.
In celebrating Smiley’s 50th anniversary milestone by paying tribute to all the fantastic artists who have subverted its iconic logo over the last 50 years, the brand asked acclaimed graffiti artist André Saraiva to reimagine its iconic logo. Although Uppsala was his birthplace, he developed his lifelong love for graffiti in Paris while growing up. Known for his cartoons and alter ego Mr. A, Andre was a pioneer in the early Parisian graffiti movement, which became his signature design in the fashion and art world across six continents.
André’s work has been exhibited worldwide in museums, shows, and galleries. Aside from his work as a graffiti artist, André is also a club owner and creative director in Paris, Tokyo, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Shanghai and St Tropez. During 2011 and 2015, he was creative director for L’Officiel, a French fashion magazine. There are many global brands André has worked with, including Off-White, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Uniqlo, and L’Oreal. Even as a successful hotelier, restaurateur, and nightlife pioneer, André hasn’t put away his spray can.
At the core of Smiley’s brand is the boundless positivity, which Andre wanted to encapsulate in the redesign of the logo. Following an era of unimaginable change, the design of the final artwork and the positive message it seeks to convey are particularly resonant. André Saraiva (Mr.A) comments: “Smiley has been part of all the subcultures I liked, for me it was the rave scene in the early 90s that it became a strong counter culture icon.
The symbol is truly iconic, and almost everybody makes their own story with it. We all have our own connection to it. Mr. A, the character I play, is a happy guy too, so when we decided to collaborate, it was almost like Mr. A meeting his big brother Smiley. ‘To me, it was the perfect collaboration, and I was waiting for it to occur.’ No other symbol in the history of graphic design has had such a dual function – serving both as a mainstream symbol of optimism and a counter-cultural subversive.
A two week fly poster campaign spreading smiles & positivity in the streets of major cities during fashion week in the build-up to store launches. The campaign will introduce the collaboration with André Saraiva (Mr.A) to the public and launch the media campaign for the partnership. A never-seen-before global street manifesto for positivity with features in arts and culture media as well as influencer outreach.
Locations & Dates :
Berlin – 14th February London – 16th February New York – 16th February Paris – 18th February Milan – 21st February Los Angeles – 21st February Barcelona – 1st March Amsterdam – 1st March Copenhagen – 1st March
Posters are available below. Download it below and join the positive movement!