What does happiness look like to you? A smile? A robust laugh? A hug? A taco? All of the above you say? Well, it seems simple enough but actually happiness is not the same everywhere you go and it looks like we Americans lead the race when it comes to the warm and fuzzy.

It’s been said that Americans are for the most part, a happy bunch, they smile a lot and tend to display their emotions way more than other people in different parts of the world. According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, the happiness fairies had to literally teach Russian McDonald’s restaurant employees how to be cheerful when they came on the scene in 1990. Let that sink in for a minute. How exactly does one do that?

Happiness has emerged over the centuries and decades as we look at the work of Sacrates and Confucius, but especially when Walt Disney branded his empire, “the happiest place on earth.” What makes it so happy? The sprawling property? The enticing restaurants? The brightly colored cartoon characters roaming about? The exhilarating rides and expensive gift shoppes? Yes, all of that and then some!

And what genius, came up with the ultimate in happiness, the happy meal? Those wonderful little pick-me-ups that tired parents look forward to grabbing for the kids when a homemade dinner just isn’t going to happen? Now that’s happiness right there! The packaging is fun and bright, big bold colors and let’s not forget the toy inside. Definitely every mom and dads best friend on a frazzled Friday night.

But if we were to examine what design elements are used to denote happiness, perhaps the most iconic of all time, the smiley face. Bright yellow, big black eyes, a recognizable icon just about anywhere you go. And today we have emojis that evoke happiness, love, tears of joy and so much more. Think about parties, they evoke joy and happiness, brightly decorated venues, colorful party favors, the list goes on and on. Just walk into any Party City and you can’t help but smile.

So there you have it, from brightly colored packages and big, bold colors and designs, happiness looks different to many of us but one thing is for sure, if you end your text sentence with a smiley face, it more than likely will emit a smile from the person on the other end.




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