Illustration for A Book of Smileys (Curated by Tsto)

The history of typography has come full circle, from cave paintings to the abstraction into individual letters, and back to using pictures of things to express emotions like joy or desire.

The “happy face” is happiness commoditized. It's there to tell us we should (or must!) be happy about our life. In this publication we wanted to explore both the nostalgic and the visionary dimensions of a visual language that’s becoming more and more twisted up in self-references and meta-discussion.

To expand the vocabulary of expressable emotions we asked a wide range of friends, artists, designers, musicians and writers to contemplate about smileys and produce a smiley of their own.


Pietari Kaakkomäki. Dreams and Designs in Color. HEL-FI