Bright, bold and instantly recognizable, is there any symbol more universal and than the smiley face? According to the Smithsonian Institution, the symbol as we know it now—the yellow circle with black eyes and mouth—was invented in 1963 by American graphic artist Harvey Ross Ball. He was employed by State Mutual Life Assurance Company to create a design that would boost employee morale. He came up with the design in 10 minutes and was paid $45. This original design was printed on over fifty million buttons and became the world-known symbol we know today. Because of its simplicity, there are several ways you can interpret a smiley face tattoo to communicate what you would like your new tattoo to say. Maybe you want to pair it with psychedelic colors and patterns like it was in the 60s, or maybe you’d like to take a page from graphic novel Watchman’s book and add a blood splatter for a more sinister rendition. That’s the beauty of a simple symbol like the smiley face: with a little creativity, it can become something entirely your own.