PG Live leads to lots of Smiley faces at Moonpig

Moonpig’s design director Geoff Sanderson (centre) with SmileyWorld’s marketing director Matt Winton (left) and brand director Daniel McGeehan
Moonpig’s design director Geoff Sanderson (centre) with SmileyWorld’s marketing director Matt Winton (left) and brand director Daniel McGeehan

A conversation at PG Live in June has resulted in Moonpig’s launch this week of greeting card, mug and t-shirt collection based on the original Smiley brand.

Geoff Sanderson, design director of Moonpig, said he went to PG Live “with a very open mind”, his eyes open for new concepts that would expand the online operator’s personalisation offering. One stand in particular put a smile on his face – that of SmileyWorld!

“Driven by the universal popularity of the emoji as an design icon our customers have been increasingly asking us for smiley designs.

So, having started the conversation at PG Live, we are now partnering with the most recognised and original brand in the market,” said Geoff.

The language of emoticons by the original Smiley brand that Moonpig is now offering for personalised cards.
The language of emoticons by the original Smiley brand that Moonpig is now offering for personalised cards.

Working with the Smiley Company, the Moonpig design team has created a number of different looks for 14 greeting cards, four mugs and four t-shirts based on the long-standing SmileyWorld brand, from a contemporary graphical treatment to photo uploads, floral depictions to emoticon phrased designs.

The iconic Smiley brand was created over 40 years ago by journalist Franklin Loufrani back in 1971 as a way to indicate to readers of the French newspaper France-Soir which stories contained good news. The Smiley Company was founded in London, England in 1996 to build on the Smiley brand. This year marks the 20th anniversary since Franklin’s son Nicolas (who heads up the company), first created hundreds of emoticons, way ahead of the followers.

Sarah-Jane Porter, Moonpig’s head of licensing is now on the GCA Council.
Sarah-Jane Porter, Moonpig’s head of licensing is now on the GCA Council.

For Moonpig, Smiley joining its line-up adds to the ‘whole world of happy’ approach that Sarah-Jane Porter, head of licensing for Moonpig (who has just become a GCA council member). It has been building in response to the current urge for positivity amid unsettling times.

Moonpig’s triumvirate of ‘happy’ brands are Happy Jackson, The Happy News and now Smiley.

“The three brands work really well together as they offer different values of emotional connection through positive words, authentic messaging, and emotional icons,” says Sarah-Jane.

Moonpig launched Happy News designs, created by Emily Coxhead, a few weeks ago and it has had a great take-up, boosted by a social media campaign. “Emily allowed us to use her own photos on the designs which lend a real authenticity to the occasions,” believes Sarah.

The Happy News collaboration includes the brand’s creator, Emily Coxhead featuring in the Moonpig design ideas and on the social media campaign.
The Happy News collaboration includes the brand’s creator, Emily Coxhead featuring in the Moonpig design ideas and on the social media campaign.

Click here to read a blog post on the Moonpig site about the collaboration.

However, Sarah also pays tribute to the Happy Jackson brand, created by Giles Andreae and Heather Flynn, as having in many ways started the happiness wave at Moonpig.

“We have worked with Happy Jackson for a number of years, the brand remains a consistent best seller. We launched the photo upload designs last year, which have performed really well.”

Summing up, Geoff adds that the ‘happy’ brands provide “a design style and tone that’s growing as a sub-set of humour or whimsical. Yes, it is kind of being driven by millennials – but also appeal to older dudes with millennial taste!”

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