A logo created for a national courtesy drive launched by the Singapore Tourist Promotion Board in 1978. The three-month long effort beginning from April sought to help Singapore better attract tourists to the country. "By being courteous, we will induce them (tourists) to return or get their friends to come," explained Mr Lim Ewe Hin, the chairman of the campaign's working committee then.
The smiling face design was used on various campaign materials to get Singaporeans to smile more. According to Lim in a separate interview, "If Singapore becomes known as a rude and unsmiling country, we will lose out to smiling countries like Thailand and Bali."
While the design was uncredited, it bears a close resemblance to smiling face logos that appeared in Western pop culture since the 1950s. The most iconic being one designed by ad-man Harvey Ball in 1963 to boost company morale at the State Mutual Life Assurance Company. This logo of a round smiling face but with a closed mouth and looking straight on was trademarked in 1972.
Smiley was the face of Singapore's courtesy campaign until 1982 when Singa the Courtesy Lion mascot was introduced. The former was relegated to a supporting role and eventually dropped altogether.