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History of emofaces.com (formerly smiley-faces.com)

1998 The first beginnings

Emofaces.com is created by me, Marijn Kampf. I created my first emoface in 1998, when it was called smiley, (more later on the name change). During my student days I tended to scribble all types of drawings among my notes. One particularly boring lecture, I started thinking of a figure of which I could draw as many variations as possible. My thoughts soon turned to the 60's classic yellow face. The first creations were the cactus and pig emofaces.

Around the same time I was learning to use a graphics suite on the computer. I thought I might as well learn to use it drawing something fun. Being quite proud of my early creations I decided to share them on my personal website (the emofaces are no longer there, though).

2000 Smiley-faces.com

Skip ahead about two years and over a hundred emofaces and I started to think about creating a separate home for them. After some hard work they found their own home on smiley-faces.com, which expanded over time to include wallpapers, screen saver, t-shirts and a forum.

All was set for a happy ending but then I started to receive e-mails and letters from a company claiming a trademark on the smiley symbol and the word. I personally don't believe his claim is true, but unfortunately my site wasn't (and isn't) turning over USD 100,000,000* in sales, and I couldn't afford the high cost of expensive trademark lawyers to find out.

BTW if his claims are true he has every right to protect his claim. Regardless, whether his claims are true, kudos to him for being a smart businessman and trademarking it.

2002 Smiling-faces.com

Anyway, back to the story at hand. Not having the capital to prove him right or wrong I decided to change the name of my site to from smiley-faces.com to smiling-faces.com and change the design of my creations.

Enter the eary years, running from 2002 to 2007. Adding the ears wasn't too popular with most of the visitors to the site. Monkeys being one of the more friendly descriptions I received in my e-mails. Over time however, the new designs grew their own following.

2007 Emofaces.com

I finished my studies and got a proper job which limited the time I could spend on my websites somewhat. Having changed the look of all my designs once I started thinking of different possibilities. After quite a long time of spending evenings and weekends I created two additional versions of my emofaces. All three - emoticons, buddy icons and smilies - can now be enjoyed on emofaces.com. So a happy ending after all!

Thank you for visiting and enjoy!

Marijn

* Their website no longer lists this figure but archive.org shows the website with their claim: sales page.