Top 10 Smilies (Emoticons)

10. ICQ – I never really used ICQ, but these icons are kind of nice.
ICQ Emoticons

9. phpBB (WordPress uses these also) – Too be honest I don’t really like these smilies, but they are well done.
phpBB Emoticons

8. Trillian – These smilies don’t use a black line around them instead they use a slight gradient, thus they seem a little lighter than the other smiley sets.
Trillian Emoticons

7. Jason Sutherland’s (Circular Bold Standard) – Even though they are very similar to the standard emotion graphics that originally hit the web, they have a strong gradient that makes them look spherical.
Jason Sutherland Emoticons

6. PunBB – Not sure what it is, but these smilies work really well, even though they are the typical yellow.
PunBB Emoticons

5. Deviant Art – These are quite popular. One nice thing is that they aren’t all yellow. There is a slight gradient to them, but it’s not real apparent.
Deviant Art Emoticons

4. Pidgin – These are about the same size as the Invision smilies but again the designer did a great job.
Pidgin Emoticons

3. Smiley Central – Even though they were made by a spyware company I’ve seen a few people use these and they were very well done. There was 2 sets, 1 giant shiny set and another smaller set that looked more like typical smilies but they had lots more variety. They are often recognizable by the fact they often have thick yellow arms and legs instead of just black lines.
Smiley Central Emoticons

2. Invision – Invision Board smilies are bigger than normal smilies and often are tweaked with some anti-alias coloring around them. They are really well done and since they are bigger they can show their emotion a little more. Some are even bigger than a normal smiley since they will usually be inserted after a paragraph.
Invision Emoticons

1. Yahoo – I wish I could get the full collection of these in the original vectors. They show off the big versions on various parts of their web site. Yahoo did a great job of animating them.
Yahoo Emoticons


Some of the ugliest have to be the old solid color smilies, the flat diagonal shaded smilies, AIM and MSN Messenger. Gmail has some that look like text but nothing special.

AIM Emoticons MSN Messenger Emoticons Gmail Emoticons

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