The Happy Human Symbol

Happy Human original w100

The Happy Human is the international symbol of Humanism.

You can download versions of the original symbol at the bottom of this page.It is used around the world in various forms and flavours by national and local humanist organisations and by the International Humanist and Ethical Union.

History of the Happy Human

The symbol was chosen in a competition organised by the British Humanist Association in 1965. It was designed by Dennis Barrington.

The BHA used the original Happy Human (first known as the Happy Man) in its own logo for some years and encouraged use of the symbol around the world, either in its original form or tailored for individual organisations.

Here are just three examples;

 American Humanist logo small
 IHEU logo small
GALHA logo small

American Humanist Association version

International Humanist and Ethical Union version Gay and Lesbian Humanist Association version

In 2005 the Norwegian Humanist Association offered the world a slightly re-designed, curved version of the Happy Human (see the “2005” downloads below).

In recent years the BHA itself has adopted a distinctive “Bendy Human” logo for its own use.

BHA logo without tag

Current variation used by the British Humanist Association

In 2009 then-Chief Executive of the BHA, Hanne Stinson, was sponsored to get a tattoo of the bendy Happy Human from the BHA logo, raising money for the organisation. The size of the tattoo increased in size based on number of donations made!

Using the symbol

The British Humanist Association holds the trademark for the original Happy Human symbol and freely licenses the design and its derivations for use by bona fide humanist organisations around the world.

Where organisations, such as the BHA, have adopted a distinct version of the Happy Human as their own logo, then – as with any organisation’s official branding – other organisations should not copy such modified designs wholesale. (Organisations may need to protect the boundary between their work/identity and that of other humanist organisations, independent groups or individual humanists. This can be very important in company and charity law.)

The BHA has digital “affiliation badges” available for use by local, student and special interest groups which affiliate to the national organisation.


These images of the Happy Human can be used freely to illustrate or refer to Humanism, and may be adapted or modified by genuine humanist organisations for their own use.