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Emoji: Back Again

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We’ve seen the popularity of Emoji skyrocket over the past few years. Our curiosity into the world of the delightful little communication tools becomes greater as the number of unified characters increases and the design/subjects become more diverse. With Apple’s latest iOS update and the addition of a new set of Emoji characters a few questions arise. Note: we mention Apple because their global market share of smartphone operating systems is around 16%, so its safe to say we feel that they are industry leaders. How do Emoji characters get designed and selected? How are Emoji curated? Which Emoji got added most recently? How far can Emoji and picture communication go? Can I use Emoji in my business or website? A variety of answers and recommendations provide good insight into the impact of this system of communication.

 

How do new Emoji get selected and created? ✍

Any person can submit a design for approval by the Unicode Emoji subcommittee on their website. One of their outlined responsibilities is “taking input from various sources and reviewing requests for new emoji characters.” Check out the design and online submission details HERE.

There are a number of factors that go in to deciding which designs or symbols will become the next Emoji. Some of the factors that determine potential design inclusion (as per Unicode’s Emoji Selection Factors) are:

  • Compatibility: Are these needed for compatibility with high-use emoji in existing systems, such as Gmail?
  • Expected usage level: Is there a high expected frequency of use? Does the candidate emoji have notable metaphorical references or symbolism? Does the candidate emoji evoke emotions such as happiness, sadness, excitement, fear, anger, or other emotions? Is the expected level of usage likely to continue into the future, or would it just be a fad?
  • Image distinctiveness: Is there a clearly recognizable image of a physical object that could serve as a paradigm, one that would be distinct enough from other emoji?
  • Completeness: Does the proposed pictograph fill a gap in existing types of emoji?
  • Frequently requested: Is it often requested of the Unicode Consortium, or of Unicode member companies?

 

How are Emoji curated? ?

Who could handle such a large and complex task of curating multiple sets of international technological communication tools? The answer is the ever-present and awesome Unicode Consortium.

The Unicode Consortium enables people around the world to use computers in any language. Our freely-available specifications and data form the foundation for software internationalization in all major operating systems, search engines, applications, and the World Wide Web.

Up until 2007 the design and implementation of the Emoji was left to individual companies and their carriers. However, this non-unified approach quickly became a detriment to the character language and caused many problems. There was no unity in the design and curation of the language.  As you can imagine this presents its own issues when looking at cross-platform (i.e.Mac Laptop to Windows Phone) and cross-carrier communication (i.e. Verizon Wireless cellphone to T-Mobile cellphone).

In 2009 the first Unicode characters explicitly deemed ‘Emoji’ were added to Unicode (Version 5.2). At this time the set of 722 characters was defined as the union of Emoji characters used by Japanese mobile phone carriers. Many updates have been made to the Emoji section of the Unicode since then, the most recent being in 2015.

 

What are the newest Emoji? ?

As of October 21, 2015 184 new Emoji have been added to Apple’s iOS 9.1. They range from a mysterious levitating man to the ever requested unicorn and hotdog. We see a movement to a global design contribution into a system that has its roots in Japanese inspiration and design. That’s pretty clear through the taco, Menorah, cricket bat and ball, among many other of the new additions. These include:

  • ? Slightly Smiling Face
  • ? Hugging Face
  • ? Thinking Face
  • ? Face With Rolling Eyes
  • ? Zipper-Mouth Face
  • ? Nerd Face
  • White Frowning Face
  • ? Slightly Frowning Face
  • ? Upside-Down Face
  • ? Face With Thermometer
  • ? Face With Head-Bandage
  • ? Money-Mouth Face
  • Helmet With White Cross
  • ? Sleuth or Spy
  • ? Speaking Head in Silhouette
  • ? Man in Business Suit Levitating
  • ? Reversed Hand With Middle Finger Extended
  • ? Sign of the Horns
  • ? Raised Hand With Fingers Splayed
  • Writing Hand
  • ? Eye
  • Heavy Heart Exclamation Mark Ornament
  • ? Hole
  • ? Right Anger Bubble
  • ? Dark Sunglasses
  • ? Shopping Bags
  • ? Prayer Beads
  • Skull and Crossbones
  • ? Robot Face
  • ? Lion Face
  • ? Unicorn Face
  • ? Chipmunk
  • ? Turkey
  • ? Dove of Peace
  • ? Crab
  • ? Spider
  • ? Spider Web
  • ? Scorpion
  • ? Rosette
  • Shamrock
  • ? Hot Pepper
  • ? Cheese Wedge
  • ? Hot Dog
  • ? Taco
  • ? Burrito
  • ? Popcorn
  • ? Bottle With Popping Cork
  • ? Fork and Knife With Plate
  • ? Amphora
  • ? World Map
  • ? Snow Capped Mountain
  • Mountain
  • ? Camping
  • ? Beach With Umbrella
  • ? Desert
  • ? Desert Island
  • ? National Park
  • ? Stadium
  • ? Classical Building
  • ? Building Construction
  • ? House Buildings
  • ? Cityscape
  • ? Derelict House Building
  • ? Place of Worship
  • ? Kaaba
  • ? Mosque
  • ? Synagogue
  • ? Frame With Picture
  • ? Oil Drum
  • ? Motorway
  • ? Railway Track
  • ? Passenger Ship
  • Ferry
  • ? Motor Boat
  • ? Small Airplane
  • ? Airplane Departure
  • ? Airplane Arriving
  • ? Satellite
  • ? Bellhop Bell
  • ? Sleeping Accommodation
  • ? Bed
  • ? Couch and Lamp
  • Stopwatch
  • Timer Clock
  • ? Mantelpiece Clock
  • ? Thermometer
  • Thunder Cloud and Rain
  • ? White Sun With Small Cloud
  • ? White Sun Behind Cloud
  • ? White Sun Behind Cloud With Rain
  • ? Cloud With Rain
  • ? Cloud With Snow
  • ? Cloud With Lightning
  • ? Cloud With Tornado
  • ? Fog
  • ? Wind Blowing Face
  • Umbrella
  • Umbrella on Ground
  • Snowman
  • Comet
  • ? Menorah With Nine Branches
  • ? Military Medal
  • ? Reminder Ribbon
  • ? Film Frames
  • ? Admission Tickets
  • ? Label
  • ? Golfer
  • Ice Skate
  • Skier
  • Person With Ball
  • ? Weight Lifter
  • ? Racing Car
  • ? Racing Motorcycle
  • ? Sports Medal
  • ? Cricket Bat and Ball
  • ? Volleyball
  • ? Field Hockey Stick and Ball
  • ? Ice Hockey Stick and Puck
  • ? Table Tennis Paddle and Ball
  • ? Badminton Racquet and Shuttlecock
  • ? Joystick
  • Black Right-Pointing Double Triangle With Vertical Bar
  • Black Right-Pointing Triangle With Double Vertical Bar
  • Black Left-Pointing Double Triangle With Vertical Bar
  • Double Vertical Bar
  • Black Square for Stop
  • Black Circle for Record
  • ? Studio Microphone
  • ? Level Slider
  • ? Control Knobs
  • *⃣ Keycap Asterisk
  • ? Desktop Computer
  • ? Printer
  • Keyboard
  • ? Three Button Mouse
  • ? Trackball
  • ? Film Projector
  • ? Camera With Flash
  • ? Candle
  • ? Rolled-Up Newspaper
  • ? Ballot Box With Ballot
  • ? Lower Left Fountain Pen
  • ? Lower Left Ballpoint Pen
  • ? Lower Left Paintbrush
  • ? Lower Left Crayon
  • ? Card Index Dividers
  • ? Spiral Note Pad
  • ? Spiral Calendar Pad
  • ? Linked Paperclips
  • ? Card File Box
  • ? File Cabinet
  • ? Wastebasket
  • ? Old Key
  • Pick
  • Hammer and Pick
  • ? Hammer and Wrench
  • Gear
  • ? Compression
  • Alembic
  • Scales
  • Chains
  • ? Dagger Knife
  • Crossed Swords
  • ? Shield
  • ? Bow and Arrow
  • Coffin
  • Funeral Urn
  • ? Waving White Flag
  • ? Waving Black Flag
  • Fleur-De-Lis
  • Atom Symbol
  • ? Om Symbol
  • Star of David
  • Wheel of Dharma
  • Yin Yang
  • Latin Cross
  • Orthodox Cross
  • Shinto Shrine
  • Star and Crescent
  • Peace Symbol
  • Radioactive Sign
  • Biohazard Sign
  • ?‍? Eye in Speech Bubble
  • ? Left Speech Bubble

 

Where will the expansive use of this pictorial language go? ?

Picture communication tools have a variety of uses and applications along with a varied and long standing history. They can be used as a way to teach someone a foreign language through visual queues, they can often convey emotion more directly, clearly, and concisely, and they provide alternatives to widely accepted text based written communication. Did you know that The Chauvet-Pont-d’Arc Cave in southern France is a cave that contains the earliest known and best preserved figurative cave paintings in the world? Some have estimated the cave drawings to be over 30,000 years old! We may never really know exactly why these paintings and images exist but its very possible they were created as a way to express, communicate, and record. Emoji and other picture languages are created with some of the same intentions. There is no question that both written/grammatical language and proto-writing (using ideographic and mnemonic) have their plusses and minuses. In the end, maybe it’s not a question of which one works best but maybe it is a question of which application/form of communication is suitable for individual situations.

 

How can I creatively use Emoji in by business? ?

Did you know that many current web browsers, websites, cell phones, mobile applications, mobile webpages, and computer/mobile operating systems have emoji support? They can be used to spruce up a heading on your website or ecommerce store, make your newsletter and copy designs more exciting,  or make paragraph content stand out to the reader. They can be applied anywhere that you want normal type to stand out! As the variety of symbols increases so does their potential application!

 

Can I have some of those geeky details? ?

Think you’ve got what it takes to design an Emoji? Check out for submission details and requirements HERE.

Read UniCode’s Emoji Technical Report HERE. This document includes an Introduction to Emoji, Emoji design guidelines, considerations for deciding which characters are considered Emoji, operating system Emoji presentation, ordering and grouping of emoji, system methodology for input, searching Emoji input systems, and longer term curation and moderating solutions.

I want to know more about the Chauvet Cave and the history of writing!

How do I enter Emoji in text applications? The Mac Emoji keyboard shortcut is really easy to remember: Command + Control + Spacebar. Windows 10 instructions HERE

 

 

#Denver #Colorado #Colfax #Emoji #Websites #Ecommerce #History #Technology #Langauge #Communication #Pictures #BusinessApplication

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