Daily papers: an artist’s crafty emojis

The Guardian: Kashia Kennedy uses a scalpel, tweezers and double-sided tape to create these tiny works, which easily fit in the palm of a hand for her #emojieveryday on Instagram.

“For some reason in 80-plus days I haven’t been able to bear the thought of skipping a day. I’d be so annoyed with myself.”


The inventor of emoji on his famous creations

The Guardian: MoMA in New York has just added the first emoji to their collection – Shigetaka Kurita explains how he designed them.

The original set of 176 emojis, acquired by MoMA

“I was part of a team that spent about two years designing the first emoji for the launch of i-mode [NTT DoCoMo’s mobile internet system] in 1999. It limited users to up to 250 characters in an email, so we thought emoji would be a quick and easy way for them to communicate. Plus using only words in such a short message could lead to misunderstandings … It’s difficult to express yourself properly in so few characters.”


[Updated: Making this a Guardian / emoji trifecta post.]

The Emojibator: how a euphemistic fruit became an actual sex toy

The idea of turning an eggplant (emoji-speak for penis) into a vibrator started out as a late-night joke. Now founder Jaime Jandler can’t make enough.

The Emojibator

“Our mission is to destigmatize masturbation and promote healthy sexuality” – one emoji-themed sex toy at a time. “We don’t think sex needs to be taken seriously all the time,” he added. “So we’ll make more unique products that are both intimate and silly.”

See also

  • That emoji does not mean what you think it means — Since emoji are designed differently across platforms, sometimes your text messages might get lost in translation.
  • 100 new emoji, by Avery Monsen — featuring: ‘A Box Which Must Never Be Opened’, ‘Three Worms Pretending To Be One Long Worm’ and ‘A Spectre Rises From A Seven Layer Fiesta Dip’.
Craft and creativity

Kashia Kennedy’s #emojieveryday & Shigetaka Kurita talks about designing the original emojis & Jaime Jandler’s ‘Emojibator’

“I don’t accept that the use of emoji is a sign that people are losing the ability to communicate with words, or that they have a limited vocabulary. And it’s not even a generational thing … People of all ages understand that a single emoji can say more about their emotions than text. Emoji have grown because they meet a need among mobile phone users.” — Shigetaka Kurita

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No More Tofu

Google Noto Fonts

When text is rendered by a computer, sometimes characters are displayed as “tofu”. They are little boxes to indicate your device doesn’t have a font to display the text.

Google has been developing a font family called Noto, which aims to support all languages with a harmonious look and feel. Noto is Google’s answer to tofu. The name noto is to convey the idea that Google’s goal is to see “no more tofu”. Noto has multiple styles and weights, and is freely available to all.

Monotype: Creating Noto for Google

Monotype: A typeface five years in the making, Google Noto spans more than 100 writing systems, 800 languages, and hundreds of thousands of characters. A collaborative effort between Google and Monotype, the Noto typeface is a truly universal method of communication for billions of people around the world accessing digital content.

Malayalam and Devanagari in-use on Android devices

Above: Malayalam and Devanagari in-use on Android devices

TechCrunch: To be sure, there was a degree of skepticism when Google and Monotype embarked on this project, in my opinion well summed up in the words of Pakistani-American writer Ali Eteraz (quoted by NPR in 2014, when the project was already well underway):

“I tend to go back and forth. Is it sort of a benign — possibly even helpful — universalism that Google is bringing to the table? Or is it something like technological imperialism?”

Noto color emoji

Noto includes Android’s blobby emoji

Wired: But developing a typeface for 800 languages that feels cohesive yet respectful of each language’s cultural heritage created inherent tension. And making those fonts “unmistakably Google” is nearly impossible. The Tibetan script, for example, draws heavily from a calligraphic tradition, while English is more linear and geometric. The Arabic typeface is emphasized in left to right strokes, while French’s letters carry their weight in their vertical stems. Some fonts, like Runic, are so obscure that typographers at Monotype built the font from scratch using stone engravings for inspiration.

[Steve Matteson, Monotype’s creative director] designed Noto to be modern but friendly, with open counters, soft terminals, and strokes rooted in 5th century calligraphy. He avoided making Noto too austere, mostly because the shapes wouldn’t translate as nicely to other languages.

“It’s not easy to interpret fancy calligraphic languages like Tibetan into a Futura typeface model, which is all circles and straight lines.”

See also


(Post updated to include excerpt from the Wired article)

Use your words

Google’s Noto Project: a unified font for all languages

Google has been developing a font family called Noto, which aims to support all languages with a harmonious look and feel.

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Life on the Internet

That emoji does not mean what you think it means

Gizmodo: Since emoji are designed differently across platforms, sometimes your text messages might get lost in translation. But how differently might your well-intentioned emoji be displayed?

Grinning face with smiling eyes

The most widely misinterpreted is the “grinning face with smiling eyes” emoji, which—depending on the platform—can range from the rosy-cheeked cherubic face of glee to the anguished clenched-teeth look of constipation.

Same emoji, different emotion

That wide range between sentiment rankings was named “misconstrual” by the researchers. You can see how the 22 emoji tracked across platforms, with “smiling face with open mouth and tightly closed eyes,” “face with tears of joy,” “sleeping face,” and “loudly crying face” all having their own issues of interpretation. But “grinning face with smiling eyes” is still the clear winner when it came to sending the wrong message.

Sentiment misconstrual scores

Across-platform sentiment misconstrual scores grouped by Unicode. Each boxplot shows the range of sentiment misconstrual
scores across the five platforms. They are ordered by decreasing median platform-pair sentiment misconstrual, from left to right.

See also

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100 new emoji by Avery Monsen

100 new emoji - Avery Monsen

These seem to have been first released as a Vine. (via Boing Boing)

Life on the Internet

100 new emoji

Avery Monsen’s favourites are ‘A Box Which Must Never Be Opened’, ‘Three Worms Pretending To Be One Long Worm’ and ‘A Spectre Rises From A Seven Layer Fiesta Dip’, according to BuzzFeed.

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Twitter Emoji
Craft and creativity

Twitter’s emoji for the web

I’m really fond of these emoji characters Twitter had designed for the web (as apposed to mobile clients, which handle these icons themselves).

Twitter emoji

They’re not unlike the new flat emoticons WordPress put out recently, but I think I like these even more. Of course, they’re a more comprehensive set too.

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