From a humble smiley face with a mouth in the shape of box or eyes, a beating heart and dancing couples- emoji has now becoming fastest growing language of the world. Emoji has exploded the world like none other has. There are around 1,800 emoji characters. They are still growing in numbers and counting can’t stop. Emoji cover every field and every emotion from food to profession. They have become an integrated part of the smartphone age as they are diverse in nature. So what is the story behind emojis?
New York’s Museum of Modern Art, which is home to works by Andy Warhol and Pablo Picasso exhibits the original 176 designs. It proves that how much significant are the digital hieroglyphics. Everyone remembers the creativity but only few knows and admires the creator.
The man who created these characters is Shigetaka Kurita. He is still surprised that how much successful his idea was. According to him, he was meeting the very obvious need. He said that not only Japanese felt inconvenienced while exchanging the text messages. But all of us were feeling the same thing. In 1999, Kurita was working at major telecom NTT Docomo. At that time, he sketched his first emoji.
He was experimenting on how to make information such as weather forecasting more accessible on the screen of small cell phones. Visual aids is definitely going to help a lot of people. His earliest creations involve the symbols of Sun and umbrella both open and close.
For inspiration, he tapped on the popular manga comics of Japan and the complicated writing system of the country. This involves phonetic letters mixed with kanji which are Chinese characters. This new visual language help people in avoiding the misconstrued text language. These visual accomplishment also help people in articulation of the tone. Including a sign can’t be negative, no matter what text says. You can very well describe the motivation and feeling including a sign.
Paul Galloway is a design collection specialist at the museum. He wrote on its website that these masterpieces of design plants the seeds for the explosive growth of a new visual language. Kuritamade a Poo with a belief that even though it is childish but there should be something that can make people chuckle. But the company turned it down seeing that it can affect the corporate image. But today the most popular emoji in the world is the poop with a smiley face. According to the emojitracker website, the symbol which is very popular is face with tears of joy.
Even though these emoji were popular in Japan. It took another decade for emoji to become popular globally. According to the 2015 Emoji Report by a digital marketing firm, the estimation shows that 92% of the online population make use of emojis. Moreovr, the very famous Oxford Dictionary chose an emoji as its word of the year. Emojis made communications much more effective. We wonder what they will look like in the upcoming 50-100 years.