Since appearing on Japanese phones in the 1990s, emoji have been popular around the globe. It has just become a featured communication feature in recent years. Not only for youth people, emoji is the language for everyone. That puts pressure on designers and sets the standard for emoji. If you want to become a global language, emoji need to develop continuously for all cultures.
Nowadays, there are thousands of emojis that represent people in many ways, and emojis represent how we interact with the world. In the trend of digitization and globalization, emoji will become an important translation and communication tool.
Emoji first was created in 1999 by Japanese artist Shigetaka Kurita. At that time, Kurita was working for i-mode, the original mobile internet platform of the network operator Docomo. Kurita’s idea was to create an attractive interface to convey information in a simple and concise manner. For example, a cloud icon instead of a cloudy weather state.
Emoji quickly gained popularity in Japan as rival companies learned from Docomo’s ideas. The mobile phone boom in the mid-2000s was when companies outside Japan like Apple saw the potential of emoji.
Subsequent emojis will depend on a recommendation submitted to the Unicode Association. Anyone can submit emoji suggestions, just the pattern of the icon. In addition to messages, emoji today also appear in many forms such as Apple’s Animoji or Facebook Avatar. As technology moves beyond tiny phones, emoji will also emerge in new forms.
Not only for texting, but now emoji is a digital language. The Unicode consortium approves new emojis every year, which are often included in operating system updates.
First of all, it has to be proposed to the Unicode Association, explaining why it should be included and the details for emoji design. The proposal is reviewed by a sub-committee of the Unicode Association, and will be approved if approval is received from the members.
The proposal was approved by the Unicode Association in 2010. Being recognized by Unicode not only helps the emoji’s vocabulary continue to grow, but also validates emoji as a form of communication. That’s when emoji became the new language. Emoji have become too common to ignore.