Usefulness of Emoji in a fun example

glukgluk Posts: 38
From Twitter:

Tagged:
«1

Comments

  • Bhikkhu PesalaBhikkhu Pesala Posts: 144
    edited February 9
    I must be getting old. For me, Emojji fail to communicate anything at all. The aphorism "A picture says more than 1,000 words" is only true if the image is big enough to see, and carefully drawn or photographed by the artist. 


  • I think you're right about the value of emoji, Ray, but I find it uninteresting as a type designer. Mainly because a lot of the value of emoji depends on visual consistency across different emoji sets. I recall a case recently where the depiction of the emoji :# looking different enough on different platforms that it could lead to misunderstandings.

    "Normal" fonts, on the other hand, have an almost unlimited range of visual appearance, even in monochrome. That's a big part of the appeal of type design to me.

    Anyway, this is getting off-topic. I do think the original post shows a nice example of an unexpected utility of emoji.
  • Also be aware several emoji have offensive double meanings in some cultures.


  • Here is a 2016 study of cross-cultural—and cross-platform—dissonance in the interpretation of emoji by members of GroupLens, a research group of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University of Minnesota: https://grouplens.org/site-content/uploads/Emoji_Interpretation.pdf

    And here is a picture of the world headquarters where emoji originate:


    I strongly suspect that, in a short number of years, there will be only one universal reaction to emoji: a cringe of embarrassment.

  • I for one, welcome our new emoji overlords. Rebellious youth can communicate, plan and complain in a secret language older authority figures won't understand. Millennials can clarify ambiguous tone in emails & text messages that really should have been delivered in person in the first place. And Android-using type designers can unknowingly & repeatedly send the dizzy face as a light-hearted expression of exhaustion to elderly relatives, conservative friends and religious neighbors, all of whom use iPhones and thus see only a blackout drunk face.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,060
    edited February 9
    My hostility towards emoji has nothing to do with type design, it has to do with believing in communication that does not reduce us to the level of livestock, to make us easier to control.

    My favorite examples of emoji are when they backstab you. Like in this case where you're a feminist, while on many of the world's devices it looks like you're running away from women:

  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,060
    edited February 9
    Scott-Martin Kosofsky said:
    I strongly suspect that, in a short number of years, there will be only one universal reaction to emoji: a cringe of embarrassment.
    Indeed. The fashion that spawned this will be replaced with a fashion that mocks it. Eventually it will have a nostalgic revival (or two) but then never be heard of again.

  • @Mark Simonson
    There's no technical reason the style of emojis couldn't be matched to a typeface. Matching symbols to typefaces is already done on a smaller scale with characters like hearts and fleurons. Imagine you were tasked with designing hearts and fleurons for Sabon, Didot, Futura and Franklin Gothic. You'd design them in a way that stylistically harmonizes with each typeface. Then, the client requests 3 more symbols: an apple, a happy face and a birthday cake. Next, they request colors, only for the hearts and fleurons. You'd create palettes that suit each typeface and determine what kind of gradients are needed, if any. Now they want colors for the other symbols. I'm sure some designers would bail out on such a project but if you can get that far, the rest is a matter of scale. At that point, your sample characters could be handed over to a competent art department who could fill out the rest of the emoji set in the same style.

    Emojis are crude tools because there are no emoji choices for designers. Picture a banal, fully-saturated-green cartoon leaf with airbrush shading and expressionless black outlines. What if that was the fleuron included with every font in existence? Gross, right? Well that's emoji in 2018. The same emoji glyphs are used for children, adults, serious themes and silly themes. They're accompanied by arbitrary typefaces in styles determined by phone manufacturers. We've yet to see a tasteful application of emoji but I think the potential is there.

    Maybe emoji is a fad but nobody knows. We're at such a rudimentary stage that it's impossible to determine that. It's all down to the younger generation. They'll determine whether or not they're still around in a century.
  • Ray Larabie said:
    We've yet to see a tasteful application of emoji but I think the potential is there.
    What's the emoji for "waiting for Godot"? Oh wait, you can't grunt that.

    It's all down to the younger generation. They'll determine whether or not they're still around in a century.
    The only sure thing about the younger generation is that they'll grow older = wiser.
  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 169
    edited February 12
    Ray Larabie said:
    A new globally understood ideogrammatical alphabet is developing right before our eyes. It's not made of monochromatic strokes like the rest of the Unicode table, but it's a writing system.
    So according to you, Ray, this new alphabet deserves to be taken seriously be designers, right?
    I think you're right about the value of emoji, Ray, but I find it uninteresting as a type designer. Mainly because a lot of the value of emoji depends on visual consistency across different emoji sets.
    So it is not taken seriously, and that's why it is not
    carefully drawn
    and there's no consistency. It is possible to design a terrible Latin alphabet, right? The letter 'a' has several widespread forms, and for a designer it is easy to recognize a badly drawn letter. It is much more common to see, even in a 'professional' design, a badly drawn kreska accent. And these have been around for a longer time than emoji. So maybe the latter still have a chance to mature. But I think they might as well fade away eventually, and with the progress of technology other, more clever (or dumber) ways to communicate might be invented. Have you heard of Bitmoji?

    I think we'd be better off with having more face to face conversations, though. We keep designing more and more technology for people to hide their faces behind. It is not really healthy, especially for the young generations who are growing up with it. So I'd rather even see more video communication than have every type designer equip their products with emoji.
  • So according to you, Ray, this new alphabet deserves to be taken seriously be designers, right?

    Yes. I feel like, on Typedrawers many classify emoji as cultural garbage and people who use it, low-cultured and/or feeble minded. Make fun of it if you like. Sometimes emojis are misunderstood but you can say that about words too. Language is imprecise. Emoji characters will continue to be added to the Unicode table. I think it's unlikely that all Emoji will removed from the table at any point in the future. Even if you think the smiley faces are dumb, the emoji range in Unicode has lots of useful slots. There's finally a set of proper media shuttle control buttons. New places for warning signs, wayfinding symbols, map symbols, clocks, flags etc.

    What's the emoji for "waiting for Godot"? Oh wait, you can't grunt that.

    People use emojis because they're stupid? Uncultured? Great authors use words but so do regular folks. You think that's funny? Dumb people using pictures because words are too hard? Duh. Emoji has been in use in Japan for almost 2 decades. It's completely normal for Japanese people of all ages to use them in everyday phone communication. Yes, even smart people use them. My accountant uses them. He doesn't use them in business correspondence but he uses them in a texting applications to set up an appointment. It's what's expected when a Japanese person uses a texting application.  In Japan, not including emoji in a text can be perceived as curt. Maybe ideogrammatical symbols work better with a language that includes ideograms. Is their culture stupid? I'm gonna say, no. Maybe you should try learning something about how the real world communicates and stop acting so smug about your exquisite English language skills.

    You're really proud of that tweet? First of all, you just called Shigetaka Kurita stupid, so that's rather unkind and frankly, rather unprofessional. I guess you think the person who unified all the different Japanese phone company encoding into Unicode is grunting dum dum. I'll pass it along. I guess I'll have to use a lot of emojis when I type so he'll understand. And I suppose the Unicode consortium is just full of dopes. None as smart as Hrant.

    You should be ashamed of that tweet. That was pretentious, snobbish thing to write.

  • Bhikkhu PesalaBhikkhu Pesala Posts: 144
    edited February 12
    Esperanto has been around for decades, but who uses it? Emojji being around for decades in Japan means that a good number of Japanese understand it, but a universal way of communicating it is not, and never will be. 

    Finishing a message with :smile: or (~_~) or :lol:  is not a problem, but to be blunt, investing years of development time and discussion adding a ton of stuff that few font designers will add, and even fewer font users will find is not a wise use of human energy. The Unicode Consortium is out of touch with the international online community. 

    I include a full set of miscellaneous symbols and icons, dingbats, and some more in my fonts because copy/paste is very easy to do. However, symbols and icons are not the same as emoticons or emojji. Flags, tick boxes, lunar phases, etc., are very widely understood already. 

    After twenty years of using acronyms and emoticons I can tell you that it is COIK. 
  • Jess McCartyJess McCarty Posts: 32
    edited February 12
    more clever (or dumber) ways to communicate 
    We keep designing more and more technology for people to hide their faces behind.
    Oh wait, you can't grunt that.

    These are pretty narrow ways of thinking. 

    Sure, emoji enable passive aggressive texts and soften harsh emails. But let's look at the view from 30,000'.

    I see people, not just young people, using emoji to define their digital communities and their own identity within them. Symbols & icons are slang & shorthand, not literal translation. They filter and define who is "in" (and thus accurately understands that visual shorthand) and who is a newcomer. They define the group's identity and collective experiences. Observe any Slack channel; communities develop frequent go-to unicode emojis that differ from one channel to the next. Nearly every channel creates their own custom icons to reference  oft-discussed and encountered ideas/situations/contexts. Of course these latter usages aren't encoded - but they are indicative of the direction graphic digital speech is headed, IMHO.

    And that's just Slack.

    Let's imagine a teenage couple flirting back & forth via text. Mom & Dad are probably going to be pretty good at translating "OMG ur sooooooooo hot." Will they be able to understand a series of !!!, hand signs, palm trees and a steaming mug of coffee? This is the 2018 version of parking. Is it a good thing? A bad thing? It depends on whether you're "in" or "out".

    I can easily imagine fired-up millennials circumventing a repressive government's online censorship or organizing a protest by using visual language that only they understand. Think of all the ways the phrase, "time for change," could be written in literal and metaphorical emoji... And that's just the ways you, as an outsider, can imagine.

    Just because you're not "in" doesn't mean the club has no value. 

    There are a lot of talented, interesting & well-paid folks designing + thinking about emoji. We can debate the aesthetics and the Consortium's approach, but are some of you seriously arguing that at some point we'll "wise up" and return to a pre-emoji Garden of Eden?
  • Bhikkhu PesalaBhikkhu Pesala Posts: 144
    edited February 12
    Here's a typical example of miscommunication cause by emoticons. Someone posted this in reply to a post of mine, without any accompanying text. Even if I enlarge it, I have not got a clue what it is meant to convey. 


  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 731
    edited February 13
    If the reply had been “uhh” or “hmm”, would it have been the alphabet’s fault?
  • If the reply had been "uh" one could understand that it was an expression of hesitation; if the reply was "hmm" then it would have been expressing doubt or deliberation. If one is doubtful about the meaning of such interjections, one can even look them up in a dictionary. 
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,060
    edited February 13
    Never the tool's fault, but always the responsibility of the tool's maker. Don't make tools that render society easier to subvert. Emoji is the epitome of the literality and the feelgoodism that counter the long-term social good.

    Apparently Unicode is seriously understaffed:

    It's our duty to pressure the hordes writing emoji proposals to make better use of their time.
  • That's Unicode 1F627: anguished face.
  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,060
    edited February 13
    I can easily imagine fired-up millennials circumventing a repressive government's online censorship or organizing a protest by using visual language that only they understand.
    This would make for a good episode of Kim Possible...
    In fact emoji deliberately serves the establishment.

    Furthermore emoji
    — is culturally chauvinistic:

    — discriminates against the blind:

    Emoji centers around the mere expression of individual emotion, while what we instead need more than ever is collectivist communication.
  • That's Unicode 1F627: anguished face.
    Not necessarily.
  • Bhikkhu PesalaBhikkhu Pesala Posts: 144
    edited February 13
    I discovered, by copying the glyph to BabelMap, that it is 1F626. If we have to go to such lengths to discover what is said, I hope that you can all see the flaws in using emojji. 

    I don't doubt that a few symbols will be widely adopted over the next decade, just as most people now know what LOL means or ROTFLOL. 


  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 169
    edited February 13
    I think there is a medical condition when one has difficulty with recognizing emotions in people's faces.
    On the other hand, @Bhikkhu Pesala , Idk what COIK means, urban dictionary and Merriam-Webster don't have that covered. Blame the alphabet, shall I?
  • “Clear only if known.” I had to look it up, too. First hit defined it as “the sound of a gummie worm bouncing off someone's forehead in a tent”, but I figured that’s probably not what was meant. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 
  • Don't try to look up the meaning of an emoji.
  • Bhikkhu PesalaBhikkhu Pesala Posts: 144
    edited February 13
    @Adam A 16x16 pixel icon is not quite as big as a person's face, unless they're standing half a mile away. Emojji are not an alphabet. A-Z have no meaning at all until they are combined into at least a word, short phrase, or a sentence. A single emojji claims to represent an emotion or a type of food, vehicle, etc. It fails miserably in most, but not all cases.

    Ironically, the emojji that I tried to paste was stripped by this forum code! :(
  • Yeah it's really cool when you have to roll over an emoji to see the actual text it's pretending to represent.

    Related:

  • Hrant H. PapazianHrant H. Papazian Posts: 1,060
    edited February 13
    And to think somebody wasted time making this auto-destroyer of communication:
    https://meowni.ca/emoji-translate/
    @to_emoji
  • Wow. Such hate. I love and use emoji all the time in my communications with peers. Sometimes the ambiguity of the meaning is essential to the communication. Just like with language, understanding occurs if you are on the 'in' crowd and know what the sounds/symbols mean (like when you learn a language). I hope emoji persist and mature as I find them wonderful.
  • Emoji secretly hates the collective.
Sign In or Register to comment.