Usefulness of Emoji in a fun example



  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 1,356
    edited February 2018
  • Creating emoji is design, but it's not type design.
    I don't use them, and get annoyed when they are auto-created in an app, but that's personal. I have nothing against other people using them and sometimes have fun trying to draw them.
  • Thomas PhinneyThomas Phinney Posts: 2,634
    edited September 2018
    Creating emoji is design, but it's not type design.

    I can understand why you might say that, and I don’t think you are crazy to think that way, but I happen to think of it differently.  :smiley:

    It is a specialized kind of type design—how much so depending a bit on which of the four color font formats you are using. These things are packaged in/as fonts, and the Microsoft COLR flavor of color fonts seems to go through full-on TrueType rendering systems.

    Even the bitmap flavors are still a kind of font.

    I am curious, though: which aspects of emoji disqualify emoji design from being type design, for you? Because they are not linguistic characters? Because the constraints and needs in drawing them are so different? Something else? All of the above?

    If they were black and white symbols that went through the same rasterizer as everything else, would it then be type design?
  • Any decent definition of type precludes emoji being type.
  • What if you had a typeface something along the lines of Compacta and you maintained the same kind of look so all of the symbols harmonized with the alphabets. Assume your arrows would look Compacta-ish as would weather symbols, fleurons, planet symbols, printer's fists and block-draw characters. But at some point you wander over into 1F600-1F64F (emoji) range. Are you no longer designing type? What about the 2600-26FF range?

    If color is the distinction, are black and white fall-backs still type? What if a fleuron is colored? What about coloring any other characters outside of the 1F600-1F64F range? Are they no longer type if they're colored?

    How about a colored typeface? Imagine the alphabets are in color and the symbols as well. One of the symbols is in the 1F600-1F64F range. Is the rest of the typeface still a typeface except for that one symbol?
  • George ThomasGeorge Thomas Posts: 625
    edited September 2018

    Any decent definition of type precludes emoji being type.

    When @Hrant wrote that yesterday I clicked on Agree. Today, after thinking about it more, I won't change that but I do want to express some thoughts about it.

    By strict definition, emoji symbols are type. Type designers and type users can consider them to be type if they wish because they fall into that definition.

    I don't think of them as type because they can't be used to spell anything. In that way of thinking I am old-school perhaps, but that's OK too. I got into this business when metal was still somewhat king and the early day specimen books I treasured kept symbol specimens apart from everything else.

    Emoji have their uses so long as they aren't used to excess. I do think Unicode is overdoing it with their rush to encode every emoji being designed. We haven't returned to cave living yet although we may be getting closer.

    I do use emoji from time to time, but it is limited to the basic smileyface. I don't care about the rest of them. The bulk of them are too small to make out what they represent.

  • They should not be in Unicode.
  • Adam JagoszAdam Jagosz Posts: 688
    edited October 2018
    I do think Unicode is overdoing it with their rush to encode every emoji being designed.
    They should not be in Unicode.
    Well, I think having emoji in Unicode drastically simplifies using them just about anywhere. In a text document, emoji matches point size so it's nice to have it as text. You don't have to implement an emoji input/display system in a new app/website you design because it's already there*. As a lot of services rely on this, so not putting every designed emoji in there would be a bad call, because it would render designing new ones pointless.
    On the other hand, some apps/website don't accept Emoji in their data because their databases are not set up to store them. So you decorate your precious post with a bunch of emojis and end up with lots of �. So being used to emoji in Unicode has downsides, too.
    What if you had a typeface something along the lines of Compacta and you maintained the same kind of look so all of the symbols harmonized with the alphabets.
    In the original ancient version of Radiator I attempted drawing ☺ and ☻ in what appeared to be 4 columns. Sadly (luckily?) I don't have these glyphs around any more. They were kind of ugly.
    But that doesn't mean there aren't designs/principles that couldn't translate into emoji or symbols of any other kind better. I'm not talking about putting serifs on a smiley but you could imagine some other characteristic of a font design that could be applied to emoji to give it a similar style/feeling... but then we come to the original issue: emoji are meant to convey emotions, and stylizing them changes their message. So they no longer can be legible or their meaning might be distorted. This sounds a lot like the embarassed grin/wide smile issue.
    The truth is always in between. So I say, emoji is not type, it's maybe somewhere around “_y_e”.

    * Okay, maybe you might want to design an input system. At least before every PC has an emoji keyboard like the phones – but actually you can use the touch keyboard on Windows using your mouse and there's an emoji section.
  • They should not be in Unicode.

    I think having a range of common symbols and pictures encoded in unicode is useful. My main issue with the emoji blocks is that they are being driven largely by cellphone carriers rather than by any systematic attempt at encoding additional useful symbols, particularly given the fact that it is really unclear at this point (at least to me) whether the ubiquitous use of emoji is simply a passing fad.
  • Russell McGormanRussell McGorman Posts: 255
    edited October 2018
    Sometimes a word is worth a thousand pictures... 


  • Russell McGormanRussell McGorman Posts: 255
    edited October 2018
    If I've arrived a few minutes early at a coffee shop where I'm going meet a someone on business, I might text them to let them know I'm there by typing, "Hi, I'm here at the coffee shop. Can I get you something?".

    In a similar scenario where I'm waiting for my wife, I'd send her a text like this: "☕️☕️". What could be more efficient? Words have no intrinsic meaning - They only mean what we've come agree they do. (excepting onomatopoeia) The same with Pictograms, only on a much smaller scale. In this case, my wife and I both know we are meeting at a coffee shop and I'm getting her a coffee. We could be the only two who can parse the meaning as precisely as if I'd written, "I'm at the coffee shop. I'll get you a coffee." and there's no problem with that. Communication may be universal but it's also intimate. People tend to speak or write with the amount of clarity necessary in the circumstances. No one is writing dissertations, legal briefs or assembly instructions in emojis. (yet.) [||:o)   

    Except Ikea, and that really isn't helpful. 

  • Emoji secretly hates the collective.
    So what? They aren't for the collective. If you can't figure out the meaning of one in some social media thing or other, you can be pretty sure it doesn't matter.
  • Ray LarabieRay Larabie Posts: 1,356
    Something I found useful with the emoji range was having existing encoding available certain symbols that aren't included in the other symbol ranges. I was working on a typeface that required media control symbols such as play, pause and eject. A few of the symbols like mute, volume up/down, mic, headphone have Unicode designations in the emoji range so I was able to avoid PUA encoding for those.
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