Today is World Emoji Day, yeah, if you didn't know, that's a thing now. In celebration of the moment, Google has an in-depth interview with Jennifer Daniel, who is the head of design for Google’s emoji.
Being in charge of Google's emoji is quite a curious job. It isn't simply just about designing new emoji, Daniel's day is comprised of "managing the art team within the “Expressions” group, which creates gifs, camera effects, stickers and other fun experiences for Gboard, Android Messages, and Pixel". As you can tell from the description of her day, this job is no light task.
As emoji has become more popular, it has been important to include and represent everyone as best as possible. The team at Google is able to accomplish this by having an open mind to the world and at the same time, making sure that its designs can resonate with a global audience. There is, of course, a team of experts that also helps with this process.
When speaking on the design aspect of emoji, Daniel discussed how it's important to create images that are more abstract, because doing so allows people to project themselves on to that design. While being abstract is one goal, the team also tries to create designs that will be timeless.
Without a doubt, emoji are transforming the way we communicate with each other, allowing users to convey better emotions within conversations. But how does the use of emoji change the landscape of language? According to Daniel, when asked whether "we’re losing anything with this shift to communicating with emoji and GIFs", she responds:
"I just mean … the way we communicate is a reflection of the time period we’re in. And we live in an era were we communicate more with the written word than ever before. Language has existed for at least 80,000 years but it first arose as speech. If humanity existed for 24 hours, let’s say writing only came around 11:07 p.m. So first there was speech, then writing, and now, we have emoji."
She goes on to state that sometimes, images are better at conveying things than just characters. It will be interesting to see how things progress over the next few years, but if one thing is for certain, it's that the language will continue to evolve, and emoji will continue to be a part of it, ever expanding.
Source and image: Google