Short History of The Emoji


1881/2016 • EMOJI 絵文字

1881 Emoji Babies!

The birth of emoticons made a discreet entrance, arriving in print for the first time in this March 30, 1881 issue of Puck magazine (above). 
The small item in the middle of this page gives four examples of ‘typographical art’ — joy, melancholy, indifference, and astonishment.


▶︎▶︎ Fast forward 100 years…

This appeared on the Internet:

I propose that the following character sequence for joke markers:
Scott E Fahlman / 19-Sep-82 11:44

The boom of the Kaomoji 顔文字
This style arose on ASCII NET of Japan and soon spread like wildfire! 
Today, the list of Kaomoji face expressions are almost endless. There are tons of libraries, ( ◠‿◠ )☛ here is one of them.

Iconic Kaomoji design

Kaomoji are so embedded in the Japanese culture and play such a big part in their daily communications, that you can literally find them anywhere! Most recently in car headlights (although this was part of an April Fools’ joke by Audi Japan).

Audi • Matrix Kaomoji 顔文字 headlights concept • 2016

The Emoji as we know it today.

NTT DoCoMo created a set of pictograms for its i-mode mobile Internet platform. Shigetaka Kurita inspired from weather forecasts symbols and manga emoticons came up with a set of 172 12×12 pixel 絵文字 (Emoji) to facilitate users to express emotions in their day to day communications.

Incredibly beautiful
Shigetaka Kurita • NTT Docomo Emoji • 1998

We can’t live without them ✺◟( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)◞✺

This article was originally publish in my design #TimeTravellerNewsletter