How did we start Taiwan Emoji Project🇹🇼
Not long ago, Shiny and I discussed a lot about how might we enable Taiwan to be seen by others, by the world?
During our experience overseas, we often meet awkward situations. For example, people are confused between Taiwan and Thailand because of the similar pronunciations. Also, when asking about characteristics of Taiwan, lots of people get stammered. Moreover, some people would throw us a question like “Are you Japanese?” or “Are you Korean?”; maybe they just want to discuss with us more about oriental cultures they like, however, we might end this conversation by saying “Oh. I’m Taiwanese.” In fact, people around the world are not really familiar with Taiwan and our culture, just like we are not really familiar with some countries in Africa or in Europe.
It seems not easy for people to connect what represents Taiwan.
During our discussion about this challenge, we wrote ideas on countless post-it, we went through brainstorming and mind mapping sessions, and we tried very hard to sort our ideas out. We figured that the solution to create Taiwan’s image is not just making an introduction video of Taiwan. It’s more than that. We want people to talk about Taiwan in their daily conversation, and then gradually learn and get interested in Taiwan. How might we infuse Taiwan’s image to people’s daily conversation?
As we were trying to find a way to implement our concept, we browsed and wrote down our observation. We browsed on every social platform we can think of, such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Plurk, etc, we found that many people like to use emojis which make the post juicier.
We realized that emoji is truly a universal language to allow people to communicate with each other even they are not speaking the same language.
However, we noticed that most of the emojis about oriental culture are related to Japanese culture. There is only one emoji about Taiwan, the flag of Taiwan. What if we create a series of emojis that can describe one’s Taiwan experience? With our Taiwan Emoji Project, we might able to open conversations with others around the world. We’ve built on this emoji idea since then.
From brainstorming to execution, we’ve listed over 50 emojis that can represent Taiwan, the inspiration has come from Taiwanese food, architecture, commodity, culture, and etc. To demo our idea, we’ve selected 24 emojis to get started. When designing our emojis, we were also amazed at how well designed the existing emojis were, for example, the food with smoke looks more delicious and the lighting and the shadowing bring emoji design into details and dimensions. Other than the emoji design, we also made a 1'15" video introducing Taiwan Emoji Project. Ultimately, we hope to raise public awareness and support. At the same time, we launched a website not only describe every emoji but to allow people to download the emojis freely. We want people to use Taiwan emoji to make Taiwan a part of everyday conversation.
This series of emojis are currently available for Plurk users. For the upcoming phase, we would suggest other social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter to use them. At the same time, we are planning to submit emoji proposals to Unicode Organization. We hope to make these Taiwan emojis to unicode emojis and be used by people around the world.