Emoji Evolution: Creating the New Face of Messaging

Emojis have rapidly gained universal recognition, surpassing linguistic and cultural barriers as a method of communication. With technology constantly advancing, designers play a crucial role in shaping the future of human interaction and expression.

Amidst shorter attention spans, consumers are allocating a significant amount of their time to screens and mobile applications. Research suggests that an average user spends around four hours of their day on their mobile device, most often on text messaging. Nearly fifty percent of the total mobile usage is consumed by social media, communication, entertainment, and media-related apps, popularly known as “communitainment” which involves combining communication and entertainment.

Communication networks offer a crucial chance for organisations and designers to connect with their intended audience. Emojis serve as an effective tool to help strengthen relationships and enhance engagement, thus becoming increasingly popular.

Emojis convey messages in a more casual manner than words, and can help to clarify the meaning of an ambiguous term. They enable users to effectively express their emotions like happiness or sadness, without resorting to negative language.

Emojis have revolutionised communication across the globe. What was once considered a playful component of a text message has now become a powerful and versatile tool of expression, surmounting cultures and customs. The receiving end of an emoji conveys the same emotions and sentiments as a handwritten letter would have once done. The evolution of technology will further revolutionise emojis and the way we use them, keeping them a valuable tool for faster and more accurate self-expression.

Statistics of Emojis Usage

  • There are 2,666 emojis included in the Unicode standard.
  • Electronic communication witnesses the usage of 6 billion emojis every day.
  • Around seventy-five percent of people in the United States use stickers, emoticons, or emojis in their everyday digital communication, sending an average of ninety-six symbols.

As our dependence on mobile devices for communication grows, users seek ways to make mobile messaging more engaging by including visual elements like photographs. Emojis remain the most popular form of such visuals, but recent developments in the form of GIFs, iMessage stickers, and Animoji have added further dimensions of humour and interest to mobile conversations.

In today’s digital era, people are sharing ideas and content at an unprecedented pace. Our brains comprehend symbols much quicker than words, allowing for instant recognition. This development provides an array of opportunities to illustrators, typographers, and graphic designers, who now have more options to offer value to their clients than ever before.

Evolution of Emojis

Over the course of centuries, individuals have devised imaginative and efficient techniques to exchange information and share experiences. Around 35,000 years ago, preliminary versions of emoji language emerged when European cave walls were adorned with symbols. Later, Egyptians formalised an intricate hieroglyphic system for communication throughout their nation. The idea of using symbols to communicate directly and efficiently has been adapted over time to better suit the demands of modern society.

Following the rise of personal computers, pictograph designs have evolved to express a range of unique emotions. The first digital emoticon, “:-)”, was introduced in 1982, and the first Graphics Interchange Format (GIF) was unveiled in 1987. The official registration of the ASCII emoticon dictionary with the United States Copyright Office happened by 1997.

The idea of using symbols alongside or instead of words for communication played a significant part in the popularity of emojis.

In 1999, a Japanese mobile communications enterprise was the first to create a set of 176 emoji symbols, each measuring 12×12 pixels. This set later paved the way for the creation of a standard emoji code, which was eventually added to the iPhone keyboard in 2011.

As emojis evolved, several approaches were taken to ensure improved representation of gender and ethnicity within the emoji language. In 2013, a challenging project was accomplished when a full-emoji version of Herman Melville’s classic novel, Moby Dick, was released. This was a remarkable achievement, which involved more than 800 individuals investing a total of 3,795,980 seconds into the project.

Custom emojis are now prevalent across all leading messaging systems, including Apple’s App Store for iMessage, Gmail and Facebook Messenger. Apple Watch users commonly rely on emojis as their primary mode of responding to text messages. Weather applications like Poncho use emoticons to provide an accurate and concise prediction of weather conditions rather than a basic description like “partly cloudy”.

The future of emoji is all about accessibility, with emerging platforms like the iMessage App Store making it simpler for us to access new and innovative emoji designs for everyday communication. With reduced barriers to entry, expressing ourselves using emojis is getting easier.

Where Good Design Shines in the Messages App Store

Every two seconds, 200,000 iMessages are sent, and the number is growing steadily due to the introduction of iMessage “stickers.” Within a week of its release, Apple’s App Store for iMessage had already amassed over 1,650 applications, which is remarkable considering the original iPhone had fewer apps available upon its launch. Most of these apps consisted of sticker packs.

Designers now have a greater opportunity to showcase their artwork to a wider audience than ever before. With the introduction of the Messages App store, anyone can create and publish their own sticker pack with fewer prerequisites than building and publishing a complete iPhone app.

The rising popularity of messaging app stickers has caused a reduction in the use of traditional emojis from the Unicode keyboard. Food emojis that are customized with human features, in particular, are highly in-demand. Demonstrate your encouragement and excitement for a coworker by sending them a sticker of a cheerful pepperoni pizza jumping up and down with pom poms. In case you want to reply coyly to a funny text, send a playful pretzel or a wink-enriched hamburger sticker, both of which will effectively convey the message.

Stickers are a favorite among users due to their customizable properties. Compared to traditional emoji keyboards, a more significant range of emotions can be depicted, and stickers can be placed anywhere on the messaging canvas, thereby enabling more precise and delicate communication. What’s more? Incorporating stickers adds a fun element to conversations.

Customers are exhibiting a growing inclination to pay a modest fee for the purpose of expressing themselves in a more personal way. Even those who do not usually purchase premium software, which normally requires considerable time and resources to develop, are ready to pay a trivial sum of $1.99 for a pack comprising of twelve icons.

Enterprises can increase their brand presence through a novel form of communication: text messages. This doesn’t require a significant investment in advertising budgets. If the designs of the stickers are visually appealing, customers are likely to choose them to express themselves, thereby enhancing brand awareness.

Below is a concise summary of why stickers aid companies and designers:

  • Quick

    – The compressed sticker graphics leave no room for intricate designs.
  • Affordable

    – Sticker packs generally have just a dozen images.
  • Straightforward

    – There is no requirement for creating an entire program; simple Xcode is adequate for publishing.
  • Engaging and Flavoursome

    – Customers can add more personality to their communication by making it more enjoyable and flavourful.
  • Free of charge

    – Consumers do the heavy lifting, spreading stickers to friends without any additional cost to the company.

Is the Face of Humans the Last Frontier?

Using emojis, individuals can converse with one another and convey their emotions, but the array of expressions available to the user is limited to the present emoticons. To augment emoticons and enrich their expressiveness, Apple created Animoji – animated emojis.

The Animojis are powered by advanced face recognition technologies, as demonstrated in the latest iPhone X. This gadget harnesses facial recognition for various purposes ranging from unlocking the device to managing the animojis. Thanks to the facial recognition capabilities of the iPhone X, users can create their own bespoke animojis and communicate them to others via the Messages app.

Using the iPhone X’s TrueDepth camera, Animojis can monitor up to fifty distinct facial muscle movements, permitting the creation of animated emojis that have an unparalleled degree of expressiveness. Because of the increased level of sophistication that Animojis can demonstrate, designers and animators now have the chance to produce more varied and even comical animations.

When depicting human facial expressions, it is crucial that all of these expressions be designed with a gentle hand. What was once a simple job of creating a single, motionless emoji illustration now necessitates creating a range of different versions of the same fundamental design to precisely reflect an array of human emotions and concepts.

What happens when a smile is added to a face that appears to be menacing instead of being inviting and warm? Those who are wary of their designs straying into the “uncanny valley” may utilise Adobe Character Animator with two-dimensional illustrations to experiment with various emotions. It’s only a matter of time before similar testing is extended to three-dimensional content.

The original Animoji collection comprises twelve unique designs, which are integrated into the Messages App. Additionally, it appears that Animojis will soon be accessible for business and other messaging apps.

The Truth about Augmented Reality

With the arrival of iOS 11, the public was introduced to Augmented Reality (AR), a technology that has opened up a plethora of opportunities for enriching real-world experiences. By overlaying digital images and audio in real time, users are now able to experience a more immersive virtual world.

Since the launch of iOS 11, a variety of apps have been created to leverage the iPhone’s augmented reality (AR) abilities. AR offers an interactive experience that blends virtual animations and data with physical markers in the real world. Snapchat, a widely-used messaging platform, is a prominent example of this, with AR integration in its application.

Snapchat’s purchase of Bitmoji app for a staggering $114.5 million demonstrates the influence of emoji-based communication. Bitmoji allows individuals to produce customized cartoon avatars, which can then be shared through the Messages app. In addition, Snapchat has integrated augmented reality into Bitmoji to further bridge the gap between the digital world and reality. This allows users to overlay their avatars on their camera’s footage, providing them with the ability to capture and share AR-enhanced pictures and videos with friends, reinforcing emotional bonds in a unique way. Furthermore, Bitmoji’s community-sourced emojis can now be experienced in real-world situations.

As interactive AR experiences require images and interfaces to be developed, the demand for digital artists and user experience designers will increase.

Winning Hearts, Eyes and Wallets: A Guide

The most recent version of Adobe Creative Suite supplies users with a comprehensive range of tools for developing emojis and animojis. Both Illustrator and Photoshop, established emoji development tools, are included in the suite, as well as Adobe Dimension, a novel 3D material design tool for graphic designers working in two-dimensional settings. Additionally, SketchUp and Tinkercad offer users two more 3D asset design programs.

Designers of emojis can utilise the numerous elements accessible from Adobe Stock and Unity Store to expedite their design process. These resources provide both two-dimensional and three-dimensional components, allowing designers to save time by using pre-existing components and adding their own unique touches to the design. Moreover, designers can take advantage of the resources accessible at EmojiDick.com for additional support.

Designers of emojis can earn income by selling their work through the Unity Store and other stock asset repositories, as well as through commissioned projects. Additionally, graphic designers can utilise Adobe Character Animator to create animated emojis during livestream broadcasts in real-time, offering another source of revenue for businesses and independent artists alike.

By using Apple’s iMessage App Store, Animojis, and Augmented Reality technology, brands can enhance their visibility and appear more dynamic and forward-thinking, as customers will develop genuine emotional links with the brands. Designers who are well-versed in these platforms will gain an edge over their competitors, as each platform operates as a distinct environment with its own etiquette and graphic design standards.

Embrace the changing times and make an effort to remain current with the latest trends. Use emojis as a form of communication since they can often communicate a message more effectively than words alone. Design while keeping current trends in mind, and you may be compensated for your talents and creativity. After all, a picture is said to be worth a thousand words, and perhaps even more in terms of monetary compensation.

We would love to hear from you! Please share your thoughts, opinions, and suggestions in the comments section below.

Join the Top 1% of Remote Developers and Designers

Works connects the top 1% of remote developers and designers with the leading brands and startups around the world. We focus on sophisticated, challenging tier-one projects which require highly skilled talent and problem solvers.
seasoned project manager reviewing remote software engineer's progress on software development project, hired from Works blog.join_marketplace.your_wayexperienced remote UI / UX designer working remotely at home while working on UI / UX & product design projects on Works blog.join_marketplace.freelance_jobs