It’s been over a decade since the launch of the original set of emojis — the iconic symbols that allow us to convey emotions using something other than words.
Some emojis were inspired by everyday items to make them easier to understand, like the teal dress, which was based on one owned by the designer’s niece.
Former emoji designer Angela Guzman, who was one of the original emoji creators for Apple, says her team worked at a very high pace, but had the freedom to decide which emojis to design and how to design them.
“It was very organic and rapid because we had to do so many of them.
“Between my mentor and I, we completed nearly 500 emojis in three months, so that was something we had to do very quickly but still pay attention to all the details.”
Guzman adds that she never imagined how the emojis would transform language and how people would use them.
“I find it very comical when I see people getting more creative with emojis, whether digitally or even in the physical world to try to convey meaning.”
Lethbridge communications expert Natalie Barfuss says the increased use of emojis has seen them become integrated into our language structure.
“I think that this is something — especially with the trends we are seeing since COVID-19, with so much computer-mediated communication that we are having now — I think it’s just something that is going to be a part of culture, kind of like slang.”
Read more: Here’s a look at Apple’s new diverse emoji
Barfuss adds that even though they are part of our language, emojis could never fully capture the nuance of verbal communication.