When Words Fail, Emojis Speak Volumes


Emojis now play a huge part in the
way we express emotions when
digitally communicating.
NEW YORK—Emojis have become an integral part of communication almost as easily as the smartphone itself. Oftentimes, words aren’t enough to show just how angry, sad, excited or happy we are, so we resort to using these tiny little cartoon-like figures to execute those emotions. Since being introduced on the iPhone in 2011, emojis catapulted their way into our lives and have gone beyond just smart devices. Just like the “I Love NY” logo that took us by storm in the early 2000s, emojis can now be found on apparel, stationery, toys and have even made their way into the optical industry.

The original emoji board released in
1999 featured only 176 characters.
Created by Shigetaka Kurita, emojis—from the Japanese “e” meaning picture and “moji” meaning character—were originally developed for a Japanese mobile phone company named NTT Docomo in 1999. At the time, messages sent on NTT Docomo’s phones had very limited characters, so Kurita created the emoji as a way to bypass excess text and the first batch of 176 emojis was introduced.

Since their integration into the iPhone and consequently the American market in 2011, emojis have become a staple in communication worldwide. Today, there are nearly 1,800 characters ranging from the much anticipated middle finger (which was finally released in 2015), to the wrestling emoji and should you wonder what the flag of Chad looks like, there’s an emoji for that too.

emoji sunglasses was also present at the
2017 International Vision Expo East.
 At their booth at Vision Expo East, emoji
sunglasses featured an emoji tracker which
showed real-time use of emojis on Twitter.

Kim Kardashian and Stephen Curry are some of the
celebrities who have created customized emojis.
The emoji brand has gone beyond just smart devices and the characters have made their way into the optical industry as well. At Vision Expo West last September, emoji sunglasses—which gives wearers the chance to show their love for emojis through eyewear—took home the first place honors for 2016 Vision Expo West Vision Choice Award. Sold through emojisunglasses.com and shipped worldwide, emoji sunglasses carries frames for children and adults. According to the website, sunglasses for adults feature polarized lenses, UV400 protection and ultra-Fit resistant polycarbonate, with emojis placed on the temples. Frames for kids feature a TR90 structure, giving them greater flexibility and security.

Emojis are now so popular that users have resorted to customizing their keyboards and using icons that suit them, in addition to the ones that come with smart devices. Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and NBA superstar Stephen Curry have tapped into the customizable emoji market for their fan bases. Kardashian’s Kimojis released in 2015, feature her notorious ugly crying face; while Curry’s StephMojis feature the basketball player with his adorable family.

The Emoji Movie will be in a
theatre near you on July 28.
As if there wasn’t enough emoji buzz going around, Sony Pictures Animation is set to release The Emoji Movie on July 28. The film gives a glimpse into “the world inside your phone,” as Gene (voiced by T.J. Miller) goes on a quest to become the quintessential “meh” emoji, just like his parents. Gene encounters a codebreaker emoji named Jailbreak voiced by Anna Farris, a hand emoji named Hi-5 voiced by James Corden and Flamenco, the Flamenco dancer emoji voiced by Sofia Vergara. Watch the trailer here.

Tura Inc. is also offering eyewear for children who can’t get enough emojis. gx by Gwen Stefani juniors collection incorporates a touch of the characters. Inspired by Stefani’s son who frequently placed emoji stickers on his glasses, the three girl frames and three boy frames work with a magnetic attachment and come with a set of six interchangeable emojis, to be placed on the temples. Girls choose from a smile, love, heart, moon, lightning bolt and star, while boys get a selection of smile, exclamation mark, hotdog, hamburger, baseball and soccer ball.

Style GX800 from Tura’s gx by
Gwen Stefani’s junior collection
features a magnetic attachment
on the temple for an easy swap.
GX900 is made for the
boys who love emojis.

With emojis becoming more and more ubiquitous, there surely will be an “Emoji World” similar to M&M’s World on Times Square soon enough.