Meet Jennifer Daniel, who decides what emoji we will use

Emoji are now part of our language. If you’re like most people, you can enhance your words with a few small pictures in your text, Instagram posts, and tick videos – after your vaccination, the prayer may be (or higher) then there may be a few drops of blood syringe – Faving?) “Thanks” as a shortcut from the hand, a pink-cheeked smiley face with jazz hands for a covid-safe hug from afar. Today’s emoji catalog includes nearly 3,000 images representing everything from emotions to food, natural phenomena, flags and people at different stages of life.

Behind all these symbols lies the Unicode Consortium, a non-profit group of hardware and software companies that aims to make text and emoji readable and accessible to all. Part of their goal is to make the language look the same on all devices; A Japanese character should be typographically consistent in all media. But Unicode is probably best known as the gateway to emojis: releasing them, standardizing them, and approving or rejecting new ones.

Jennifer Daniel is the first woman to lead the Unicode Consortium’s emoji subcommittee and an outspoken advocate of inclusive, thoughtful emoji. He first gained a reputation for introducing MX. A gender-included alternative to Claus, Santa and Mrs. Claus; A sexless person breastfeeds a sexless baby; And a masculine face wearing a wedding veil.

Now he is on a mission to bring emojis into the future after an epidemic so that they are as widely represented as possible. That means taking on the role of a popular activity, including its popular and happily Nardi subscription newsletter, What will Jennifer do? (In it he analyzes the design process for upcoming emojis), or invites the general public to submit concerns about emojis and to speak to their representatives or if not accurate.

“There is no precedent here,” Daniel said of his job. And to Daniel, this is interesting not only for him, but also for the future of human communication.

I talked to her about how she sees her role and the future of emojis. The interview was lightly edited and condensed.

What does the chairman of the subcommittee mean in emoji? What do you do

It’s not sexy. [laughs] It manages a lot of volunteers [the committee is composed of volunteers who review applications and help in approval and design]. There are many papers. Lots of meetings. We meet twice a week.

I read a lot and talk to a lot of people. I recently spoke with a gesture linguist to learn how people use their hands in different cultures. How do we create better hand gesture emojis? This is a dealbreaker if the image is not good or clear. I am constantly doing a lot of research and consultation with different experts. I’ll take the right whale specialist, or a cardiovascular surgeon to get a botanical garden or whale emoji about flowers on the phone so we have to reduce the physiology of the heart.

There is one Beatrice Ward’s old essay on typography. He asked if any good typeface was a crystal goblet with water or a transparent one. Some say decorating because it’s very fancy, and others say crystal goblet because you can see and appreciate the wine. With emojis, I add more to the “transparent crystal goblet” philosophy.

Why should we care about how our emojis are designed?

My understanding is that 80% communication is incredible. There is a parallel to how we communicate. We text how we speak. It’s informal, it’s loose. The emoji is shared along with the words you are pausing to take a breath.

When emojis first came around, we had the misconception that they were ruining the language. Learning a new language is really hard and emoji is like a new language. It works on how you communicate already. It evolves as you evolve. How you communicate and present yourself develops just like yourself. You can see about 3,000 emoji and more [their interpretation] Changes by age or gender or geographical region. When we talk to someone and make eye contact, you change your body language and it’s an emotional touch. It creates empathy and connection. It allows you to express yourself. Emoji can do it all.

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