Skip to main content

The Art of Emoji

The Art of Emoji

131105_EYE_Fred Benenson - Emoji New Yorker
Fred Benenson's Eustace Emoji is an emoji-based reinterpretation of an iconic New Yorker cover.
Image courtesy Fred Benenson
Ever since Apple popularized the Japanese emoticons on known as emoji with the release of i0S5, digital communication once confined to letters, numbers and punctuation has become a cartoonish full-color landscape littered with pictographs designed to help express emotions and ideas.
Credit: iStock
But as emoji design has developed to include a growing number of icons (from a smiley/sad/angry/confused/insert-emotion-here face to a tube of lipstick to a pile of poop with eyes to a running shoe to a person “deeply bowing,” and much, much more) the pictographs themselves have become more than as a visual aid for verbal communication, evolving into a vehicle for expression in their own right.
Emoji art history memes offer emoji-based homages to famous works of art. Singapore-based design studio VoidWorks has created an iTunes app called Emojifythat transforms your photos into emoji-based collages. Emoji art Tumblrs feature a wide range of works whose common language is the miniature pictographs that are no longer just the digital currency of Japanese teenagers, who have been using emoji since they were invented in the 1990s.
131105_EYE_Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 6.09
Screen shot of Emojify from iTunes.
Screen shot of Emojify from iTunes.
Kickstarter data engineer and self-proclaimed “emoji aficionado” Fred Benenson’s emoji-based interpretation of a famous New Yorker cover featuring Eustace Tilley (pictured above) helped showcase the possibilities of using emoji not just as a substitute for words but as a design element in and of themselves. (Benenson also launched a successful Kickstarter campaign to help him use Amazon’s Mechanical Turk to translate Moby Dick into Emoji Dick, the first emoji-based novel to be acquired by the Library of Congress.) And he is one of the organizers of what is being called the first emoji-based art and design show dedicated to showcasing the emerging art of emoji.
Forced Meme Productions is accepting original emoji-based art submissions through November 8 for the Emoji Art & Design Show next month at the Eyebeam Art & Technology Center in New York City. Partnering with Mashable, the organizers say that the exhibition is an attempt to survey the spread of emoji through a visually oriented popular culture that increasingly communicates through images rather than text.
“This visual form of communication isn’t necessarily new,” the organizers write. “From cave paintings, to hieroglyphics, to religious and mythological symbols encoded in traditional painting and sculpture, we’ve been communicating through images since the dawn of mankind—but its dominance in culture today, especially among millennials, seems to indicate a greater shift in our approach to self-expression.”
131105_EYE_janssen_emoji
IJOME by Carolyn and Lizzy Janssen.
Image courtesy of Womanzine
According to the submission guidelines: “If you’re an artist or designer working with emoji, send us your work. We’re looking for a diverse array of interpretations and appropriations of the emoji that exist both on and offline. The show welcomes new and existing works from a variety of mediums ranging from net art, to painting and sculpture, video and performance.”
Kristin Hohenadel is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in the New York Times,Fast CompanyVogueElle DecorLonny, and Apartment Therapy.

Popular posts from this blog

Warning, Car Porn

The signature feature is the Rolls Royce Wraith’s Starlight Headliner, consisting of 1,340 LEDs hand-sewn to create an effect of owning one’s personal night sky filled with stars...

Warning, content below represents a man's libidinous fascination with an automobile. It is not Lolita; after all Bradley Berman, the author, is not Nabokov and the Wraith is not underaged. Nonetheless, I find myself simultaneously repulsed... and seduced. David J. Katz

Annotated Guide To Men's Belts

The Complete Guide To Men’s BeltsArticle By  on 11th March 2014 | @gabrielweil

IMAGE: AUSTIN REED SS14

Discounts, Discovery & Delight: 3Ds for Retail Success

In fashion and retail, Dopamine is the drug of choice. Technically, Dopamine is the neurotransmitter of “desire.” Dopamine leaps across synapses in our brain to control our reward and pleasure centers. It enables craving. It induces repeat behaviors. It makes us want more. Therefore, it is in our best interest to create products and experiences which induce the release of dopamine in our consumers. We could use some dopamine for ourselves, too. In our fashion and retail world, there are three primary stimuli, "3Ds," we can control to deliver hits of dopamine: Discounts, Discovery and Delight.