Emoji: the evolution of emoticons

July 17th is world emoji day. The better day to end the trilogy of posts: the smile smile to the emoji, passing through the emoticons..

The name emoji derives from 絵 e (image), 文 mo (writing) and ji (character). The emojis were developed in 1999 by the graphic designer Shigetaka Kurita for Japanese telecommunications company NTT DoCoMo. Shigetaka offers the company a better way to incorporate images into the limited visual space of mobile phone screens. The emojis immediately have incredible success and are copied by rival companies in Japan. Twelve years later, when Apple releases a much larger set for the iPhone, emojis become a new form of global digital communication. The Modern Art Museum in New York includes the emojis in their permanent collection and display them on monitors in the museum atrium. The introduction of emoji has in fact facilitated the rise of the practice of text messaging and mobile e-mail. Based on various sources including manga, Zapf dingbats and emoticons, Kurita's set includes illustrations of meteorological phenomena, pictograms and a range of expressive faces. Simple, elegant and incisive, Kurita's emojis plant the seeds for the explosion of a new visual language. When in 2015 the word "emoji" is decreed the word of the year, the smiles we use in our messages receive a real consecration. The original emojis are different from the colorful and vivid ones that live on our screens. It is necessary to wait until 2010 for them to be translated into the Unicode standard and become a global reality. Many new emojis are regularly added by the Unicode standard that every year selects the best proposals coming from all over the world. What is the success of Emoji? The enormous feedback that emoji have is due to the fact that by introducing body language and facial expressions. They reaffirm the human in the abstract space of electronic communication.