Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth, the designers duo behind the rewritten standards manuals MTA, NASA and EPA, return with a new book: Emoji a collection of the original 176 emoji characters.
The original emoji were designed by Shigetaka Kurita for the Japanese telecommunications company DoCoMo in 1999 for use on pages from Japan. Those tiny 12-by-12-pixel grid images have only a passing resemblance to the much more detailed emojis of today, but there is a clear line that can be drawn between Kurita's early work and the thousands of emoji characters on our phones. Kurita has been involved in the project; Reed and Smyth flew to Tokyo to interview him for additional context on the original designs, and will also provide an introduction to the book.
Reed and Smyth are not the first to realize the artistic importance of the original emoji. In 2016, the Museum of Modern Art in New York purchased the original work of emojis to add to its permanent collection. (Paola Antonelli and Paul Galloway of MoMA will also write an essay for the book.)
Emoji represents a small change for the couple, who has achieved fame in the world of design through their standards manuals. In an interview with The Verge Reed and Smyth noticed that they liked the idea of doing something a little different here, and described their goals as editors to "archive and preserve lost artifacts and forgotten pieces of time". . "It's something they've already started doing with the Standards Manual in Brooklyn, which exhibits and sells an extensive collection of graphic design jobs.
. The book itself will have 360 pages, with four versions of each emoji: color and black and white copies in the original 1: 1 scale, an expanded version in color and an enlarged version in black and white with the underlying grid of 12 by 12 (Larger versions are possible because the original emoji characters are actually vector art, making it easy to create extended versions without losing image quality.) In addition, DoCoMo technical data will be presented with each character.
Along with the book, Reed and Smyth will also launch a keyboard extension for iOS and Android that will allow users to send these emoji, which will mark the first time that users outside of Japan will be able to send and reci bir the original 176 emoji characters. Sponsors will receive a free copy of the application. (It will also be sold in iOS and Android app stores when the book is shipped this fall)
Emoji is available to back Kickstarter for an anticipated price of $ 65, (or $ 75 at the full price once those run out), with an estimated release date of October 2018. As with all Kickstarter projects, there is always the possibility that something goes wrong, so use your best judgment. However, Reed and Smyth have an excellent track record with other Kickstarter book releases, so there's definitely less concern here.