Meet Jennifer Daniel, the woman who decides which emoji we want to use


Emojis have now become part of our language. If you are like most people, you can add various small images to texts, Instagram posts, and TikTok videos to enhance the expressiveness of words-maybe you dripped from the syringe during vaccinations, prayers (or loudly) Some blood-high fives? ) Is a shortcut to “thank you”, a rosy smiling face and a jazz musician can get a safe hug from a distance. Today, the emoji catalog contains nearly 3,000 illustrations that represent everything from emotions to food, natural phenomena, flags, and people at all stages of life.

Behind all these symbols is the Unicode Consortium, a non-profit organization of hardware and software companies that aims to make text and emojis accessible to everyone. One of their goals is to make the language look the same on all devices. For example, Japanese characters should be consistent in printing on all media. But Unicode may be known as the gatekeeper of emojis. It is: release them, standardize them, and approve or reject new emojis.

Jennifer Daniel (Jennifer Daniel) is the first woman to chair the Emoji Subcommittee of the Unicode Consortium, and strongly advocates inclusive and thoughtful emoji. Initially, she became famous for introducing Mx. Claus, a gender-inclusive substitute for Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus; gender-neutral people breastfeeding gender-neutral babies; and a male face wearing a bridal veil.

Now, her task is to bring emojis into the post-pandemic future and make them as representative as possible. This means playing an increasingly public role, whether it’s with her popular and annoying Substack newsletter, What will Jennifer do? (She analyzes the design process of the upcoming emoji), or invites the public to ask questions about emojis and speak out without representation or accuracy.

“There is no precedent here,” Daniel said of his work. For Daniel, this is not only exciting for her, but also exciting for the future of human communication.

I talked to her about her thoughts on her role and the future of emoji. The interview has been understated and condensed.

What does it mean to host an emoji subcommittee? What’s your job?

Not sexy [laughs] Many of them are management volunteers [the committee is composed of volunteers who review applications and help in approval and design]. There is a lot of paperwork. Many meetings. We meet twice a week.

I read a lot of books and talked with a lot of people. Recently, I spoke with a sign linguist to understand how people use their hands in different cultures. How can we make better gesture emojis? If the image is not good or unclear, it is a big problem. I have been conducting a lot of research and consulting with different experts. I will call the botanical garden, there are flowers on it, or a whale expert to figure out the emoji of the whale, or a cardiovascular surgeon, so that we can dissect the heart.

Have a Old article by Beatrice Warde on typography. She asked whether a good font was a charming crystal wine glass or a transparent wine glass. Some people will say it is gorgeous because it is so fancy, while others will say it is a crystal goblet because you can see and appreciate the wine. With emoji, I prefer the “clear crystal wine glass” philosophy.

Why should we care about the way emojis are designed?

My understanding is that 80% of communication is nonverbal. Our communication methods are similar. We texted us to speak. This is informal and loose. You are suspending your breathing. Emojis are shared with words.

When emojis first appeared, we mistakenly thought that emojis destroyed the language. Learning a new language is really difficult, emojis are a bit like a new language. It works with the way you already communicate. It evolves as you develop. The development of communication and presentation is just like yourself.You can view nearly 3,000 emojis [their interpretation] Varies according to age, gender or geographic area. When we talk to someone and make eye contact, you change your body language, which is an emotional contagion. It establishes empathy and connection. It allows you to disclose your situation. Emoji can do this, all in the image.


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