Do You Know Who The Emoji Inventor Is? Learn All About Them

Oluwatosin Michael
Nov 02, 2023 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Dec 22, 2021
Are you excited to know the facts about the emoji inventor who created this language of symbols?
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.2 Min

Emojis have evolved from a fun method to depict a joke to a language of their own, and they're now a part of popular culture used to express our moods and sentiments online.

Emojis are an intriguing aspect of how we communicate online. Emojis are one of the most helpful 21st-century shorthand communication tools.

Emojis may be used in email marketing and on social media to communicate personality. Emojis occur in more than half of all Instagram comments and captions, and posting one on Twitter may enhance conversation by 25.4%.

Finally, a well-placed emoji may make your audience laugh and feel more connected to your company. The Wingdings font was designed as a one-of-a-kind utility for the pre-internet age. It was made up of lots of symbols.

The word emoji literally translates to 'picture' (e) 'character' (moji). Emojis are not the same as emoticons. Emoticons serve the same purpose as emojis, except they're made out of normal letters. A colon, a dash, and a parenthesis, for example, can be used to make a smiley face. Emojis, on the other hand, are simple images or symbols.

Emojis have been credited with enabling the establishment of a worldwide, universal language.

Nobody owns the term 'emoji', just as no one owns the terms 'tree,' 'home,' 'computer,' or 'icon.' While numerous people and corporations are involved in various phases of emoji certification, including the Unicode Consortium, no one claims ownership of the name emoji.

Emojis first appeared on Japanese mobile phones in 1997, and after being integrated into numerous mobile operating systems in the 2010s, they grew increasingly popular throughout the world.

SoftBank's 90 emojis from 1997 predate Docomo's 176 emojis from 1999, which included the poop emoji as the first iPhone emoji.

Emojis are now frequently designed with vector graphics in modern art, allowing them to scale up to an infinite resolution.

The Story Of Their Creation

We used to have to rely on words to communicate with others until the late '90s.  All of that changed in 1998, when Shigetaka Kurita, a Japanese man, invented emoji designs.

Shigetaka Kurita worked at NTT DoCoMo, a major Japanese mobile phone provider. Shigetaka Kurita was a member of a team that was entrusted with creating the company's first mobile internet system. Shigetaka Kurita believed that emojis would help users to communicate more efficiently while using less bandwidth because their system limited buyers to 250 characters in text messages.

The initial set of emojis consisted of 176 extremely simple 12-pixel by 12-pixel graphics that communicated a wide range of emotions and concepts, including emojis for weather, cuisine, drinks, thoughts, and moods. Shigetaka Kurita was inspired by Japanese manga (comic books) and the current Japanese writing system's logographic characters (kanji).

Kurita's emojis became tremendously popular in Japan, and other Japanese technology businesses quickly adopted this modern art. However, it took some time for them to propagate to other nations' technological platforms.

Apple's inclusion of emojis in its iOS operating system in the late '00s contributed to their popularity in the United States. When Unicode Standard, the worldwide standard for character-based electronic communication, defined an emoji set in 2010, the floodgates of emojis finally opened.

Because of this standardization, technology firms like Microsoft, Google, Twitter, and Facebook were able to create their own emojis that could be recognized across all platforms.

Shigetaka Kurita had to work inside a 12 by the 12-pixel grid when he produced the first emoji in 1999. That's a total of 144 dots, or 18 bytes of data, implying that the Japanese designer's whole set of 176 pictograms weighed in a little over three kilobytes.

There's only a smidgeon of information here, yet it's packed with meaning.

The emoji standard of Shigetaka Kurita was designed with one goal in mind: to make communication easier on an embryonic mobile internet infrastructure established by Japanese telecom company NTT DoCoMo. Emails were available, but they were limited to 250 characters, so emojis were a means to convey more in a little amount of time.

Famous Emojis

According to Adobe researchers who polled 7,000 users throughout the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Japan, Australia, and South Korea, the 'laugh out loud' emoji face is officially the world's most popular emoji.

The 'thumbs up' and 'red heart' emojis came in second and third, respectively. The 'wink and kiss' and 'sad face with a tear' emojis, respectively, rounded out the top five.

This year, the face with loud weeping got first place! It's important to consider the context. An unprepared user could be confused by a yellow face with an open mouth crying and streams of heavy tears, but worry not; while this modern art can be used to express pain, it has overwhelmingly been used to express happiness.

In 2021, the happy face was knocked out of the first position, and Gen-Z TikTok users may have had a role in this. Earlier this year, they said that utilizing the laugh-cry emoji makes you out of touch, yet we witnessed a lot of laughter accompanied by such an emoji on social media.

The sparkling emoji is another online favorite that commonly appears alongside words of joy. In real life, it is used to emphasize warm connections in dialogues, newness, and gorgeousness in general, and sometimes irony.

The red heart emoji is well-known as a symbol of love and thanks. Many companies use this emoji to thank their supporters, and we associate it with positive messaging and conveying nice sentiments.

'The\u00a0Emoji\u00a0Movie'\u00a0is\u00a0a\u00a02017\u00a0Sony\u00a0Pictures\u00a0animated\u00a0adventure\u00a0emoji story\u00a0released\u00a0on\u00a0July\u00a028,\u00a02017.

Types Of Emojis

You might use a heart-eye emoji to indicate your affection for anything, whether it's a new product or a blog post you want to share on social media. For example, SoulCycle's email subject line includes a heart-eye emoji to show their support and affection for the products they're now selling online.

When someone delivers a sarcastic or ambiguous joke that appears serious when taken out of context, the side-eye emoji is most commonly used to show a grin. Finally, it's a wonderful emoji to use if you want to show off your brand's humorous side or if you're making a joke and aren't sure if your audience will get it.

The eyes emoji is a quick and easy method to call attention to a website or picture you'd like to share with others. Instead of saying 'look at this,' you may say 'look at this with your eyes.'

The flushed face emoji is a great way for your company to show humility or thanks after an accomplishment or reward. The flushed face emoji, on the other hand, is frequently used to represent happiness or delight.

The thinking emoji is frequently used to depict someone deep in contemplation or debating the merits of a proposition. It can be used to convey skepticism regarding a contentious subject, such as 'Hmm... not sure about that.'

The happy emoji with a sweat droplet is commonly used to signify a close call; the sweat represents agony, while the grin suggests someone thinking, 'Phew! That could've happened'.

Fun Fact About Emojis

Emoji usage has exploded since Apple introduced the Emoji keyboard to iOS in 2011, and several experts have dubbed it the 'fastest-growing language in the world.'

The Oxford English Dictionary introduced the term 'emoji' to its dictionary in August 2013, defining it as a little digital graphic or symbol used to represent a concept or feeling in the digital age.

While the Egyptians are credited for the invention of hieroglyphics (which may be considered the first genuine type of emoji), Docomo, a Japanese phone company, is commonly acknowledged as the creator of what we now know as emoji.

However, fresh evidence suggests that Softbank Japan introduced a phone in 1997 that supported 90 different emoji characters, two years before Docomo did.

Every year, Unicode updates its official library of emojis, and as of March 2019, there are 3,019 approved emojis. For 2019, 230 new emojis were authorized, including new square, circle, and heart colors, as well as a diving mask, Hindu temple, and flamingo. Apple's 2018 accessibility emojis, as well as a gender-inclusive pair, are included in these new versions.

Every year on July 17, World Emoji Day is celebrated as an unofficial holiday with a global celebration of the emoji, which is marked with emoji-related activities and product launches. The date of July 17 was picked since it is the date on the calendar emoji.

The face with tears of joy emoji is the most popular on social media for the third year in a row; this sign was also named the Oxford Dictionary's Word of the Year in 2015. The next three most popular emojis in 2018 were red heart, smiling face with heart-eyes, and thinking face.

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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

Oluwatosin Michael picture

Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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