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You Can Design Your Own ‘Official’ Emoji

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Have you ever been in the middle of composing a text message and scrolled through the emoji selection only to find that the one you need to express your emotion or situation seemingly doesn’t exist? If so—or if you simply have a great idea for a new emoji—now’s your chance: Unicode Consortium, the nonprofit organization in charge of indexing emoji, is currently open to submissions.

Here’s how to send in your own design or idea, and what the application entails.

How to prepare your emoji submission

A lot of emoji already exist—even if they don’t automatically pop up on your phone. So before creating more work for yourself and the people at the Unicode Consortium, you should do some homework.

First, check to see whether your emoji idea has already been approved. If not, check to see if someone has already submitted the same idea, and it’s currently under review.

That particular page is especially helpful when putting together your application, because it also tells you which designs have been approved and declined—giving you an idea of what the group is and isn’t looking for. Along the same lines, check out the selection factors for exclusion, as well as the criteria for consideration.

Also, take the time to consult the Emoji Subcommittee’s priorities, guidelines, strategies, reports, and audits. Lastly, ask yourself whether your proposed emoji is something that has the potential to be used frequently, and why.

This video featuring Unicode Consortium Subcommittee Chair Jennifer Daniel may also help answer some of your questions:

How to submit your idea for a new emoji

Unicode Consortium provides highly detailed submission instructions, including how to complete and send in your application. Be sure not to skip any fields in the form: Incomplete proposals won’t be processed and will be returned.

The deadline for submissions is July 31, 2022.


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