How to create an emoji

24 Mar 2019

Every year around summer new emojis appear on all of your devices. Have you ever thought about how that happens? And how it works out that every device understands them? Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS?

The answer is simple. There is a committee for it. Of course there is. And this one is called the Unicode Consortium.

After listening to the Macintosh Podcast episodes about how it all works, I got curious if I could do that, too. It turns out that it’s way easier than I thought it would be. All that I needed to do was to write a proposal and sent it in. Luckily I got lots of help by Emojination, a slack chat of emoji enthusiasts. They helped to put the proposal into the right shape (there is an official Proposal Format you need to follow) and through them I found Kelly. She made the finishing touches to my proposal that made it successful.

After we send the proposal I just had to wait for it to go through a couple of voting rounds to get it accepted in a bunch of subcommittees. In total it took 4 evenings of writing/rephrasing and 16 months of waiting. The end result? The sloth emoji.

So all that is between your favorite missing emoji and it appearing on your phone is just you writing a proposal. Do it! I am glad that I did.