The visual landscape in which we communicate has changed. Emojis became an important part of our communication. The already existing variety of visual symbols allows people to represent certain subjects visually or even construct stories with emojis. However, this widely used communication tool is controlled by commercial corporations which please the society with the positive, non-critical emojis that limit people from using them on critical topics. Therefore, we miss a lot of representations of critical subjects that are relevant to our society.
Current protests in the world show that there are a lot of important topics which are missing in the emoji ‘alphabet’. Eventually, could we use this visual language to speak about humanitarian issues, climate change or other subjects for protest or demonstration?
Demoji.pro aims to represent a complexity of our current visual and cultural climate in emojis. It is an open platform where you can submit and use alternative emojis. Most of these emojis are available to download in different versions that could be used online but also for large prints or even stencils. Connectivity with tweets containing #demoji promotes the platform and also makes the website a source of inspiration for designers who want to participate by creating an emoji. The number of clicks increases the size of a symbol that shows which emojis are the most popular at the moment.
Since the project has started, the collaboration with several designers from other countries has revealed the differences in symbolic perception and representation of the certain topics. Take for example green striped emoji. It represents the pattern used on construction site fences in Russia. While Russian government keeps telling people about the financial crisis, at the same time they fence large territories in the cities and build new houses. As a result, this pattern became an unofficial symbol of corruption.
VICE Creators article (in Dutch)
WdKA graduation project by Mantas Rimkus
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