You may have seen a variety of smiley faces and other icons in your phone’s messaging app, but do you know who is responsible for deciding which emojis we get to use?
This woman is one of the most influential figures in the world of technology, and her decisions shape the way we communicate with one another every day. Let’s learn more about her and how she came to the position she is in now.
What is an emoji?
An emoji is a small digital image or icon used to express an emotion or idea. Emojis are used in electronic messages and web pages, on social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter, and can be found in other digital spaces. They provide a fun and efficient way to communicate with people online worldwide.
The first emojis were created in Japan by Shigetaka Kurita in the late 1990s. At the time, he was working on a mobile Internet platform that needed symbols and icons to convey complex thoughts quickly and graphically. The first few emojis included copies of facial expressions, hands performing gestures like thumbs up and clapping, familiar objects like hearts and umbrellas – even common foods like sushi. His earliest designs were based on manga (Japanese comic books) and kanji (Chinese characters).
Since then, many more emojis have been created by other artists across the globe – both inside companies like Apple as part of their ongoing development of features for mobile phone software – as well as through fan art websites like Emojipedia which publishes posts about new emoji symbols one by one for dedicated fans around the world to check out.
The woman who will decide what emoji we get to use
The world has embraced the emoji, with millions of people using it to communicate virtually daily. But who is the woman behind this popular communication tool?
Her name is Shigetaka Kurita, and in 1999 he was part of the team at NTT DoCoMo that designed the first limited set of 176 emojis. He had been inspired by manga and kanji characters, and wanted to create a similar set of symbols that could be used to express emotions in messaging applications.
Kurita was born in Tokyo in 1965 and holds a graduate degree in visual design from Tama Art University. He began his career at NTT DoCoMo where he worked as a designer, creating products like logo designs, mobile phone interfaces, and soon the famous emoji set. His team quickly found success: within one year the character set expanded to more than 800 symbols!
Kurita’s work contributed greatly to revolutionising communication between analog-born users and digital natives discovering this new form of expression for themselves. Today, over 3,000 unique emojis are available – thanks to Kurita’s vision! He continues to work at NTT DoCoMo, creating mobile services including financial applications and other value-added services for smartphones.
Background of the Woman Behind the Emoji
Stephanie Peron is the woman who will decide what new emoji will be released and become available for us to use. She is the emoji expert at Unicode, overseeing the official Unicode Standard.
She has gained popularity for creating and approving new emoji representing different cultures and identities.
Let’s examine her background and how she became the “woman behind the emoji”.
Who is Jennifer 8. Lee?
Jennifer 8. Lee is a former New York Times reporter who brought the iconic emoji to life. Through her relentless advocacy and storytelling, she highlighted the importance of diversity in the representation in our digital language.
Lee was born in Taiwan and moved to the United States at a young age, where she attended Harvard University. She first discovered her passion for journalism while working for The Harvard Crimson, where she would eventually become the managing editor covering campus news and culture. After graduating from college, Lee was a reporter for The New York Times, covering topics like technology and Small Businesses Week in America.
While working with The Times, Lee also pursued projects outside of journalism like designing exhibitions at The Bronx Museum and recording an episode of NPR’s “This American Life” about female fortune cookie makers in New York City. This passion project led her to uncover her quest: Who is behind the enigmatic smiley face emoji?
Lee eventually found out that when the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) designed emojis as part of international adoption into digital language back in 1996–1997, it had taken samples of faces to be used universally across platforms since then — one of which was that of Japanese professor Shigetaka Kurita’s daughter Yuuko Kurita’s facial features from a 1999 photograph by Nozomi Imai with no clue how popularised it would become.
Thanks to Lee’s discoveries, Yuuko Kurita has been finally recognized for empowering generations worldwide with what has become one of the most widely-used symbols today — all thanks to Jennifer 8. Lee’s groundbreaking work!
Her role in the development of emoji
The emoji phenomenon has become one of the defining aspects of modern communication, but not many people know the story of the woman behind its development. This is the story of Shigetaka Kurita, a software designer who played an instrumental role in launching the world into the emoji era.
Kurita was part of a team at NTT DoCoMo – Japan’s largest mobile phone company – in 1999 when they decided to make their handheld devices more accessible by providing “emoticons” or pictograms to bridge language gaps. With his team he created specialised algorithms and expanded upon existing images, such as black and white pixel art, ASCII art. For example, Smiley faces to develop 176 playful characters that made up what we now call emojis.
Kurita’s initial set ranged from phones and TV sets to food items and animals which could easily be recognizable for a range of users. He described emoji as having “a phone number like a phone number was necessary for calling someone…I thought it would be better if a pictogram lets you send someone your feelings quickly.” To this day, Kurita believes that emojis should be intended to be fun—they should act as something people can enjoy using as much as possible without being bogged down by grammar or rules―which is why they continue to be featured so heavily even 20 years later.
The Process of Creating an Emoji
You may never have thought of the woman behind them when you use emojis to express yourself in text messages and social media. But in 2017, a woman called Jennifer 8. Lee broke the glass ceiling to determine what emojis the world will use after she was appointed to the Unicode Consortium’s board. This non-profit organisation selects and approves the emojis we can access.
Let’s take a closer look into the process of creating an emoji.
How does an emoji get approved?
Creating an emoji typically involves several steps before the symbol goes public. The Unicode Consortium is responsible for allowing new emoji to join the list of current symbols, and it requires certain guidelines be met before approval can be granted.
First, a proposal must be submitted that includes information about why a specific image and either description or example of how the character will be used. Then, after the proposal is reviewed and accepted for consideration, it must go through the Unicode Technical Committee Selection Process which outlines various requirements for acceptance.
Once all criteria have been met, it will proceed to the actual development stages in which code points are assigned alongside a commentary describing how and where it can be used. After established code points and emoji characters are built, they are tested in different platforms to determine compatibility across systems.
Lastly, they are voted upon by members of the Unicode Consortium and put into production if approved. Sometimes this process may take up to two years until final release however; some simpler proposals can reach full release status within six months or less!
What is the Unicode Consortium?
The Unicode Consortium is a non-profit organisation, founded in 1991, to create a standard set of code points – the format used to represent characters in computing devices, such as smartphones and computers. The Unicode Consortium brings together a variety of software and hardware vendors, language specialists, international organisations and end-users from all over the world. The governing body approves all new emoji designs released to the public. In addition, it is an organisation that defines standards for how existing emoji are converted into different devices and platforms.
The Impact of the Woman Behind the Emoji
The woman who will decide what emoji we get to use has the power to shape our digital conversations and has the potential to impact how we express ourselves online.
This woman, who is the head of Unicode’s Emoji Subcommittee, is making some bold and daring decisions about what kind of emojis we will use.
Let’s explore the impact this woman has on the way we communicate.
How Jennifer 8. Lee has changed the way we communicate
The world of emojis changed forever in 2018 when the story of Jennifer 8. Lee was told. Lee, a Chinese American tech entrepreneur and author, is credited with taking the emoji from a niche product within Japan to an international phenomenon.
As early as 2005, Lee was already influentially pushing for change in how people communicate online and through mobile devices. For example, she noticed that some characters were missing from the SMS language –most notably, those representing emotions like joy, sadness, fear and love— which were already being used in Japan’s mobile messaging system. To help make sure everyone around the world would embrace these diverse types of communication, she proposed adding a multi-ethnic representation for each of these emotions – ie: an affirmative thumbs-up emoji that included both people of color and Caucasians side by side -to ensure no one felt left out or excluded.
Although Apple didn’t officially acquiesce to her request until 2015 under new leadership (CEO Tim Cook) her work in this area has never been overlooked or forgotten by fans of emojis worldwide — her perseverance even gave them a new name: “jennifers”! So nowadays you can find an emoji encapsulating any emotion you feel — thanks to Jennifer 8. Lee’s hard work and dedication!
The impact of her work on the world
When the woman behind the emoji, Unicode Chair Mariangela Vilaseca, first unveiled her idea for a set of pictographs representing all words in all languages, she likely had no idea how revolutionary her concept would be. Yet, over the years, emoji have become an invaluable tool for expressing emotions and concepts, allowing people across cultures to effectively and quickly communicate without relying on a single language. They are used worldwide on billions of devices and can be found in publications, text messages, films and even physical art installations.
The woman behind the emoji has also provided us with much more than a convenient communication tool – her innovative breakthroughs have opened our eyes to new possibilities. Thanks to her work, we are seeing technology evolve at an unprecedented rate with groundbreaking advances in machine learning and AI algorithms that process natural language. In addition, her work on creating an entire font for emoticons has been translated into several other programming languages giving developers a highly usable source code repository which can be adapted into their projects. She has also championed cross-cultural understanding by making it easier for people from different backgrounds to connect over common ground – something which many believe will only continue to grow as we become increasingly linked through technology.
Mariangela Vilaseca’s creation has had a tremendous impact on both digital culture and communication across cultures around the world. Moreover, her work continues to inspire future generations of technologists and linguists alike, encouraging them to think beyond what is conventional – paving way for a future where diverse languages are celebrated equally regardless of origin or complexity.
tags = unicode consortium jennifer emoji subcommitteebasu technologyreview, consortium daniel emoji subcommitteebasu mit technologyreview, emojie, apps, design