Former Apple Intern Looks Back at Designing First Apple Emoji in 2008

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jan 11, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Back in 2008, Angela Guzman was a graphic design student at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and an intern at Apple, where she joined the iPhone team and worked alongside another Apple designer, Raymond, to come up with the first 500 emoji characters that were available on the iPhone.

    To celebrate the 10th anniversary of her internship, Guzman has taken a look back at her time at Apple and her work on emoji in an interesting retrospective shared on Medium.

    Image via Angela Guzman​

    When Guzman was handed the emoji project at Apple, it came at a time when emoji were unfamiliar in the English speaking world. Guzman received a crash course in Apple design and then started designing emoji, which featured incredible detail even right from the start. Then Apple CEO Steve Jobs reviewed each batch of emoji before it was approved for launch.
    Some emoji, says Guzman, have interesting back stories. The happy poop swirl, for example, was reused as the top of the ice cream cone. Harder, more detailed emoji were left last, such as the now-iconic dancer with the red dress.

    Guzman's emoji were first launched in Japan in November of 2008, and in the time since then, emoji have changed the way we communicate. Emoji have become an important part of the iOS and macOS ecosystem, and Apple has continued refining and improving its emoji offerings with each Unicode update.

    As with the first Apple emoji designed by Guzman and her partner Raymond, emoji today feature incredible detail thanks to the talented artists at Apple who take the time to make sure each and every pixel is perfect.

    iOS 11.1 was the last iOS update that introduced new emoji, bringing Unicode 10 characters like crazy face, pie, pretzel, t-rex, vampire, exploding head, face vomiting, shushing face, love you gesture, brain, scarf, zebra, giraffe, fortune cookie, pie, hedgehog, and more.


    The next emoji update will come with the release of Unicode 11 in 2018, and emoji proposals for that update include smiling face with three hearts, blue face with icicles, smiling face with cape, mango, cupcake, kangaroo, llama, peacock, and red hair options for existing emoji.

    Article Link: Former Apple Intern Looks Back at Designing First Apple Emoji in 2008
  2. Nunyabinez macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2010
    Provo, UT
    These Emoji were awesome because they were created under Steve's watch.
  3. Relentless Power, Jan 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018

    Relentless Power macrumors Core

    Relentless Power

    Jul 12, 2016
    And now we have exploding head emoji's. How the times have changed from when they first were introduced.
  4. Asarien macrumors 6502

    Sep 24, 2015
    San Francisco, CA
  5. asdavis10 macrumors 6502


    Feb 3, 2008
    She's probably glad that she got out before Animoji.
  6. YaBe macrumors 6502


    Oct 5, 2017
    Just immagine if the same attention to details was given to macOS and iOS coding...

    Immagine the possibilities!!!
  7. itsmilo macrumors 68020


    Sep 15, 2016
    I still remember when you had to either enable the japanese keyboard or download an emoji app on the AppStore to enable emojis haha
  8. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    I really hope Macrumors readers read this part so we don't hear the crying about how "Apple is ignoring <insert something to be outraged about here> and focusing on emoji!"

    Emoji are part of the Unicode standard. Ignoring the Unicode standard leads to bugs.
  9. Rogifan macrumors P6


    Nov 14, 2011
    I must say I’m happy Apple got rid of the gloss. I always thought it was fugly. I don’t need thinks to look like they’re covered in a coat of varnish.

  10. TDOB macrumors newbie

    Oct 9, 2017
    Leawood, KS
    I was really curious about the back story for the eggplant. I figure that raised some eyebrows.
  11. sevvere Suspended


    Oct 20, 2017
    Is there an emoji that represents the feeling you have when 45 minutes later, you go back to check on your download in documents6 that should of only taken 5 minutes to begin with, only to realize it stopped downloading because you decided to play around in the browser at same time?
  12. kildraik macrumors 6502a


    May 7, 2006
    Boulder, CO
    I just got a new Punkt MP01, mostly to get away from watching society deteriorate from a digital window to infinity.

    Not having to look at emoji anymore is certainly a bonus. I was inspired by this because I’ve watched my friend’s ability to communicate their feelings go from, “amazing,” to, “null,” over the past 5 years or so.

    Sad. We’re going back to an age of pictographs.
  13. gugy macrumors 68030

    Jan 31, 2005
    La Jolla, CA
    Nothing against Emoji's but the amount of press and exposure they have is just ridiculous. Sign of the times.
  14. benface macrumors regular

    Feb 28, 2012
    Poop was there from the start...
  15. adamjackson macrumors 65816

    Jul 9, 2008
    Good, now I know who to I will address hate-mail...

    In all seriousness, design is hard and I'm sure these were challenging as it's a new paradigm of communication and while unicode is setting that xxxxxxx = smiley poop, bringing text to life is very hard and these are universally understood and transcend language barriers and even culture.

    However, I hate emoji. I block people who use and I won't participate. I also don't really use iOS except reading email and news so I don't understand why someone would scroll through thousands of cartoons instead of just typing :thumbs up: with their keyboard.

    I think emoji are a result of software keyboards being too slow and crappy over physical ones. Typing on a keyboard is far more efficient and its why it took me so long to give up a Blackberry as my getting things done device. I loathe typing on iPhones and generally switch to my mac or call someone when a text conversation goes beyond 2-3 messages. So I guess emoji is for that? I still think it's something kids do kind of like voicemail is dead but for some reason audio messages via iMessage aren't?

    Anyway, cool story and awesome resume item and while I understand they faced great challenges in this, I still think emoji things are effing stupid. What's so hard about just a smiley face?

    : -)
  16. Delgibbons macrumors 6502a


    Dec 14, 2016
    Who'd have thought an intern would design what is now the very core of Apple's business :p
  17. ArneK macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2015
    "and red hair options for existing emoji."

    the gingers are taking over :O
  18. kazmac macrumors 603


    Mar 24, 2010
    On the sliver scream
    Very interesting read and that's some entry into the business. Great that they are still friends too.
  19. Mike MA macrumors 68000

    Mike MA

    Sep 21, 2012
  20. Deacon-Blues macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2012
    There are about ten emoji I use, occasionally. Who is using all these other emoji? How do they have the time to even scroll through the list to find them?
  21. EM2013 macrumors 65816


    Sep 2, 2013
  22. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    All I can say is, thank god Apple put all this time and effort into this ongoing project, and did not waster their time on something pointless, like longer lasting/larger batteries.
  23. spazzcat macrumors 68020


    Jun 29, 2007
    Apple doesn't pick the things that become Emoji.
  24. szw-mapple fan macrumors 65816

    szw-mapple fan

    Jul 28, 2012
    I’ll never be able to look at the ice cream emoji the same way again.
  25. whyamihere macrumors 6502


    Jun 30, 2008
    Only 21 emoji displayed at a time back then. Looking at 40 on my iPhone X.

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