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The Emoji Effect

 

Recently we launched a collection of products that feature some familiar images—the Message Me! Collection is a tribute to the very first series of emojis designed by Shigetaka Kurita and NTT DoCoMo.

In 1999, NTT DoCoMo released a series of pictograms that would revolutionize the concept of text communication. The introduction of these symbols supports the belief that language never stops changing and adapting. Today, emojis come in a variety of sets and blend seamlessly into our text messages. At the time, Shigetaka Kurita had no idea the impact his designs would have on communication—or how his 12 x 12 pixels would evolve into yellow faced smilies and a rainbow of hearts embraced across most social media platforms!

 

Our Message Me! Collection features several products covered with the ancestors of today’s emoji, the images that started it all. For today’s tech connected generation, these retro-digital designs are perfect for the friend attached to their phone. It’s amazing to see where emojis started, the minimalist but colorful designs that predate all of our favorite emojis.

For more information about NTT DoCoMo and Shigetaka Kurita’s designs, you can visit the Museum of Modern Art and see the original set of 176 emojis as part of their collection. You can also find our Message Me! collection in the MoMA gift shop starting this fall, but for now it’s already here on our website!