We tend to forget, but in a matter of years emoji have become so successful that hardly a message is sent without. It’s a fascinating phenomenon since emoji are much more than just those amusing, angry or sad faces. Worldwide they have become a vital part of our discourse, revolutionizing how we communicate along the way.

No other visual language has developed with such speed and Lilian Stolk, an emoji expert, analyzes many of its facets. She meets with all the important figures of the emoji world, from the Japanese inventor of the emoji to the director of Unicode (who decide which symbols we can use), and from computer scien- tists to sticker designers earning money by selling their unique emoji sets. She shows, among other things, how this originally Japanese invention became commonplace throughout the world, what effect emoji have on our emotions and why we are so focused on the visual.

You can find more information or order the book via the website of her publisher: Maven Publishing.

💡 You can still contribute to the research, by filling in this online survey.💡

Illustration from Het Zonderwoorden-boek, Harvey Ball designing the smiley in 1963. </font color>


Shigetaka Kurita, inventor of emoji, August 2016 </font color>


Naotomo Watanabe, sticker manager LINE, August 2016 </font color>

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