How To Propose A New Emoji

I absolutely love this style of storytelling! 

Kolin Pope of the Washington Post uses claymation to illustrate the process of successfully proposing a new emoji, in this case the “person meditating” emoji. 

He interviews Mark Bramhill, an audio producer and host of the podcast “Welcome to Macintosh,” who discovered that anyone can propose a new emoji in the middle of 2016 — and his mind immediately went wild with the possibilities.

At the time, the road from idea to emoji was not well-mapped. Bramhill soon realized that all paths led to the little-known global language standards organization that — somehow — found itself tasked with regulating emoji: the Unicode Consortium.

How To Propose An Emoji

These are the 15 steps you need to take to propose an emoji:

  1. Come up with an idea for an emoji

    Do research to make sure it’s not already an emoji

  2. Ensure your emoji idea is not overly specific

    E.G. Sushi is generic enough but a salmon nigiri is too specific

  3. Ensure your emoji idea has multiple uses

    Can it be used non-literally?

  4. Ensure it doesn’t overlap with existing emoji

    Don’t propose a new breed of dog, for example

  5. Don’t propose a logo, a brand or a real person

    Copyright and trademark issues, obviously.

  6. Ensure your emoji idea is not a fad

    Has it been around for a long time?

  7. Write a proposal for your emoji idea

    Explain why your emoji deserves to be accepted

  8. Send your proposal to the Unicode Consortium’s emoji subcommittee

  9. Wait for a resonse

  10. If accepted, your proposal will be forwarded to the Unicode technical committee

  11. Wait for a response

  12. You may be invited to argue your proposal in person

    If so, pitch your idea

  13. Wait for a response

    If accepted, each platform will decide how to draw their own verison of your emoji

  14. Wait for the next emoji update

    Look for your emoji

  15. Celebrate!

Emoji Resources