Interesting History of Emojis: Everything You Need to Know

Shutterstock/ Vilmos Varga

If you are a fan of chatting, you’ll agree that emojis have revolutionized the exercise. They have made communication flawlessly easy that one can easily become addicted to them!

But do you know their origin?

Well, contrary to the beliefs of many, emoji are ancient; they have only been modified slightly to suit the modern world.

History of Emojis

The origin of emojis can be traced back to a famous Russian-American author known as Vladimir Nabokov. In 1969, he suggested to the New York Times that there should be special characters to express emotions.

Consequently, he proposed a concave mark with a supine bracket to represent a smile. Eventually, the suggestion was implemented less than 40 years later!

As a result, typing a colon followed by the supine bracket in any modern operating system gives a smiley emoji exactly as he envisioned.

Emojis Before 1969

While Vladimir Nabokov had a clearer image of what an emoji should look like, there were more ancient attempts to use symbols to express emotions.
For example, in 1912, Ambrose Bierce, an American author, proposed a character that would be used to describe irony.

Also, the editor of Puck magazine suggested four proto-emojis that largely consisted of periods, hyphens, and parentheses. The emojis have a striking resemblance to what you’ll find in any modern device today.

Why is Abraham Lincoln Called the Father of Emoji?

Abraham Lincoln is known as the “father of emoji” due to a transcription of one of his speeches in 1862 that included a winking smiley- 😉

Who Exactly Invented Emoji?

The truth is, nobody can take the credit for emojis entirely. Different individuals have extensively used the symbols. Additionally, the emojis were part of the culture of ancient writers.

However, scientists have significantly improved the emojis as technology evolves.

Modernization of Emoji

Unicode Consortium has modified the emojis to make them more real. The nonprofit organization works with Facebook, Adobe, Apple, Google, and other technology companies to improve customer experience.

The company has managed to avail emojis to any smart device. The first technical work was undertaken in 1999 by a mobile phone company called DoCoMo. An engineer called Kurita established 180 symbols now called emojis

Johannes Gutenberg’s Story with Emoji

In 1990, Charles Bigelow, assisted by his wife, developed Wingdings font which was an improvement of Lucida fonts. The new font combined different symbols to significantly reduce file sizes. Later, Microsoft licensed it which gave its users a first-hand experience with pronto-emoji.

In 1979, the legendary Hermann Zapf developed ITC Zapf Dingbats, which contained more than 1000 signs and symbols. The typographer used the knowledge of ornamental dingbats which allowed users to use pictosymbols. From that perspective, Johannes Gutenberg has contributed significantly to the development of emoji.

Bottom Line

While no single individual can take credit for emojis, they have improved the experiences of chat lovers!

The symbols have progressively developed into what we know today. It’s factual that more improvement is bound to come as scientists make new technological inventions.