Multi-Ethnic Emojis Update is About to Up Your Emoji Art Game

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Alexander Calder, Rosy Creatures (1966)
Yayoi Kusama in front of Yellow Tree furniture room (2012).
Francisco Goya Y Lucientes, Maria Del Pilar Cayetana de Silva Alvarez de Toledo Y Silva, Thirteen Duchess of Alba (1797).
Paul Gauguin, Three Tahitians (1899).
Andy Warhol, Elvis Presley (1963).
Kehinde Wiley, Count Potocki (2008).
Alexander Calder, Rosy Creatures (1966)
Alexander Calder, Rosy Creatures (1966).
Farley Aguilar, Man and Dog (2014).
menu of proposed diverse emojis

Five more skin tone shades are going to be added to your emoji multiverse, and it’s about time! Seeing as the current emoji menu offers every possible option of transportation, phase of the moon, and astrological sign—and everyone’s favorite smiling pile of poop—doesn’t it make sense that it would offer the most basic options of skin tone?

The current singular option of skin tone came about simply because the uni-tone set emojis, originally popular in Japan, was adapted without modification as a standard.

Head of the Unicode Consortium, Mark Davis proposed an update this week, “recommending… that font developers use an unreal color for the basic characters, like the Simpsons orange, or happy-face orange. Then they can use these new characters—the new emoji modifiers—to add the skin tone.” Though the proposal will hold weight with developers— the Consortium’s word sets the standards for companies such as Apple and Google— enactment of the increased diversity in emojis will likely not come for several months seeing as this update doesn’t exist yet.

In the meantime, artnet News came up with some of our emoji art with the new diverse emojis to hold us over until we can get our hands on the real thing. The current suggested update menu of diverse emojis has only male options, so please note that not all of our pieces are gender specific.


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