Former Apple Intern Looks Back at Designing First Apple Emoji in 2008

Back in 2008, Angela Guzman was a graphic design student at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and an intern at Apple, where she joined the iPhone team and worked alongside another Apple designer, Raymond, to come up with the first 500 emoji characters that were available on the iPhone.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of her internship, Guzman has taken a look back at her time at Apple and her work on emoji in an interesting retrospective shared on Medium.

emoji2008

Image via Angela Guzman

When Guzman was handed the emoji project at Apple, it came at a time when emoji were unfamiliar in the English speaking world. Guzman received a crash course in Apple design and then started designing emoji, which featured incredible detail even right from the start. Then Apple CEO Steve Jobs reviewed each batch of emoji before it was approved for launch.

Regardless of how fast I could crank one out, I constantly checked the details: the direction of the woodgrain, how freckles appeared on apples and eggplants, how leaf veins ran on a hibiscus, how leather was stitched on a football, the details were neverending. I tried really hard to capture all this in every pixel, zooming in and zooming out, because every detail mattered.

Some emoji, says Guzman, have interesting back stories. The happy poop swirl, for example, was reused as the top of the ice cream cone. Harder, more detailed emoji were left last, such as the now-iconic dancer with the red dress.

Guzman's emoji were first launched in Japan in November of 2008, and in the time since then, emoji have changed the way we communicate. Emoji have become an important part of the iOS and macOS ecosystem, and Apple has continued refining and improving its emoji offerings with each Unicode update.

As with the first Apple emoji designed by Guzman and her partner Raymond, emoji today feature incredible detail thanks to the talented artists at Apple who take the time to make sure each and every pixel is perfect.

iOS 11.1 was the last iOS update that introduced new emoji, bringing Unicode 10 characters like crazy face, pie, pretzel, t-rex, vampire, exploding head, face vomiting, shushing face, love you gesture, brain, scarf, zebra, giraffe, fortune cookie, pie, hedgehog, and more.

ios11emoji1
The next emoji update will come with the release of Unicode 11 in 2018, and emoji proposals for that update include smiling face with three hearts, blue face with icicles, smiling face with cape, mango, cupcake, kangaroo, llama, peacock, and red hair options for existing emoji.

Tag: emoji

Top Rated Comments

YaBe Avatar
53 months ago
Just immagine if the same attention to details was given to macOS and iOS coding...

Immagine the possibilities!!!
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
itsmilo Avatar
53 months ago
I still remember when you had to either enable the japanese keyboard or download an emoji app on the AppStore to enable emojis haha
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gugy Avatar
53 months ago
Nothing against Emoji's but the amount of press and exposure they have is just ridiculous. Sign of the times.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Asarien Avatar
53 months ago
Man, what a great way to begin a career.
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Piggie Avatar
53 months ago
All I can say is, thank god Apple put all this time and effort into this ongoing project, and did not waster their time on something pointless, like longer lasting/larger batteries.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Delgibbons Avatar
53 months ago
('https://www.macrumors.com/2018/01/11/2008-emoji-design-retrospective/')


Back in 2008, Angela Guzman was a graphic design student at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and an intern at Apple, where she joined the iPhone team and worked alongside another Apple designer, Raymond, to come up with the first 500 emoji characters that were available on the iPhone.

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of her internship, Guzman has taken a look back at her time at Apple and her work on emoji in an interesting retrospective shared on Medium ('https://medium.com/@agzmn/the-making-of-apples-emoji-how-designing-these-tiny-icons-changed-my-life-16317250a9ee').


Image via Angela Guzman
When Guzman was handed the emoji project at Apple, it came at a time when emoji were unfamiliar in the English speaking world. Guzman received a crash course in Apple design and then started designing emoji, which featured incredible detail even right from the start. Then Apple CEO Steve Jobs reviewed each batch of emoji before it was approved for launch.Some emoji, says Guzman, have interesting back stories. The happy poop swirl, for example, was reused as the top of the ice cream cone. Harder, more detailed emoji were left last, such as the now-iconic dancer with the red dress.

Guzman's emoji were first launched in Japan in November of 2008, and in the time since then, emoji have changed the way we communicate. Emoji have become an important part of the iOS and macOS ecosystem, and Apple has continued refining and improving its emoji offerings with each Unicode update.

As with the first Apple emoji designed by Guzman and her partner Raymond, emoji today feature incredible detail thanks to the talented artists at Apple who take the time to make sure each and every pixel is perfect.

iOS 11.1 was the last iOS update that introduced new emoji ('https://www.macrumors.com/2017/10/31/apple-releases-ios-11-1-with-new-emoji/'), bringing Unicode 10 characters ('https://www.macrumors.com/2017/06/20/new-emoji-in-unicode-10/') like crazy face, pie, pretzel, t-rex, vampire, exploding head, face vomiting, shushing face, love you gesture, brain, scarf, zebra, giraffe, fortune cookie, pie, hedgehog, and more.



The next emoji update will come with the release of Unicode 11 in 2018 ('https://www.macrumors.com/2017/08/04/frowning-poo-unicode-11/'), and emoji proposals for that update include smiling face with three hearts, blue face with icicles, smiling face with cape, mango, cupcake, kangaroo, llama, peacock, and red hair options for existing emoji.

Article Link: Former Apple Intern Looks Back at Designing First Apple Emoji in 2008 ('https://www.macrumors.com/2018/01/11/2008-emoji-design-retrospective/')
Who'd have thought an intern would design what is now the very core of Apple's business :P
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

AirPods Pro Gen 3 Mock Feature Red

AirPods Pro 2 Could Start a New Accessory Ecosystem

Friday January 14, 2022 2:34 am PST by
Apple's second-generation AirPods Pro could arrive alongside a new series of accessories, recent leaked images suggest. Alleged leaked photos of the next-generation AirPods Pro obtained by MacRumors showed a charging case with a metal loop on the side for attaching a strap. Apple has not used this design for any of its other AirPod models and it is unclear why it would be added in this...
netflix2

Netflix Again Raises Prices for All Plans, 4K Streaming Now $20 Per Month

Friday January 14, 2022 12:46 pm PST by
Netflix today updated the prices for its streaming plans, and all of its offerings are now more expensive. The Basic plan is now priced at $9.99 per month, the Standard plan is priced at $15.49 per month, and the Premium plan is priced at $19.99 per month. The Basic plan is $1 more expensive, up from $8.99 per month. This plan allows users to watch on just one screen at a time, and it limits ...
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole 16x9 120hz

Analyst: All iPhone 14 Models to Feature 120Hz Displays, 6GB of RAM, and More

Friday January 14, 2022 7:02 am PST by
Apple is rumored to announce four new iPhone 14 models in September, and ahead of time, analyst Jeff Pu has outlined his expectations for the devices. In a research note with Haitong International Securities, obtained by MacRumors, Pu claimed that all iPhone 14 models will feature ProMotion displays, compared to only Pro models currently. ProMotion enables a variable refresh rate up to 120Hz ...
Unlikely Products 2022 Feature

Six Rumored Apple Products You're Unlikely to See This Year

Saturday January 15, 2022 2:06 pm PST by
Much has been said about what consumers could see from Apple in 2022, but the company is also working on a handful of rumored products that aren't expected to be unveiled for at least another 12 months, and in some cases a lot longer. Of course, that's assuming they get released at all. Apple works on many potential products some of which ultimately never see the light of day. With that in...
top stories 20220115

Top Stories: iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, iCloud Private Relay Controversy, iOS 15.2.1 Released, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 6:00 am PST by
Hole-punch? Pill? Hole-punch and pill? Rumors about what the front camera system on the iPhone 14 Pro will look like are evolving rapidly, and it now appears we might be getting a novel but potentially controversial design later this year. Other major stories this week included some confusion and controversy about iCloud Private Relay being disabled for some T-Mobile customers, increasing...
iPhone 14 Mock pill and hole thumb

ProMotion Now Expected to Remain Exclusive to iPhone 14 Pro Models, Not Expand to Entire Lineup

Sunday January 16, 2022 8:56 am PST by
Continuing the tradition set with the iPhone 13 Pro, only the highest-end iPhone 14 models will feature Apple's ProMotion display technology, according to a respected display analyst. Ross Young, who on multiple occasions has detailed accurate information about Apple's future products, said in a tweet that ProMotion will not be expanded to the entire iPhone 14 lineup and will remain...
iPad Pro Big Ol Logo Orange

Next iPad Pro Might Feature Large Glass Apple Logo to Allow Wireless Charging

Friday January 14, 2022 10:44 am PST by
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu last year reported that Apple had tested a new iPad Pro with a glass back for wireless charging capabilities. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said he expects the new iPad Pro to be released in 2022. While the new iPad Pro is still on track to feature wireless charging, 9to5Mac's Filipe Espósito today reported that Apple may have ultimately...
ipad air 4 video

New iPad Air Rumored to Launch This Spring With A15 Chip, 5G, Center Stage Camera, and More

Saturday January 15, 2022 8:05 pm PST by
Apple is planning to release a fifth-generation iPad Air with similar features as the sixth-generation iPad mini, including an A15 Bionic chip, 12-megapixel Ultra Wide front camera with Center Stage support, 5G for cellular models, and Quad-LED True Tone flash, according to Japanese blog Mac Otakara. Citing reliables sources in China, the report claims that the new iPad Air could be...