The visual landscape in which we communicate has changed. Due to the popularity of social networks and messaging apps, people text more than actually meet each other.
The image has become an important element that helps to visualize content and express feelings and emotions. Accordingly, The Unicode Consortium – by request of several of the largest Internet and technology companies – introduced the emoji, a digital writing system that allows people to communicate visually.
As a designer, Mantas Rimkus from Lava design studio, together with his colleagues and Lava Lab felt an urgency to intervene in the visual language that is so integrated in the way we communicate nowadays. Research has revealed that the emojis that are currently available are mostly positive non-critical icons. The designers missed representations of critical subjects that are relevant in our society.
Could we use this visual language to speak about, for example, humanitarian issues, climate change, or other problematic subjects? Protest groups and activists from around the world inspired the designers to come up with the Demoji project, which proposes the representation of critical topics in emojis.