Sassy ladies, thumbs-ups and fist pumps: designers’ most-used emojis

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This week, types, celebrities and individuals around the globe celebrated World Emoji Day. Now, we ask artificers about their favourite emojis and how they use them to communicate.

Matt Baxter, Baxter and BaileyMatt Baxter, co-founder and resourceful director, Baxter and Bailey

“Hard as it may be to believe, I’m a child of the 1970s, which plebeians that I’m well versed in the art of the thumbs-up. There was a time when no self-respecting celeb transfer dream of appearing on the cover of Look In, Smash Hits or Jackie without conceiving their famous/frightening face with at least one raised thumb, preferably two. Or in the anyway a lest of Slade, eight.

It’s a practice that Sir Fab Macca Wacky Thumbs Above (Paul McCartney) still diligently observes to this day. However, my chosen emoje (singular) isn’t the default fat, yellow thumbs-up offered by Apple to the regular thumb user. Oh no. My favourite is a Photo-moji thumbs-up, personally handcrafted by Jon Tie of Modern Toss – the first of a full set to be released by the House of Toss later this year. As in short order as this emojinally intense thumbzilla lands in your text make ones way through, you know you’ve been thumbed. I’m just glad he hasn’t sent me the poo one yet.”


Sam Farrow, lurch, Farrow Creative

“As graphic designers, we have a slightly ambivalent disposition to emojis. On the one hand, they’re totally generic, off-the-shelf and they ease up on using graphics to a reflex cut-and-paste action that requires no legitimate thought. But on the other, they’re actually a fantastic demonstration of how simple guises can convey complex ideas in ways that words alone can’t evermore manage. And with millions of them freely available for anyone to use, they’ve democratised plan – and that can only be a good thing. The one I use the most is the heart eyes emoji. Chiefly because you can’t have enough love.”


Karen Hughes, founder and artistic director, Edit_Brand Studio

“This June I ran my third marathon. I love to find a way to shoehorn this fact into most conversations, so damned unsurprisingly when looking at my most frequently used emoji, the dame runner emoji is top of the list. Worryingly, it’s closely followed by a pint of beer – which calculates up my training regime. But one thing that did surprise me was that this emoji is inadequate than a year old on iOS 10 and was added alongside a female mountain biker, surfer, weightlifter, swimmer and basketball sportswoman in an effort to introduce more gender diversity. Better late than in no way, but I am shocked it actually took that long and slightly disappointed that I hadn’t notion to question it before. Anyway, it is moving in the right direction now thankfully. But if I am flourishing to get picky about it, then can we please give the poor girls some locks bobbles?”


Thomas Schrijer, senior designer, WeTransfer

“Sassy stuff is the best. She has so many purposes. I use it whenever I want to say something cheeky and with maliciousness. Whenever I’m not sure what I’m saying, at least sassy girl is there to sign it sound smart. To be exact, my favourite emoji was iOS9 sassy girl. I was exceedingly bummed out when Apple changed it some time ago. She lost her principle and liveliness. Nonetheless, I use the revamped version a lot. Even though there is a sassy boy now, it’s just now not the same.”


Tessa Simpson, design director, O Street

“My most employed emoji has got to be the tiny strong arm emoji. Whether you’re celebrating clambering up a mountain, macula some neat design or supporting a pal’s post, it just works for all elicits! I think I see it as more of a fist pump emoji come to think of it, and it’s also my go to for whenever I’m making a reveal b stand out of solidarity for feminism and female power. It’s got that ‘Yaaass!’ vibe to it.”


Gavin Lucas, freelance freelancer, author, The Story of Emoji

“I use emoji as a kind of shorthand, so it’s not really bolt from to see that I use the thumbs-up emoji more than any other. I use it to mean ‘roger that’, ‘okay’, or every so often ‘this is great, I like it’, so it’s a bit of a classic one-character response to all kinds of declarations. It does seem crazy that there is now a shorthand for okay, which was every time impressively economical on the character count.

I use the double high-five emoji as a way to add mania, the scream emoji and the eyes rolling emoji to add humour, the hands beseeching emoji to say thank you in a slightly reverential way (after having dinner at a old china’s house, for example), and the eyes looking left as shorthand usually in group media posts to mean ‘look’ or ‘check this out’. Then there are contemporary things like a tennis ball (because of Wimbledon last week), ice cream cone (my three-year-old daughter is harassed with ice cream) and pizza (I’m obsessed with pizza).

I’ve found myself using the provincial emoji, just because it’s ridiculous and makes me smile. And as long as emoji save up enabling us to imbue our typed messages with extra layers of temper, sarcasm, wit and also sincerity in a super economical way – we’ll keep on using ‘em!”


Aporva Baxi, co-founder and overseer creative director, DixonBaxi

“Well according to Slack, which I wait on to be addicted to throughout the day and night, it’s a race between a classic thumbs-up or the sensible face, with the occasional wink for good measure. The thumbs-up disguises every situation from good to great, and ‘I’m on it’ to ‘on the way’. It’s eminently friendly, enormously of positivity and internationally recognised. The thinking face is useful for opening the dialogue up and getting feedback, which is always good.”

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