Type@Cooper - Making Faces (& Other Emoji)

Making Faces (& Other Emoji)


with Colin Ford




Sat., Oct. 29 – Sun., Oct. 30, 2016
10:00AM – 5:00PM
location: The Monotype Classroom at Letterform Archive

Emoji — those silly little faces and symbols on your phone — are actually quite fascinating. From their 20th Century origins in smilies, emoticons, and Japanese mobile phones, emoji have taken over 21st Century pop culture. Emoji might seem simple, but they are serious pieces of design and typographic engineering. This workshop will teach you to make them.

Most users of emoji do not realize is that they are in fact fonts. So, just like any font, you can make your own! Companies like Apple, Google, and Facebook all have their own emoji fonts that in places vary quite dramatically. In this workshop we will analyze the visual history of emoji and speculate on their future. In doing so we will learn to navigate established emoji graphemes and develop your own style. We will also touch on technical topics like encodings, the Unicode Consortium, and data formats that make emoji fonts possible.

In the first day this workshop, we will learn the principles of emoji design through designing a set of your own. We will work in class and have critiques throughout the day. On the second day we will learn all about the technical side of emoji and go through building our emoji step-by-step in RoboChrome. In the end, everyone will leave with their own emoji font files, which you can use on websites or in apps.


    Required Materials

  • A laptop with OS X, 10.9+
  • Your favorite vector graphics program loaded (Illustrator preferred) http://www.adobe.com
  • RoboFont (If you need a license, a short-term student licence can be provided) http://www.robofont.com
  • The free RoboChrome RoboFont extension, by FontFont https://github.com/fontfont/RoboChrome
  • Your favorite input device if you need one, like a Wacom tablet or mouse.




Instructor: Colin Ford

Making Faces (& Other Emoji)
Colin is a NYC-based typeface designer at Hoefler & Co. He is a 2011 graduate of the Type and Media masters program at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague, Netherlands, where he designed a web-native font named *Civillian*. Throughout his life he has always been interested in the area at which the web, technology, and type intersect. He also regularly teaches type design workshops at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD.



Venue