Emoji speak

In celebration of World Emoji Day (July 17), the Unicode Consortium has completely revamped its website to be more user-friendly and intuitive. The site had long been a back-end style information site that wasn't built for the general public. The Unicode Consortium, however, has realized the importance of emoji and wants to help make it easier for everyone to get involved.

With the rise of mobile devices and public enthusiasm for emoji, we knew it was time to redesign the Unicode website to make information more easily accessible, and increase community involvement.

One aspect of the Unicode Consortium's newly designed website that is much easier to find and understand (though not an easier process to go through) is requesting a new emoji. There is now a detailed list of instructions, a page dedicated to emoji that have already been requested and their current status, and specific information on where to send your request and best practices.

To start, the Unicode Consortium recommends you check the list of Emoji Requests first. If something you want to request has already been rejected, the lengthy submission process will be for nothing.

You should also read up on the guidelines the Consortium uses to consider or reject an emoji request, like whether the emoji is too derivative of an existing one, if the artwork is easy to see in a small size, or whether the emoji is brand new to the list (a new breed of dog, for example, is not new, but dragonfruit is).

There is a useful FAQ that can help guide you if you have questions. It's a good idea to take a look at some example submissions the Unicode Consortium has available to get an idea for the best possible way to submit a request.

Once you've completed your proposal, you'll submit your documents to the Consortium for review.

Getting a new emoji is a complex process that has to adhere to a fairly complicated set of guidelines before even being accepted. Once accepted, the members of the Consortium have to decide whether your emoji request should be added to the official list for all-time.

So, consider your wishlist carefully before deciding to dive into the lengthy process of submitting a request. Your idea may be the next big emoji that the world misuses to imply some sneaky innuendo.