On the Origin of Emoji

Lucas provides a brief history of emoji’s predecessors, all the way from ornamental characters in the hand-executed typesetting of early-16th-century printed books to the many symbols of digital type. His journey touches upon the evolution of the dingbat and the emergence of emoticons, the punctuation-based kaomoji, ASCII art, and even expressive punctuation such as the ironieteken — conceived to denote ironic statements — and late 16th-century English printer Henry Denham’s proposed percontation point — to mark rhetorical questions.

Source: On the Origin of Emoji

Creative Emoticon Art

Emoticons leading to a dedicated signature. Using emoticons (text smileys) to create a character, Sigmund Freud, in this case.  A new way to use emoticons. This isn’t something they could do so well with emojis.

Using and combining typographic elements in a sketch evoking a famous portrait is a form of optical illusion, the one we called “smiley” born under the tight limits of the ASCII characters in the infancy years and games of personal computing, which lent to smile through the sense of misappropriation, often vertical to horizontal that it conveyed, (and characterized as an art form during a bygone era: the smiley today have become a very compact micro animated representation inserted throughout the text, with the development of computer science).

Via marcohana.com

What are Japanese Emoticons?

Kaomoji Emoticons

Kaomoji are probably what you think of when you think of Japanese emoticons. These are text based emoticons made out of a wide variety of different 2-byte characters. Kaomoji means “Facemark” in Japanese.

Emoji Emoticons

Emoji are small image emoticons that were invented in Japan for use with cellphones. The word Emoji means “Picture Letter” in Japanese. Emoji are built into a bunch of different cell phones and are standardized across devices.

Source: About JapaneseEmoticons.net

I like having a real phrase for the text versus graphic image emoticons. I still think of emoticons as the basic keyboard text, ASCII style. I guess they could be known as ASCII emoticons.