How Do you Make Emoticons (and Smileys)?

This article was originally posted to HubPages, August of 2014, my account there.

Emoticons, also known as smileys, are used to convey emotion in your writing. They are a great way to use text in an otherwise flat email. Emoticons can also show when you are teasing versus being serious.

Making emoticons is as simple as typing anything else on your keyboard. Look down there at your fingers, find the characters, press and release. It’s not the act of typing emoticons which is difficult, of course. It’s knowing which characters to type in order to be understood.

Some emoticons, like the basic smile face, have developed several different versions over the years. Some have a nose and some are shortened to a two character smiley, no nose included. (The nose has become optional).

Text-Based Emoticons

🙂        Smiley face

🙁        Frown face

B-)        Cool

|-O        Yawn

😀        Laughing

=D         Laughing out loud

:-B        Nerd

:-/        Perplexed

:-&        Tongue tied

:-J        Tongue in cheek

:-"        Whistling

:-O        Eek

:`(        Crying face

>-(        Annoyed

X-(        Angry

:->        Grin

X-P        Joking

😐        Neutral

:-*        Kiss

😛        Sticking out tongue

😉        Winking

=)         Happy face

%-)        Confused

:-}        Embarrassed

😯        Shocked

>:)        Evil

O:)        Angel

8-#        Zombie

@>--;--    A rose

%%-        Good luck

</3        Broken heart

<3         Heart



Using Emoticons for Online Chat

Online chat uses text emoticons and turns them into graphics. I find people who ask about how to make emoticons are not actually talking about making emoticons, but these graphics.

Although they are based on the original text emoticons they display as graphics. Each chat (Yahoo, MSN, etc.) uses different emoticons and graphics. However, the basic smiley is still a smiley whether it comes with a big mouth, red cheeks or not.

Arabic Emoticons


Source: Emoticon Dictionary – Gomotes

I had not thought about fonts from other languages being used to create emoticons. This screen capture about Arabic emoticons was the only real information I could find on my first search. There must be more, but, chances are it won’t be in English so it won’t turn up in my search (using the English language).

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