Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

Microsoft and Google Have Redesigned Their Emoji

Microsoft’s Claire Anderson, on the company’s Medium-based design blog (can Microsoft not host its own blog?):

As the world moves toward hybrid work scenarios that blend in-person with remote, expressive forms of digital communication are more important than ever. Over 1,800 emoji exist within Microsoft 365, and we’ve been working for the past year to dramatically refresh them by creating a system that is innately Fluent.

We opted for 3D designs over 2D and chose to animate the majority of our emoji. While you’ll see these roll out in product over the coming months, we wanted to share a sneak peek with you in honor of World Emoji Day. We’re also excited to unveil five brand-new emoji that signal our fresh perspective on work, expression, and the spaces in between.

Even though the video in the post is not entirely reflective of the actual textures and detail in these emoji, there is some beautiful design at play in these images. The faces, in particular, are playfully rendered, yet still legible even at the smaller size shown in the banner image. Many of the objects have soft lighting effects that, while slightly reducing contrast, do not seem to affect clarity too much. I am looking forward to seeing what they will look like in actual use.

Jennifer Daniel of Google, a company that hosts its own blog and uses its own top-level domain extension:

Well, it looks like giving some love to hundreds of emoji already on your keyboard — focusing on making them more universal, accessible and authentic — so that you can find an all-new fav emoji (I’m fond of 🎷🐛). And, you can find all of these emoji (yes, including the king, 🐢) across more of Google’s platforms including Android, Gmail, Chat, Chrome OS and YouTube.

I am much less fond of these.