Music pulsed through the grand arches of London’s Victoria & Albert Museum last week as it was transformed for its monthly contemporary late-night event: Friday Late. The audiences were going to witness something new and somehow strange in V&A museum; interpretation of emoji ideograms!
The museums was filled with talks and workshops on semaphore, encryption, body language, robotics, and more which were provided by “Systems & Secrets”. Beneath the covered wooden frontage of a Renaissance Era section, Today Translations’ Keith Broni delivered a speech. So busy was the talk that it had to be interrupted on several times to mention some sort of safety information.
By making use of humor, Keith concisely retold that how he applied for the position of Emoji Translator at Today Translations and the media coverage of his recruitment, before going to talk on emojis.
He proposed that emojis are located at turning point between design, business, and ‘real world’ usage, all of which influence and depend on each other. Exploring deeper into the reciprocal action between emoji design and usage, Keith also revealed how both traditional and contemporary culture affects both.
Take for instance:
Formally called “Person With Folded Hands,” the emoji may appear as a person with hands held together, or a separated pair of hands depending on your web browser and operating system.
Established upon depiction alone, it symbolizes thanks in Japan, where emojis are coming from; in South and South East Asia a greeting; and in Europe and the Americas are prayer. Yet Apple’s decision to design their version as the which was mentioned previously disconnected pair of hands, along with the ubiquity of the iPhone in North America and Europe, has seen many users interpret the emoji as a ‘high five.’ In turn, the commonness of the emoji usage in this context has seen other software developers update their emoji designs to follow the routine.
The audience responded with insightful questions to complete an informative evening.
Opinions on the interpretation of emoji ideograms
Speaking after the event, Today Translations CEO Jurga Zilinskiene said on the event of interpretation of emoji ideograms:
“It was a wonderful evening and great to see such a large turnout. I’d like to thank the V&A for inviting Today Translations to be a part of Friday Late.”