On March 16, An Post issued a stamp to celebrate Emoji.
Emoji are ideograms or smiley faces used in text and electronic messages and webpages. They are used much like emoticons (facial expression such as a smile or frown, formed using keyboard characters) and exist in various genres, including comic faces, common objects, places and types of weather and animals. Originally meaning pictograph, the word emoji comes from Japanese e (picture) + moji (character).
These small digital icons that are used to express an idea or emotion, originated on Japanese mobile phones in the late 1990s. Their popularity exploded, however, when Apple, Android and other mobile operating systems began to include them in their phones.
Emoji has now become a worldwide, language-independent form of communication. Some might even argue that emoji is a form of pop art and they might have a valid point: There are now thousands of emoji used daily worldwide to convey humour, enhance messaging, make a point or to describe things.
To mark the rise of emoji in society around the world, An Post approached Dublin designers The Stone Twins now based in Holland to create an appropriate design and these are the two stamps they came up with. These stamps feature a range of emoji with the headlines ‘Don’t Worry’ and ‘Be Happy’ (‘Ná Bí Buartha’ and ‘Bí Sona’ in Irish).
Instantly recognisable worldwide, these new emoji stamps should prove popular with people of all ages as well as collectors.