June 28, 2022

What you need to know

  • Google has created a new emoji fond dubbed “Noto Emoji.”
  • The emoji have been simplified with no color and very little detail compared to standard emoji.
  • Noto redesigns people emoji as Google’s beloved blobs.

Emoji are a big part of how we communicate on mobile, which is why we’re excited to see them take a new form with Google’s latest emoji font. Noto Emoji takes the colorful, detailed images we know and love and strips them down to the bare essentials, transforming people into blobs in the process.

Jennifer Daniel, Google’s creative director of emoji & expression, detailed the new font in a blog post on Friday, discussing the inspiration behind Noto Emoji and how it takes things back to the early days of the little expressive pictures. Daniel also explains the changes made to the emoji you currently see on the best Android phones and how they translate to the new font. You see, not every transition was a 1:1 change:

(Image credit: Google)

Because there’s no color, certain emoji would lose their meaning without additional changes being made. For instance, flags now have the country abbreviation on them:

Noto Emoji

(Image credit: Google)

Other emoji have been drastically changed as well in order to greatly simplify their design. That includes emoji such as the Statue of Liberty and, most notably, emoji representing people. With Noto Emoji, Google has brought back its much-beloved blobs:

Noto Emoji

(Image credit: Google)

Daniel explains that the decision to bring back the blobs for Noto Emoji came down to the aesthetic. “For some characters, color is baked into the concept (like skin tone or hair color). It simply didn’t look right to replace color with hash marks or polka dots. And that my dear is how the blobs came back.” Daniel also notes how reverting to the blobs keeps things ambiguous, calling them “relatable without maintaining a distinction between gender.”

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