It took a while, but ginger people are finally going to get their own emoji courtesy of the 2018 release from the Unicode Consortium. The Emoji 11.0 set is now “fixed and final,” which means software makers like Apple, Google, and Microsoft can start designing their own artwork to match the guidance set out in the official documentation. The 157 new emoji will join the 2,666 already in existence when the Unicode 11.0 standard is released in June.
Emojipedia has put together the above video showcasing the full breadth of new emoji that is to come this year, which includes a wide selection of superhero variants, bald and curly heads to go with the redheads, and an expansion of the fauna on offer. In 2018, we’ll be adding raccoons, llamas, hippos, kangaroos, and badgers to the mammalian kingdom, while swans, peacocks, and parrots will diversify our feathered options.
It’s worth bearing in mind that the present sample images are just that, samples, and it will be up to each software vendor to design their own set of emoji. The emoji standard is rather like an alphabet, and the way each icon looks on your iPhone depends on how Apple interprets and represents it. Similarly, it’s up to Google to decide how emoji should look on its Android devices, and many Android phone makers also choose to design custom emoji of their own. That’s how the great cheeseburger emoji controversy of 2017 came about.
Let’s take a moment to review some of the other standouts from the set (all sample images courtesy of Emojipedia):
2018 seems like it’s going to be a distressing year, judging by the new expressions being added in. From freezing cold to woozy to boiling hot, these emoji convey a profound sense of discomfort.
On the dietary front, junk still outweighs healthy eating, with cupcakes, moon cakes, and bagels making their debut. But hey, at least we’ve got the existence of leafy greens acknowledged now, along with the glorious mango.
Science gets its due attention this year with lab coats, safety goggles, Petri dishes, test tubes, and magnets all showing up for the first time. Yay, science!
Hygiene seems to be another point of particular attention, with the humble broom, toilet paper, soap, and sponge each making it into the 2018 emoji class. Overdue.
Perhaps most puzzling of all is how we’ve managed to go through so many iterations of emoji without ever adding the Jolly Roger pirate flag. That omission has now been rectified.