MoMA Has Added Shigetaka Kurita's Original Emojis to Its Permanent Collection

By: Joey Haar - Oct 27, 2016
References: medium & fastcodesign
Today, emojis are so ingrained in digital language that it's easy to forget how revolutionary they are as a concept, but MoMA is keeping the historical significance of emojis relevant by including the works of Shigetaka Kurita. That's because Shigetaka Kurita is the designer of the original 176 emojis that graced cell phone keyboards back in 1999.

These original emojis are almost unrecognizable when compared to the colorful, textured icons that are available today. Released by NTT DOCOMO in 1999, the original set of 176 emojis were monochromatic (either plain black or just a single color) and comprised just 144 pixels each. Considering that degree of limitation, the clarity and variability of Shigetaka Kurita's emojis are impressive enough to deserve encasement in a museum.