Front cover of book Emoji: Shigetaka Kurita, NTT DOCOMO, Japan, 1999

We’re excited to announce the 7th Standards Manual title: Emoji. In 1999, Japan debuted the original 176 emoji. Now, we're releasing the first hardcover book and smartphone keyboard of these drawings.

In 2016, the Museum of Modern Art in New York made an unusual acquisition for their permanent collection: the world’s original emoji, designed by Shigetaka Kurita at NTT DOCOMO and released in Japan in 1999. Kurita made these drawings when he was only 25 years old. The name was created from the Japanese “e,” which means picture, and “moji,” which means character. At the time, Kurita and DOCOMO had no idea that their work would leave Japan, evolve, and eventually be used by billions of people on a daily basis, and revolutionize the way we communicate today.

Emoji will present images of sketches and digital artwork with technical data from DOCOMO for each character. It will also include an introduction by Kurita and an essay by The Museum of Modern Art's (MoMA) Paola Antonelli and Paul Galloway. The smartphone keyboard will accompany each purchase, and will be available to the public after the release of the book.

This book is currently on Kickstarter.


About Standards Manual

Standards Manual is an independent publishing imprint founded by designers Jesse Reed and Hamish Smyth in New York City in 2014.

Our mission is to archive and preserve artifacts of design history and make them available to future generations. From reprinted graphics standards manuals to new compendiums of archival work, our titles always aim to make great design available to all.

As designers ourselves, we value high quality books. As an independent publisher, we produce our books using only the finest papers, printing, and finishing methods. We don’t cut corners when it comes to quality.