Microsoft has open-sourced more than 1,500 of its 3D emojis, making them free for creators to remix and build upon. Almost all of Microsoft’s 1,538 emoji library will be available on Figma and GitHub in a move that Microsoft hopes will encourage more creativity and inclusivity in the emoji space.
Although Microsoft released its emoji in Windows 11 last year and 3D versions in Microsoft Teams in February, the company originally had no plans to open source its work.
Microsoft has spent a lot of time on inclusive design and the diverse needs of emoji that span across different people, religions and countries. The result was more than 1,500 emojis that include custom skin tones, with bright and saturated colors and a focus on fun in the workplace. Even Clippy has been pitched as a replacement for the paper clip emoji, but it’s one of the few that won’t be open source just because of Microsoft’s trademark legal requirements.
Microsoft now wants creators to explore new ways to build on its emoji. Creators will be able to take most of Microsoft’s bright and colorful 3D emojis and remix them into stickers, use them in content, or create unique emoji sets.
We’ll likely see creators lean on Microsoft’s emoji to bring holiday themes or even more unique skin tones and more creativity as the community begins to experiment. It’s easy to imagine sets of Halloween emojis or emojis that are unique to certain regions or religions.
Part of the reason Microsoft says it’s currently open-sourcing its emoji is the changing state of the work. Remote and hybrid work has forced companies and employees to work differently, and the way we express ourselves through text has become even more important.
Thinking about the pandemic, they state that the idea of professionalism in the workplace before the pandemic changed with hybrid work and even emojis.
“Facial expression or body language was kind of disconnected from our communication … so we started having these other rich conversations that were almost as engaging as the video conversations we were having,” authorities said. “Emoji started to play a bigger and bigger role … and it allowed people to feel a little more comfortable to authentically react to things emotionally.”
Microsoft’s design teams are now looking forward to seeing how the creator community builds on its emoji library. The original emoji roots evolved from Japan and its tradition of image making through prints, illustrations, anime and more.
Source: PC Press by pcpress.rs.
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