Miracles happen when design breeds friendship, which in turn breeds design. This is the story of how an intern and her mentor sat together to design Apple's original emoji, thereby changing the way people around the world communicate with each other. It's also a project that makes them lifelong friends and is the key to the success of these little icons. In short, I was the intern and Raymond was my lifelong friend and mentor. During those 3 months, we created some of the most widely used emoji together: laughing and crying, shit piles, red hearts, party fireworks b2b data and more than 460 emojis. Later, as a full-time Apple employee, I even designed some of them myself.
It was the summer of 2008, a year before I received my master's degree in graphic design from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). That summer, I qualified as an intern at Apple and had the privilege of working with a team I was dying to meet. It's the same team that's responsible for the iPhone design; the amazing device just debuted at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco a year ago. The only thing you can imagine is how small my butterfly wings were when I flew to Cupertino to reach 1 Infinite Loop (Apple HQ). Aside from that uncontrollable shaking, I don't know what projects I'll be assigned to, what the size of my team will be, where I'll be sitting, or if I'll actually be able to ride my bike to work (I'm very good at riding). Oops).
Shortly after I arrived and met the team (and biked to work!), they gave me a project. I was still trying to figure out what my homework was for when someone asked me if I knew what an emoji was. Well, I don't know, I didn't know it at the time, and most of the English speaking countries didn't know it. So I replied "don't know". Of course, this will soon change, as the iPhone will soon spread the concept to the world, via an emoji keyboard. After a while I understood the Japanese meaning and knew that I had actually drawn hundreds of them. Just as I was staring at the hallway floor, thinking something, the instructor gave me a task: "This is not a design pattern or an exercise, but a pleasing illustration."
For the next 3 months, Raymond and I sat in the same office and drew a whole bunch of faces, places, signs, animals, food, clothes, symbols, festivals, sports, well, the rest of those probably you know too. But before doing any of the above, I first had to know how to design Apple-style icons. We broke the task down, and the lessons on humility and design skills began.
Raymond designed the laughter and the shit pile, and I designed the hearts and party fireworks. Source: https://emojipedia.org/apple/