In Spring of 2014, we embarked on the Firefox Emoji project with the main purpose to add a little more whimsy into the Firefox OS Messaging (SMS/MMS) app and we wanted to give the community more choice when it came to free, high quality yet open source emojis.
The project was perfect for our freelance illustrator, Sabrina Smelko. The art direction focused on creating a sense of familiarity to our users while maintaining a style that speaks to our brand, Mozilla. At first we thought about using a single mascot (perhaps the fox) for all the smileys, human and animal figures but in the end we believed that focusing on creating distinction in shape (silhouettes), colour and form among the different emojis was more important due to the potential of limitless types of emojis to be added to the spec.
Our final set includes two types of character designs; one for the emotions in the form of smileys, the other one for everything else in the form of real world human figures and animals.
The smileys use a flatter shading reflecting the Firefox OS visual design. However we departed from the expected all yellow colour scheme as we wanted to accentuate certain feelings and moods further with unique colour.
The figures are based off the smiley but with more subtle facial features while still maintaining the fun, casual and approachable feel already established. These themes are carried onto the animal figures like the cat (now the fox) and monkey, drawn with large facial features similar to the smileys. We kept racial diversity in mind, and have designed all our emojis using SVG, allowing for skin tone modifiers to be applied in an upcoming release.
We are hoping this first set of emojis (Unicode 6.0 spec) will land in the next release of Firefox OS thanks to the hard development work of Pavel Ivanov and Reza Akhavan as well as the support of our visual designer Amy Lee and our font guru Jonathan Kew.
- For more information on the upcoming Firefox Emoji Roadmap.
- Our github repository where you can download the font as well as file issues.
- A visual list of all the emojis currently available.
A Selection of the Emojis