A sign of things to come: emojis’ place in human communication

Lucy Purdy

Decoding pictures is at the root of written language. What came before emojis?

 

Pictograms

Pictures, such as drawings of the sun, that are thought to be the very first elements of written communication have been found in Egypt and China.

 

Logograms

These are symbols that stand in for words, such as £. Chinese characters and Japanese Kanji are logograms, as were some Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs.

 

Ideograms

Pictures or symbols that represent ideas or abstract concepts. Modern examples include the person-in-a-wheelchair symbol, and the red man symbol at a pedestrian crossing.

 

Wingdings

A modern digital font that renders letters as a variety of symbols. Created when it was much more difficult to use pictures from the internet, Wingdings was a way to use images that would harmonise with text quickly and easily.

 


 

This article is featured in issue 90 of Positive News magazine. Become a subscriber member to receive Positive News magazine delivered to your door, plus you’ll get access to exclusive member benefits.

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