Emoji Timeline

A timeline of cultural and technical events in the history of emoji



Shigetaka Kurita's emojis are added to the collection of Museum of Modern Arts (MoMA)

NTT DoCoMo’s original set of 176 emojis, created by Shigetaka Kurita, is added to the collection of Museum of Modern Arts (MoMA) in New York, USA. In december the same year the museum opens an installation about the evolution of emojis and their cultural impact.

"Shigetaka Kurita’s emoji are powerful manifestations of the capacity of design to alter human behavior. The design of a chair dictates our posture; so, too, does the format of electronic communication shape our voice. MoMA’s collection is filled with examples of design innovations that radically altered our world, from telephones to personal computers to the @ symbol. Today’s emoji (the current Unicode set numbers nearly 1,800) have evolved far beyond Kurita’s original 176 designs for NTT DOCOMO. However, the DNA for today’s set is clearly present in Kurita’s humble, pixelated, seminal emoji." / Paul Galloway (MoMA Architecture & Design Collection Specialist)