Your emoji keyboard is about to get even more crowded. The Unicode Consortium has released its list of new emoji, which will likely appear on your smartphone in August or September. The newcomers are pretty enticing. While the final images have yet to be shared, the delightful Emojipedia team has created graphics that imagine what each forthcoming emoji might look like. There will be 157 additions, bringing the grand total to a whopping 2,823.
Emoji 11.0, like past updates to the emoji lexicon, diversifies the pool of human emoji by adding redheads with a variety of skin tones, as well as curly-haired and bald individuals. It provides a greater range of foods, from bagels to leafy greens to a mooncake (one of my personal favorites). There’s also a notable increase in scientific emoji, including a string of DNA, a petri dish, and a cute little microbe.
In the realm of the arts and visual culture, one special addition is the nazar amulet, also known as the evil eye, which can be deployed in all sorts of waggish ways. As its author, Cagla Sozen, explained in their proposal: “The reason for using evil eye emoji might be that something is too beautiful that others will be jealous of it and they will look at it with bad intentions of envy.” I expect to see it peppered across Instagram feeds.
Among the other emoji that artists may find useful are the sponge, the safety pin, the ball of yarn, and the toolbox. And considering the recent prominence of feathered birds at the airport, perhaps a miniature peacock will come in handy in your next text about performance art.