The Original Emojis From 1999 Are Getting Their Own Coffee Table Book

Standard Manuals
Standard Manuals

When designer Shigetaka Kurita came up with the first emoji collection 19 years ago, he likely didn't think it would lead to movies, merchandise, and a universal mode of communication that's grown to include more than 2500 pictographs. Now, fans of the symbols have a chance to appreciate the original set of 176 without tracking down a pager from the 1990s. The publisher Standard Manuals is releasing a hardcover book of the classic emojis with a digital keyboard, and they're raising funds for the project on Kickstarter.

The emoji (from "e," Japanese for picture, and "moji," Japanese for character) first appeared on pagers from the Japanese mobile provider NTT DoCoMo in 1999. The 12-pixel-by-12-pixel designs were popular, but not as phenomenal as the emojis that began appearing on smartphone keyboards about a decade later.

Without that first generation, we may not have gotten many of the symbols that come standard in every emoji pack today. Unicode referred to the original 176 when building its emoji set; that means all the emojis pictured below date back to before the smartphone era.

Grid with new and old emojis.

The Museum of Modern Art acquired Kurita's emoji set in 2016, establishing its status as a vital piece of digital history. The new book, titled Emoji, includes an essay from MoMA senior curator Paola Antonelli and architecture and design collection specialist Paul Galloway in addition to the full-color recreations of each emoji. For those interested in the technical side of things, the book features the black-and-white emoji design against a pixel grid with the original technical data from DoCoMo.

Standard Manual is also offering the original emojis as they were meant to be seen. Each pledge of $75 or more to their Kickstarter campaign comes with a copy of the book plus a free download of the old-school emoji keyboard. Backers have until the end of May to donate, with shipping estimated for October of this year.

Book with smiling emoji in color and black-and-white.

Book with heart emoji in color and black-and-white.

All images courtesy of Standard Manuals

Attention Aspiring Astronauts: Arlo Skye Now Has Space-Themed Luggage

Arlo Skye
Arlo Skye

While some travelers are preoccupied with getting their luggage through airport security, the designers at Arlo Skye are thinking bigger. As Condé Nast Traveler reports, the brand's new line of suitcases is inspired by space travel, with high tech features and a sleek, futuristic look.

Arlo Skye was founded in 2016 by alumni from Louis Vuitton and Tumi Inc. They set out to create luggage that emphasized design, with luxury polycarbonate suitcases available in trendy colors like rose gold and custom monogramming.

The company's Space Collection may be its most stylized line yet. It comes with a removable, 10,050-milliamp-hour charger with USB C and A ports for charging phones and other devices. The chrome-colored case is 22 inches tall, 9 inches deep, and 14 inches wide and weighs 8.5 pounds empty.

Space Collection suitcase from Arlo Skye
Arlo Skye

Depending on what type of space traveler you are, you can get one of three designs laser-etched on the bottom of your luggage. There's Moon Shot, Team Human, and Occupy Mars; each engraving comes with a short ode to space and a small picture of its respective celestial body. Like other suitcases made by Arlo Skye, these bags are zipper-free and made from polycarbonate with an aluminum frame.

Whether you're a globetrotter or an aspiring astronaut, the Space Collection from Arlo Skye makes a great travel companion.

Buy it from Arlo Skye for $450.

[h/t Condé Nast Traveler]

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The Helvetica Font Has Been Revamped for the First Time in Decades

Monotype
Monotype

The Helvetica font family is everywhere. It’s used on everything from subway signage to federal tax forms to advertisements for a diverse group of companies, including Harley-Davidson, Oral-B, and Target. Job seekers are also likely familiar with its clean, sans-serif characters, which make it one of the best fonts for a resume.

“If it's me, [I’m using] Helvetica,” Matt Luckhurst, a graphic designer, told Bloomberg in 2015. “Helvetica is beautiful. There is only one Helvetica.”

Until now. As Wired reports, the typeface has just been revamped for the first time in decades by Monotype, which boasts the world’s largest type library and owns the rights to Helvetica. The new and improved version, called Helvetica Now, aims to better serve modern users while also working out the kinks associated with the old design.

The new Helvetica font
Monotype

While Helvetica is still ubiquitous, several major companies—including Google, Apple, IBM, and Netflix—have dropped the typeface for branding purposes in recent years. Issues related to kerning, punctuation sizes, and scrunched characters are all common gripes with the old version.

By contrast, Helvetica Now comes in three versions to suit different needs. There’s a Micro version for small screens, a Display version for larger type sizes, and a Text version that makes use of white space to offset visually “demanding” designs. Companies will need to buy the license to the new Helvetica, but the font’s creators are hopeful that everyone will be making the switch in due time.

“Helvetica Now is the tummy-tuck, facelift, and lip filler we’ve been wanting, but were too afraid to ask for,” graphic designer Abbott Miller, a partner at design consultancy Pentagram, said in a statement. “It offers beautifully drawn alternates to some of Helvetica’s most awkward moments, giving it a surprisingly, thrillingly contemporary character.”

The original Helvetica was invented in 1957 by two Swiss designers who dubbed their typeface Neue Haas Grotesk. It wasn’t until 1961 that the typeface was renamed Helvetica, and the font’s last major facelift came in 1982 with the release of the desktop-friendly Neue Helvetica.

Of course, that was pre-internet, and Monotype’s director, Charles Nix, says everyone's font needs have changed a great deal in the intervening decades. “Neue Helvetica was the first digitization of Helvetica,” Nix said. “That was a long time ago, and so much has happened in our world since then.”

[h/t Wired]

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