I like emoticons, even if they are a bit cheesy. Emoji is the Japanese term for such picture characters, which are typically used in messaging and on forums. Emoji fonts contain emoticons but they include a lot of additional icons. Apple included an emoji typeface in the font library of Mac OS X Lion, so I thought it worthwhile to add it to my list of interesting fonts.
What does Emoji look like?
Below are the 502 characters of the Apple Color Emoji typeface that shipped with iOS 4.2. In the mean time the typeface includes 2692 glyphs.
What do you use Emoji for?
Emoticons are added to instant messages, e-mails or forum posts to add context. They can indicate that the text is meant to be funny or sad, that it should be taken with a grain of salt, etc.
The history of Emoji
I haven’t looked this up yet.
The word emoji means ‘picture’ (e) + ‘letter’ (moji).
Other sources of information
On the Typophile forums there is an interesting technical discussion about the way the characters in this typeface are encoded.