Emoji Book is a fun project by emoji fans, Charlie Clark and Danni Fisher.
The project aims to bring together artists and designers from around the world within one simple constraint - to interpret and illustrate an emoji of their choice. These artist creations will make their way into a beautiful, hardcover book, worthy of gifting your favorite emoji-loving friend.
Danni Fisher is multi-disciplinary designer from New Zealand, currently living and working in New York City. She and her boyfriend moved here for the adventure, the food and the music. Her design work is typically monochrome, minimal and vector based. Working on a side project like Emoji Book has been an outlet of color and wildness.
Josette asked Danni a few questions
What gave you the idea? How did it start?
Emoji Book was an idea that started sometime in June 2016. Charlie is someone that always has a fun, side project going on and this was his next big idea. He wanted to have a collection of artists draw “something”, and then publish those drawings in a book. It was a pretty crazy idea at the time because most of his projects so far were cool, interactive websites that he could create in a matter of weeks. Emoji Book would involve lots of external people, designing a book, and having it published. So we talked it through and decided to work together on it.
I on the other hand, never commit to any side projects, no longer do freelance work and usually spend my free time doing anything but design. But I had always wanted to design and publish a book, so this was a perfect collaboration.
How did you find the artists?
We started by asking friends. We both went to design schools so have a huge base of talented friends. We asked them if they would like to be involved in our side project, and somehow they all said yes!
From there we used the artwork we got back from our friends to build the emojibook.club website and officially launch the project. We cold emailed a lot of our favorite artists, and also had a section on the website where artists could apply to participate. Our current artist base is about 50% applicants and 50% artists we’ve reached out to, which is awesome.
Do you use a lot of emoji to communicate?
All the time. I think that’s how we decided that the subject matter for the illustrations would be Emoji. Because we use them so much.
How do you feel emoji have changed the way we communicate?
I think for a long time people were concerned about how tone was communicated through text. Do I sound excited enough? Sarcastic? Condescending? But now if you need to, you can slap on an emoji and you’re good! It's a lot quicker to convey emotion, especially with our ever-dwindling attention spans.
I remember when education systems were concerned that children’s language skills were being negatively affected by txt lingo. You used to only get a certain amount of characters in a text message, so had to leave out as many vowels possible. There wasn’t even space for :) emoji. Those were fun times. Imagine what they would think of us now! Someone literally wrote Moby Dick in emoji!
What is your background?
I grew up in New Zealand and went to University to study Visual Communication Design. After graduating, I worked as a print and packaging designer, and then moved on to web design. I did a lot of freelance graphic design work, and had a side business making leather wallets and goods to get away from the computer. My boyfriend and I moved to New York in 2013, where I began working for the United Nations and then continued onto my current job as a Product Designer for a Tech company. It’s funny moving away from print design for so long, only to come back to it. I hadn’t opened InDesign for about 6 years! Print cannot die.
What are some of the things you wish you had known when you started the project?
I wish I had known what a Press and Media plan was. To us, this was just a fun side project and we would be really happy if people just wanted to buy the book. I thought I could run this through word of mouth. But when I found out that items for Christmas “Top Ten Gift” lists were secured in July… I was like “Wow, this is a serious business”. We need to get this together.
As a creator, how do you deal with self-doubt and judgement?
Being involved in a public project, surrounded by your peers, is quite terrifying. You can get 100 positive comments, and then 1 negative one, and all of a sudden that’s where your focus goes. The only thing we can do is expect criticism. I put a lot of energy into my communication with the people I work with, so if something doesn’t go right, it shouldn’t be a surprise.