Ford-Making_Faces.png with Colin M. Ford


Making Faces (& Other Emoji)

    Who: Colin M. Ford
    When: Monday–Tuesday, June 13–14, 10:00am–5:00pm

    Emoji — those silly little faces and symbols on your phone — are actually quite fascinating, and are serious pieces of design and typographic engineering. ​From their 20th Century origins in smilies, emoticons and Japanese mobile phones, emoji have taken over 21st Century pop culture. This workshop will teach you to design them.

    Most users of emoji do not realize is that they are fonts, and just like any font, you can make your own! Apple, Google, Samsung, Firefox, Twitter, and more all have their own emoji sets that sometimes visually vary quite dramatically. Learning to navigate established graphemes is key to designing a successful emoji set.

    There is also great potential for taking emojis beyond established norms. Designing responsively and adding emoji ligatures can help make emoji even more useful and fun to use.

    In this workshop, you will first design a responsive set of icons. Then you will learn about the three data formats that make emoji fonts possible (Apple’s SBIX, Microsoft’s COLR/CPAL, and Adobe/Firefox’s SVG), and engineer emoji ligatures using OpenType features. In the end, you will leave with your own emoji font files, which you can use on websites or in apps.

    Materials List:

    A laptop with:

    About Colin M. Ford

    Colin Ford is a NYC-based typeface designer at Hoefler & Co. He is a 2011 graduate of the Type and Media masters program at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK) in The Hague, Netherlands, where he designed a web-native font named *Civillian*. Throughout his life he has always been interested in the area at which the web, technology, and type intersect. He also regularly teaches type design workshops at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, MD.

    Register for this Workshop

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