Event description

Learn the ins-and-outs of submitting an emoji proposal to the Unicode Consortium from the leading emoji advocacy group in the field, Emojination. Come with an emoji idea or your questions about the process.

Emojination, a five-year-old grassroots organization whose motto is “Emoji By The People, For The People,” helps emoji seekers navigate the complicated and arduous Unicode approval process. The organization has successfully shepherded more than 100 emoji proposals to approval, including dumpling, hijab, llama, bagel, woman’s flat shoe, lobster, ball of yarn, and broom. Among the most complicated proposals was interracial couple ‍‍emoji, done in partnership with Tinder.

Workshop leaders include Jennifer 8. Lee, a co-founder of Emojination who is also a vice-chair of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee, and other active members of Emojination.

In addition, San Francisco Design Week is excited to offer attendees an exclusive free screening of the documentary titled “The Emoji Story”, an award-winning documentary giving you a glimpse into the world of emoji.

Also, be sure to join us Thursday, June 10 for a panel discussion on How to Design for Emoji Inclusivity with Jenny 8. Lee (Co-Founder, Emojination), Yiying Lu (San Francisco Arts Commissioner), and moderated by Paul D. Hunt (Adobe).


Jenny 8. Lee, Co-Founder, Emojination
Jennifer 8. Lee is the co-founder of Emojination, an organization that helps the public submit emojis for consideration to the Unicode Consortium, as well as a vice-chair of the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee. She is also the co-founder of the literary studio Plympton, and a producer on The Emoji Story, which premiered at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival as Picture Character. Through Emojination, she has helped shepherd through over 100 emoji. Inspired by the universality of the dumpling across cultures and cuisines (e.g., jiaozi in China, ravioli in Italy, pierogi in Poland, empanadas in Argentina), her first emoji proposal was working with Yiying Lu to make the dumpling emoji a candidate. She also co-authored the proposal for a hijab emoji. Emojination’s work has been collected by the CooperHewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum; won a Webby award; and honored by Fast Company’s Innovation in Design Awards.


Melissa Thermidor
Melissa Thermidor is a dedicated and creative digital communication professional with a strong focus on technology for good. She has substantial experience in creating innovative and exciting public health campaigns and content that builds health awareness. Melissa holds a Master’s degree in Media, Campaigning and Social Change. She is also a member of the Unicode Consortium and has authored several emoji proposals including the Inter-skintone Couple, Drop of Blood, Sari, Worm, Pinata, Stethoscope.


Samantha Sunne
Samantha Sunne helps create diverse emoji at Emojination, a group whose slogan is “Emoji for the people, by the people.” Some of her recent work includes Polar Bear, Nesting Doll, Long Drum, Hut and Window, among others. She designed new criteria and procedures as a member of the Emoji Subcommittee at Unicode, a global organization that standardizes text characters around the world. Outside of emoji, she is a journalist, teacher, trainer and traveler.

Attend by Registering for your 2021 Festival Ticket