Categories / Inspiration
10 Emojis Every Designer Needs Right Now
Kevin Whipps March 31, 2021 · 8 min read
The “Caffeinated” Emoji & “Needs Caffeine” EmojiLet’s call this one a two-fer. Caffeine: the lifeblood of some designers, it’s something that we crave like vampires need blood. I don’t know about you, but if I haven’t gotten a quick jolt of the strong stuff by noon, I’m so low on energy that I may as well be an iPhone 3GS after a four-hour YouTube session. I want emojis on both sides of the spectrum to represent how I feel at that particular moment. One for being fully amped and ready to go, the other for when I have so little caffeine in my bloodstream that I want to curl into a fetal position and pray that the god of coffee/Red Bull appears at my desk.
The “I have a mammoth, client-induced headache” EmojiSome clients are awesome. Some are not. And when they’re not, they’re so not awesome that they cause headaches and maybe even a little bloating, just to round things out. Having this emoji would give you a quick and simple way to tell your friends on Slack/IM/messages that not only do you have a roaming band of elephants wielding bass drums tap-dancing on your forehead, but you’re not in the mood to chat about how awesome their day is going. In fact, you’d much rather take a sledgehammer to your temple than listen to their positive experiences.
The “My eyes are crossed from looking at pixels for too long” EmojiI don’t care how fancy/Retina/4K/5K your monitor is, if you’re staring at it all day, then you’re going to get some eye strain. For me, my eyes get so dry that they literally just don’t function anymore, and then I trip over a dog on my way to the bathroom so that I can dry-cry myself to sleep because I don’t have any tears on tap. Now my dog has a broken leg, my pillow looks like it was used to murder someone, and I’m fitting myself with an IV drip of coffee just so that I can function. Too much? Maybe too real? Regardless, were I to have a way to express that entirely frustrating emotion quickly — like maybe a face with glasses on, and in the reflection of the glasses is a screen playing cat videos, or something like that — then I would be able to tell both of my friends exactly how I felt at that exact moment in time without tearing their heads off in rage.
The “Black Hole” EmojiLook, I’m not an astronomer, but I have seen a black hole before, and it was my to-do list. For the uninitiated (and let’s be real, you may be deep in a pit of your own right now), a black hole for any productive member of society is a never-ending project or task that sucks all of the life out of you and never seems to let go of the stranglehold it has around your neck. You know, like that client who’s so picky that they demand certain pixels get removed or added on, or the vector file you’re working on that never seems to fit just the right way. It’s maddening when you’re there, because it seems like you’ll never get out — not without help from Neil deGrasse Tyson, anyway. Now imagine how useful having one of these emojis would be: Friend: Hey, want to go out tonight? You: Can’t. Stuck in a :black_hole: right now, :needs_caffeine: Friend: :joy:
The “Leave Me Alone” EmojiAlthough I may seem like the happy go-lucky type (a phrase nobody has ever said to me, ever), there are times when I just need to get in the zone. And when that happens, getting a text, email, or other notification can set my teeth on edge, making me snap at the person who innocently needed to get my attention. Now sure, I could put my phone on airplane mode and silence my notifications, but for me, I’d rather have some kind of symbol or shape that I could use to represent my immediate need for solitude. The angry emoji just won’t cut it; maybe a happy looking face with a Ghostbusters-style cross over it just to show that I am not only not in a good mood, but it’s probably best not to approach me at the moment. Or until the deadline is done. Or ever. Maybe ever. It’s probably ever, so let’s go with that.
The “Person banging on a door holding an unpaid invoice” EmojiThere’s this song by AMG that I love to play whenever money gets a little bit tight. I put it on softly in the background right before I call a client — not so loud that you could tell what it was, but loud enough that it’s obvious that something is playing. It makes me happy to faintly hear the dulcet tones of wildly explicit curse words mixed with a thumping beat whenever I ask people for the money that I’m owed. Wouldn’t it be better if I could just send them an emoji that expressed the same sentiment?
The “Sad parent that never hears from their perpetually busy designer child” EmojiOnce you move out of the house, your parents will never be happy with the amount of time you spend with them, but if you find yourself constantly under the gun with design deadlines, you may never see them again. With this emoji, your parents could tell you how sad they are for your lack of company, and by responding with the :leave_me_alone: emoji, you can tell them that you’re too busy for their whining, and that you’ll see them when you see them. Or, if you do — shocker — like your parents, then you can succumb to the guilt trip and give them a call. Or maybe just a text — you don’t want to get out of control.
The “Herman Miller Aeron” EmojiTrue story: I was looking for a new chair for my office back in the day, and I just kept churning through crappy options without finding anything that wouldn’t kill my back. Since my father owns his own business, and he’s had similar back issues (genetics, and all that), I figured I’d stop by and ask him if he had any advice on chairs. “Well, Kevin, I bought this one really expensive chair once. It was like, $1,000 or something like that. But your mother said it was ruining my pants, so I keep it in the back office over there. You can have it if you want.” In that room was, you guessed it, a Herman Miller Aeron. The task chair of startups everywhere had been sitting in my dad’s office for over a decade, mostly unused, and was free for me to have. Since then, it’s become a back-saving presence in my office, and I’d like an emoji to celebrate the matter. Plus, imagine how popular it would be for UX designers, right?
The “Broken Stylus” EmojiAlthough I don’t personally use a tablet and stylus for design, I know quite a few people that do, and they usually love them. My buddies that have the Cintiq setups love them even more — so much so that they can’t function without them. But if something happens, like if the stylus breaks or they have issues, they’re ready to huck the entire thing into a river. What’s the best way to represent that feeling? Why a broken stylus emoji, of course! Sure, it might not be an everyday emoji like so many others, but when you need something to say exactly how you feel at that moment, then that’s exactly what you need.
The “Computer Flying Out a Window” EmojiComputer problems suck, there’s no doubt about that. Whether it’s an OS update or a piece of software that you rely on going haywire, it can put a hamper on your productivity for sure. Happened to me the other day, and it was so bad that I had to take my Mac to the Genius Bar for help, and then a priest afterwards for the appropriate prayers. Now I’m not the type of guy that likes to throw their personal electronics, but were I in the mood, then having an emoji to celebrate the occasion would be in my best interest.
:smiley:And there you have it, 10 (plus a bonus!) emoji that you need as a designer. I promise you, I will not rest until these emoji become official and you can get them on your devices. I will work tirelessly and — wait, is that a cupcake? Forget everything I said, I need to get back to “work.”
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