Political Emojis Become Unexpected Tools in Social Unrest
Earthmojis, emoji-based protest placards, effectively tell dire environmental stories
With social media and visual exposure becoming an ever-more-powerful factor in whether news of a protest gets around, it’s surprising there haven’t been more designers lending their skills to better placard communication. But Naresh Ramchandani, a partner at the design firm Pentagram, decided to boldly step into the political realm, designing and leaving out a set of striking emoji-based placards called Earthmojis for the People’s Climate March in London on March 7th.
Amid the hand-scrawled enthusiasm of the hundreds of handmade signs drawn by the masses, the signs managed to use the spare visual language, which originated in its most popular form on iOS devices, to bring attention to a variety of issues. In a few instances, there were some minor tweaks to the graphics. An image of a bulldozer, a (slightly rotated) pine tree and a shocked face conveyed disgust at deforestation, while an X emoji superimposed on a car emoji, joined by a bike, economically pronounced the need for an end to car culture.