The museum has licensed the first 176 emojis for its growing collection of digital pictograms

After reaching a deal with NTT DoCoMo, the Museum of Modern Art will display all 176 characters of the original emoji set starting this December.The 12 x 12 pixel designs were originally developed for pagers as a way of communicating larger ideas like emotion and weather, but with the brevity necessitated by short messages. The designs draw inspiration from Chinese characters, street signs and cartoon shorthand from Japanese manga. This ideographic form of communication “tap into a long tradition of expressive visual language,” says MoMA Architecture & Design Collection Specialist Paul Galloway.

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