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The Print Shop and the Origins of Emoji

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Super fun piece from The Atlantic on the ancestry of our beloved emojis.

Once upon a time, long before there were smartphones or emoji, computer graphics were crude, pixelated, and often came screeching out of a dot matrix printer.

Those who wished to use their computers to express themselves visually and without text had limited imagery. Three decades ago, there was no crying cat. There was no smiling poo. There was no suggestive eggplant. But in these otherwise dark ages, we had The Print Shop, a cultural phenomenon that infused an otherwise text-based world with images—part of a long tradition that can be traced from the rare emoticons of the 19th century to Zapf Dingbats to The Print Shop to emoji.

Read more.


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