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The pedestrian emoji

emoji man.jpg

The pedestrian emoji is one of the most used and most popular emojis. It is most recognized with a red shirt and blue jeans. We decided to replicate the exact same outfit to represent a real life "phone-driven" person


Color palette

We use mostly primary colors and the choice of emojis and location that has this particular color to make the video more unreal and comical. These colors are stripped down from the colors used in comic books back in the 60s-80s. 

Color grading Inspiration: Wes Anderson

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Wes Anderson is an award-winning film director, film producer, screenwriter, and actor. He is known for his cinematography, in particular, his film’s color palette, flat lays, and symmetrical compositions. Every one of his films has a particular color palette, mostly using warms colors (yellows, reds, and browns) as it's main colors. The set he chose for his films are also one of a kind and made purposely for the film with a unique combination of colors and objects people don’t particularly find in everyday life making it somewhat very fictional and comical. That is what I would want to achieve using his directing style and color schemes which is to portray a fictional lifestyle.


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Emojis and Telling a Story


source: collegehumour(.)com

I find it really interesting that people could actually form whole sentences with no words at all, just emojis. According to a research compiled by 3M, the corporation behind Post-it Notes, visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text, which means you can paint a picture for your audience much faster with an actual picture. We are also more likely to remember photographs and moving images rather than text. This information really says something about how emojis could be used both, to perfect and speed-up an understanding of a text message and an alternative form of communication.


Part 2 of Research (Secondary): Contextualizing Text and Psychological

Quoting from the Oxford dictionary, the word "text" has multiple meanings:

  • A book or other written or printed work, regarded in terms of its content rather than its physical form
  • A written work chosen or set as a subject of study
  • A text message

From that definition, I define text broadly as written words or alphabets both in digital or non-digital (printed out) formats, which in that case also relates to

  • Fonts & typography
  • Letters, handwriting 
  • Text messages (emojis, abbreviations)
  • Printed out text (newspapers, books, billboards, any surface that has written words in it)
  • Subtitles & text in movies
  • Art (Grafitti, hand lettering, meanings behind art)
  • HTML
  • Telling a story  (Script & Narrative)
  • Reading
  • Lyrics (Music)

On the other hand, Psychological means

  • Of, affecting, or arising in the mind; related to the mental and emotional state of a person.

From that definition, I relate psychology/psychological to:

  • Feelings & emotions
  • Mental situation
  • The way of thinking (mindset)
  • Daily life of a person
  • Soul, attitude, & personality


Using both of those definitions, I took on something that relates both of them, which are emojis

Emojis are ideograms and smileys used in electronic messages and web pages (on the internet). It originally came from the Japanese word e (picture) and Moji (character). It relates to both psychological and text because emojis are most used in text messages and or chatting sites, and it represents emotions and daily life activities including facial expressions, common objects such as food, transportation and stationery, hobbies, places, types of weather, and animals. 


What does it actually mean?


We use satire in our video to criticize people of this generation and their addiction to their phones and social media.

The video uses real time events and basic daily activities with a twist. It speaks about how during their day-to-day life, people constantly use their phones without acknowledging their surroundings. They are trapped in social media and digital life they forget to. With using emojis instead of actual objects and people, we want to make people realize that they need to use their phones less and actually engage in real life. 

Unused Initial Idea

*the sketchbook is just a reference, will be replaced by an actual drawing or painting


This was our initial idea that we did not end up making. The idea was to make a video showing how something you see on the internet (for example in instagram or other social media) is not necessarily what it actually is. It relates to psychological and text because in the picture we have both positive and negative comments from the people that judged based on a singular post not knowing the process and psychological conditions of the artist that created it which actually happens frequently in real life. 


We left behind this idea because as Hannah said, we realized it's not something new, people already know about this and if we were to produce the video, it would be too complex to be done only in the range of 2 days.  

Camilo Matiz, "Take A Selfie/Fake A Life", 2015


This is the artwork that inspired our initial idea. It emphasizes on how people in this generation generates decent pictures that does not resemble their actual life and how they "lie" about it in social media

The social media lie

The social media lie is a common thing to do, whether it is to impress people you know or just to make your life seem happy and smooth to strangers. It could be the simplest of things but a lot of people also take it to the next level. 


Although this is common knowledge and everyone does it on a daily basis, we want to make people more aware of it, because people do judge people based on their Instagram or social media posts and even became intimidated by it, feeling like they are not accomplishing enough.  We then further developed the idea into a video concept about instagram and the invisible part of social media posts.


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Primary Research:

Taking the word "text" into context


Visualizations of the idea before making a storyboard the video

Because we could not find the exact locations near the archway campus, we took pictures from the internet and pasted emojis digitally on top of it. 



emoji fruit.jpg




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McDonalds tray - http://vd-fx.com/project/mcd-beef

Pan - iStock

Fruits - https://pixabay.com/en/fruit-fruit-stand-fruits-1275551/

Person waking up - iStock

why did we choose these images?

we wanted to make the images as if it was a set of "day in the life" photographs showcasing routines on a day to day life such as waking up, commuting, eating, et cetera. By subsidizing actual images with emojis, we wanted to send out a message on how social media (which in this case is represented by emojis). has taken over our lives. We are on our phones on the tube, on the way to school or work, we take pictures of food before we eat them, even the first thing most people check after waking up is their phones. 

iHeart, "#ASignOfTheTimes"

Although a lot of people mistaken this piece of graffiti as Banksy's, this was actually made by a Vancouver based street artist by the name "iHeart". Taking inspiration from Banksy, his art can be rebellious and is known for delivering a political message. This piece serves as a reflection of society and their severe obsession with social media. By appropriating elements of digital culture into the real world, iHeart distorts the difference between life online and offline. I also feel like the placement of the work in the streets is appropriate. People walk by the streets everyday on their phones and seeing this while walking may encourage them to take a step back from their phones and be more aware of their surroundings. 


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Inspiration - Jean Jullien

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Jean Jullien draws everyday observations that mock our addiction to social media, our phones, and how it gets into our everyday lives and our relationships with other people, therefore making us anti-social. Looking at these illustrations it was scary that I could relate to it, but at the same time, the illustrations are also comical and have a sense of humor to it. It makes me realize and reflect on my relationship with my phone and that I should try to reduce the time I spend time using it which is what I want for people to realize when they watched our video. 


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Inspiration - John Holcroft


^ also an artist whose works criticise society's social media addiction 


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Jump From Paper

These kind of bags were really popular in Indonesia around the year 2014. It has a very interesting concept, combining perspective and composition of color in product design to produce a 2D bag. In photographs it looked like the bags were photoshopped in the image when in fact it is not. It is very unusual and makes you do a double take in real life thinking "is it really a bag...?" (well, that's what I thought). I liked their idea of finding something imaginary - such as illustrations in comic books and actually turned it into a real-life usable object.


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Spread in Sleek Magazine, 2014

Text Walking Lane, Belgium

Texting while walking is something we are advised not to but still do it anyway. It is dangerous as you are not aware of your surroundings and often bump into other people. This street in Belgium is well aware of that and made a text walking lane to avoid problems surrounding peole that texts while walking and also serves as a wake up call for them to stop and actually be aware of what's ahead of them.


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China's Web Junkies: Internet Addiction Documentary

"Look Up by Gary Turk"

As I researched about the word "text" and artists that used text as the main focus point on their artwork, these works appeal to me the most

Lee Jung, "Day and Night"

In the works entitled "Day and Night" Lee focuses on words connecting to emotional feelings and questions. What I find interesting about Lee's works is how he placed the neon text in natural forms therefore and with the correct colors created an effect. During an interview, Lee explains that his work focused on ‘God’ and ‘Love’ as the two main words reflecting her interpretation of Dante’s Divine Comedy where he highlighted the belief that true faith and love would lead you to heaven.


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Rora Blue, "The Unsent Project"

"State your first lovers name. In 10 words or less tell me what you would tell them if you sent them a text message. Also include the color that you think of when you think of the color that you think of when you think of your first love" These were the prompt given for the project. 

The Unsent project is a collection of printed out "text messages". What I find interesting is that aside from asking people to submit what they would like to write, she also asked people to specify the color. The collage displays the text on the color paper that the submitter specified and arranged by color to highlight what color most people see love in.


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In Order to Control by NOTA BENE

Nota Bene’s "In Order to Control" exhibition showcases projection of text on the floor which shows one’s typographic silhouette on the wall in front. The text is set on a continuously loop and revolves around ethics and morality. The text covers a variety of topics like violence, imprisonment, social norms, and so much more in a block paragraph form. The scattered and informal way the text is written allows the viewers to interpret different meanings. This along with the fact that each viewer will have a different silhouette and thus it will be presented differently as well. Nota Bene’s work seems purposeful in its presentation of ethics and morality with an emphasis in the individual and one’s perception.


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