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Tech by VICE

Build Your Own Emoji to Discover Uncharted Big Moods

A new web widget by Philipp Antoni puts the power of emoji expression in your hands.

by Samantha Cole
Nov 14 2018, 5:50pm


Emojis are meant to be an abstract representation of our inner selves, not perfect facsimiles: our inner essence, expressing what text alone can’t say. Perhaps because of this ineffable connection to our emojis, every time Apple releases a new batch, people go nuts for what was and wasn’t included.

Now, you can make your own damn emoji and stop waiting around for Apple. Created by Stripe engineer Philipp Antoni, Emoji Builder is a fun browser tool that plays Mr. Potato Head with the basic components that make up an emoji.

You can build your own emoji from a selection of head, eye, mouth, and accessory features like glasses and party hats. The choices are fairly limited—mostly variations of blonde hair and yellow skin tones—so it’s tough to make an emoji in your own image, but it’s still fun to play with.

The real star of Emoji Builder is the “randomize” button. It never fails to create a face that perfectly captures some emotion I’ve definitely felt at some point.

Here are a few, along with the names the generator came up with.

“sleepy sleeping face”
It’s 3 AM and you’re scrolling through Night Twitter with no end in sight and your face feels like it’s sliding off your skull.

“vomiting smirking speak-no-evil face with wavy mouth and rolling eye”
When you learn that Kim and Kanye hired private firefighters to protect their $60 million mansion while swaths of California burn.

“squinting skeptical man with tongue sticking out and hand covering lips”
The perfect emoji for every man in my mentions.

“smirking happy face with open mouth”
I’ll leave this here.

“pensive hear-no-evil face with cowboy hat and tongue sticking out and pleading eye”
For when you’ve yee’d your haw too hard and regret it a little, but not that much.

“winking woman with money mouth and sunglasses”
You’ve secured the bag and got this bread.

“nerdy crying devil face with open eyes nerdy crying devil face with open eyes”
When you’re about to say aloud, “I think the Pokémon: Detective Pikachu movie looks pretty good” and you’re bracing for the horrified screams.