A completely free and open set of emoji that anybody can use in any project without a fee and without any restrictive conditions.
*UPDATE: We've doubled the emoji count at $10k! We'll make 500 at the $10k Stretch Goal!
*UPDATE: Everyone contributing $25 or more than the price of their chosen reward will also receive the Creation Kit.
We here at Genshin Souzou K.K. [Phantom Creation Inc.] would like to create a completely free and open set of emoji that anyone can use and distribute in any way without any particular requirements. Our licensing model will be the same as the Font Awesome project which is a combination of the SIL Open Font License, MIT License and the CC 3.0 License [CC-By with attribution requirement waived]. Distribution will be from a github repository and we will provide a fork of gemoji that replaces all the unlicensed emoji with our liberated versions.
The repository can be found here: https://github.com/Genshin/PhantomOpenEmoji
Here are the sample replacements Jun Tohyama created, also seen in the video above replacing their non-free versions.
*Check out http://www.emoji-cheat-sheet.com/ for a semi-complete preview of the standard set in copyrighted and licensed Apple flavor.
The word "emoji" is Japanese, written 「絵文字」. The 'e' in emoji 「絵」 means picture, painting or image, specifically one that is drawn or painted and not a photograph or generated image. 'Moji' 「文字」 means letter or typographic character. So "emoji" literally means "picture character" or "picture letter".
Emoji are basically like "smileys" or graphical representations of emoticons. The difference here is that emoji were created for a specific purpose and they actually have a sort of pseudo standard. The Unicode 6.0 standard actually has large block of over 800 characters set aside for emoji specifically (here is a list of them and how they map to Japanese mobile carrier standard sets) They were first created for Japanese cell phones to be used in cell phone e-mail. This was back when cell phone carriers had a packet charge and when transmission speeds were not so great - so in order to save space each emoji was stored locally on the device and a code was assigned to each one. This way packet charges were a tiny fraction of a yen per emoji - the same as a normal multi-byte character, whereas actually sending an individual tiny little graphic could have been tens of yen.
Emoji are usually distributed as a font or as a packaged set of glyphs or images. Just like fonts and image libraries they are copyrighted and licensed. Looking at commercial distributions we are convinced the people who create and sell fonts are insane con-artists because they want to charge hundreds or even thousands of dollars to use their new version of Times New Roman where they made the little serif decorations pointier, but only if one person uses the font and only for printed material and only in 80%+ saturated black. Emoji licenses are likewise expensive and have unrealistic and crazy license conditions and restrictions. All the "free" emoji we could find were either awful or incomplete. And as it stands now a lot of people have decided to just hope Apple wouldn't sue them and started using the Apple set without permission (that we know of).
We want to create a full set of ~900+ emoji completely free to use, free to distribute and open to modify without any restrictive conditions or terms. We want this emoji set to NOT be based on the "new" international look with yellow smileys and multiple emoji referencing one generic image; but rather to be based on and more closely resemble the high quality Japanese emoji sets. The issue of political correctness does arise, but check our reach-goals for a solution.
As soon as we reach our goal (before the project ends) we'll start putting one a new emoji every day. Once the project finishes we'll work full blast to create the remaining emoji. If we end up with an amount between two goals we'll create one emoji for every $30 over the previous goal.
$5,000[Goal]: 125 of most commonly used base set emoji in source SVG and 64px * 64px PNG.
+ All custom emoji.
+ A JSON index of all emoji with their character, source file name, names in English and Japanese, category and Unicode character code.
+ Conversion and management scripts to convert source SVG to any size in a variety of formats and to check for and list missing characters.
$7,500: A cross platform emoji chooser/pallet that will run on Linux, OS X and Windows. Using this tool you can enter standard set (unicode) emoji in any application anywhere. This app will also have an editor/preview window to re-emojify text improperly rendered due to a lack of support in an application or at the system level.
$10,000: Another *375* [was 125] (sum *500* [was 250]) of the most commonly used emoji.
+ All custom emoji.
+ Racial variations for all human emoji. Racial variations will include: standard-generic-tan-pinkish, creamy-white, silky-black, golden-middle-eastern, refined-asian and rich-ethnic-brown.
+ Conversion scripts to convert and export all racial versions at once from their SVG sources with the ability to tweak to output your own custom racial variations.
+ A jQuery module to convert blocks of text or HTML, replacing emoji codes with their PNG versions. Every site using this module will be able to seamlessly display emoji on any browser regardless of any lack of native support.
+ A jQuery module with an emoji picker, listing all emoji available or by category and inserting into a selected textbox upon selection. Every site using this module will be able to allow users to browse and insert emoji into specified text boxes regardless of any lack of native support.
$15,000: Font rendering scripts and official rendered fonts of the full color set and a fall-back black-and-white outline font set for systems that do not natively support multi-color fonts.
$25,000: All standard emoji (over 800).
+ All custom emoji.
+ 50 animated versions of common emoji.
+ Plugins for Chrome and Firefox to standard Unicode and extended set emoji to their graphical representations on any site, and to provide a pop-up emoji picker to insert emoji into any block of text.
$30,000+: MOAR EMOJI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
+ An central hosted conversion system that will convert any block of text or HTML to HTML with embedded image links for each emoji. This site will also allow for the registration of custom extended set emoji by anyone.
+ For every $30 over the 30k mark, one extended set emoji (to be chosen by vote by backers).
+ For every $50 over the 50k mark an animated version of an emoji (to be chosen by vote by backers).
We're calculating work time at roughly $20 per work hour for Tohyama, which is lower than what we usually bill him at and way below market rate. Obviously we won't be making any money off this project beyond funding, so we've agreed to re-invest as much of our individual takes as we can to continue funding Scroll Ninja (which is also open source). So every dollar you donate will first go toward making an awesome set of emoji, and then a portion of it will go toward funding our dreams.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Tohyama was born to design, create and alter images. If Tohyama dies or breaks his hand or something we have three other team members who can handle these sorts of graphics.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.