Designers in Quarantine Now Have Their Own Set of Relatable Emojis

Design firm &Walsh created new icons for unprecedented times

A collage of emojis
It’s another reminder that 2020 really has separated life into a 'before' and 'after,' even when it comes to emojis. Illustration: Dianna McDougall; Sources: &Walsh
Headshot of Erik Oster

&Walsh, the design agency launched by famed designer Jessica Walsh last year, has created a set of emojis for these famously uncertain times.

As the &Walsh team explains on its blog, the agency hoped to create an emoji suite out of frustration with current options and “inspired by the unique experiences we go through as designers, and people living through 2020.”

It’s another reminder that 2020 really has separated life into a “before” and “after,” even when it comes to emojis.

Of course, there’s a lot to appreciate here for non-designers, with reflections of the peculiar realities of life under social distancing guidelines. Take, for example, the “goldtp” emoji, displaying that in the time of the coronavirus, toilet paper seems to be worth its weight in gold, or the versatile “ohno” emoji, reflecting a feeling we’ve all had at some point during the past couple of months.

There’s also plenty for design nerds, including emojis for modern icons such as Susan Kare, Shantell Martin, Debbie Millman and Takashi Murakami, as well as Walsh herself. Somewhere in the middle there’s a sweet spot illustrating the peculiarities of designers working form home during a crisis, from formal dress above the waist to demanding clients and deadline pressure.

So if you’ve been craving a client budget as roll of toilet paper emoji, now’s your chance. You can download emoji or sticker packs for Slack, WhatsApp or more on the &Walsh website.

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@ErikDOster Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.