World Emoji Day – Reflecting on a Decade of Change

July 17, 2018

by Alex Heirston

Even as professional communicators, it can be difficult for us to find the right words to illustrate our ideas.  Thankfully, a picture – or icon – can say 1,000 of them.

When we heard it was World Emoji Day, it put a big 😊 on our faces.  Then, we got curious and decided to dig into the history of these entertaining characters.

As it turns out, we have Apple and Japanese designer, Shigetaka Kurita, to thank for the massive 2,666-character emoji library at our fingertips today.  Emojis were first introduced overseas in the early 2000s while Americans were still hooked on emoticons – the emoji’s simpler ancestor designed with creative strokes of the keyboard.  In 2007, Apple released the first-generation iPhone for North American consumers and included emojis on the keyboard, hoping they would help the product compete in its new market.  Needless to say, they succeeded, and popularity of the emoji keyboard exploded internationally.

The emoji keyboard has grown significantly over the last 10 years alongside other communication innovations, such as 4G/LTE networks, Snapchat and FaceTime.  Paying tribute to World Emoji Day and the evolution in communication it represents, here’s a look at how our team’s favorite symbols have evolved* from days of the emoticon to the emojis of today:


(*Dan Ward has yet to “evolve” to emojis and is advocating for a World Emoticon Day.)


A Better Way to Mind Your Manners

July 17, 2018

by Elizabeth Lytle

As children, we are taught to say “please” and “thank you,” two phrases widely recognized as the most fundamental tenets of basic manners.  And, you probably learned that saying “you’re welcome” was just as important.

This was the case for me.  Starting in kindergarten, it was ingrained that “you’re welcome” should be my go-to answer to someone’s expression of gratitude.  That all changed when I started my first job as a cashier at Chick-fil-A.

On day one of training, in addition to the basics of working the cash register and restocking the chain’s range of delicious sauces (Polynesian will always be my favorite), I was taught that saying “my pleasure” was an integral part of company culture.

“My pleasure” is a simple expression, but the underlying values it represents have the potential to change the way you interact with clients, co-workers, friends and family.  This elevated version of “you’re welcome” implies extra care has been taken.  It’s an acceptance of gratitude that shares genuine appreciation for an opportunity to do the work and to establish or strengthen relationships as a result.  While I was introduced to this subtle tweak in the hospitality industry, I’ve long since incorporated the phrase into my day-to-day lingo, both at work and at home.

At Curley & Pynn, we believe every interaction provides you not with an opportunity to answer, but to respond and share the message you want to convey.  So, the next time someone expresses appreciation, take the time to carefully respond, not just answer.


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