The Semiotics of Emoji: The Rise of Visual Language in the Age of the Internet

Open Access Journal | ISSN: 2183-2439

The Semiotics of Emoji: The Rise of Visual Language in the Age of the Internet


  • Laura Kerslake Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK
  • Rupert Wegerif Faculty of Education, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK


Abstract  This paper reviews Marcel Danesi’s new book on the use of emoji in particular, and the use of visual language more generally. Danesi offers a number of interesting examples of emoji use, pointing out that their use has risen considerably in a number of contexts. He goes on to question how far emoji use can be extended by examining the structure of the emoji ‘language’. Overall this is an accessible book that presents a number of examples of visual languages and comments on the possibilities and challenges for visual language use against a backdrop of technological change.


Keywords  emoji; visual communication; semiotics; visual languages


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17645/mac.v5i4.1041


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