When Angela Guzman landed a design internship at Apple in 2008, she had no idea what her assignment would be. During her three-month program, she ended up helping to design about 500 of the original emoji.
Guzman, who went on to work at Apple full time for several years, partnered closely with her mentor, Raymond Sepulveda, on the emoji project. Though it’s hard to imagine now, emoji were initially intended just for the Japanese market. Neither knew how globally iconic their little illustrations would become.
Here’s the origin story.