Earthquake Emoji design competition launched by scientists

Geo-scientists have expressed interest and concern in the lack of an earthquake emoji, something they hope to change with an earth shattering competition.
Scientists have expressed concern over the lack of an earthquake emoji; something they hope to shake up with a design competition.

The campaign was kick started on Twitter by Dr. Sara K. McBride, a communication and disaster researcher, who cited the lack of an earthquake themed emoji.

She further noted that other natural disasters are already represented in emoji form, including the volcano emoji, the tornado, tsunami and the cyclone emoji.

Earthquake Emoji: Groundbreaking?

Due to the communications power of emojis and their universal appeal, Dr McBride even suggests that an emoji like this could actually help to save lives.

She said: “Emojis play an important role in communication because not everyone speaks the same language. And not everyone has the easiest time reading or understanding words.” 

Speaking of how an earthquake emoji could help people, she further commented: “So, this hunt for our earthquake emoji is important because it could help us better communicate faster across the variety of media platforms we have today.”

In the very same thread, a global design competition was launched to help create a suitable earthquake emoji. All logo drafts for the competition have a deadline of the 14th July, where a panel of judges will drill down the orignal list to just four emojis.

Finally, the four chosen emoji will be put to public vote using the hashtag #emojiquake - the most popular of the four entries will be the official representation of an emoji earthquake.

Some early design ideas include a house being shaken by a crack underneath, others show the house literally torn in half by the force of the quake.

Support for the campaign is already picking up on Twitter, with multiple #emojiquake hashtags already used by keen supporters. Whether an earthquake symbol will break new ground with Unicode is yet to be seen.
Beth Walker 17 September 2018

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