Draft 2018 Emojis: Swan, Infinity, More

Unicode has announced four new draft emoji candidates for 2018: swan, badger, infinity symbol[1] and pirate flag.

These come as the result of decisions made at the Unicode Technical Committee (UTC) meeting at Apple last week.[2]

And don't worry redheads: your feedback has been heard! The most common responses to Emojipedia since Apple released iOS 11.1 have been "but what about the redheads". Requests for curly haired emojis have also been popular.

New hair characters aren't yet final, but Unicode did today specify that there both the man and woman emojis would be eligible to have any of the new hair types.[3]

redhead-curly-hair-emojipedia
Above: Redheads and Curly Hair are still in the 2018 emoji list. Images: Emojipedia Sample Image Collection.

All the current characters shortlisted for 2018 are displayed on the updated Unicode Emoji Chart. Changes this week include:

  • Clarification of which characters are slated to get red hair, curly hair, white hair, and no hair (bald)
    • These hair styles were agreed upon in January 2017, but not which emojis they would apply to.
    • At this stage the current batch is focussing on a limited set of "Man" or "Woman" for each hair style (plus skin tones) meaning 48 new emojis in total.
    • The mechanism used for hair does mean that if Unicode (or vendors implementing it) decided to expand the range to include children, or more types of adults, or roles such as sport or occupations, they could.
  • Superhero and Supervillain are likely to appear as people rather than a "smiley" version with new guidance showing a man and woman version of each

hero-villain-emojipedia
Above: Superhero and Supervillain were previously proposed as "smileys" (like these) but now recommended as people: a man and woman version of each. Images: Emojipedia Sample Image Collection

  • Three characters are no longer listed as draft candidates, but may be reviewed as ZWJ Sequences in the next UTC meeting:
    • Frowning Face With Question Marks As Eyes
    • Grinning Face With Letters Ok As Eyes
    • Frowning Pile Of Poo

ok-frowning-poo-question-mark-emojipedia
Above: These emojis have been removed from current charts, to be reviewed in January 2018. Images: Emojipedia Sample Image Collection

Decisions regarding the final emoji list for 2018 will not take place until 2018 when Emoji 6.0 is due to be released, but this does give a glimpse at which characters might be on the way.

New emojis approved in early-mid 2018 would arrive on most phones in the second half of 2018.


  1. Infinity is already a Unicode character, but is being drafted to get an emoji property as well so it can appear on emoji keyboards alongside other symbols. It's highly requested from Emojipedia users. ↩︎

  2. Disclaimer: I was present at this meeting due to my role in the Unicode Emoji Subcommittee. ↩︎

  3. Assuming this list or something like it is approved in 2018. ↩︎

Jeremy Burge

Jeremy Burge

Jeremy Burge is the Editor in Chief of Emojipedia and host of the Emoji Wrap podcast.

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