Saying g’day with emojis: App explains quirks of Aussie culture

612 ABC Brisbane


Jessica Hinchliffe


November 04, 2016 11:31:06

Marvin Reid’s emoji set shows sides of Australia the wider world doesn’t always see. (612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
Brisbane 4000
If Australian lifestyle and culture was an emoji set, what would it look like?Developer Marvin Reid has spent 12 months creating the AussiEmoji app that features cane toads, Uluru and meat pies.Originally from Jamaica, Mr Reid migrated to Queensland eight years ago and became an Australian citizen in 2014.He said he wanted to create emojis that explained the quirks of Australian culture as well as encompassing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. Photo:
Emojis include meat pies, Uluru and Indigenous symbols. (Supplied: Marvin Reid)
“The first [emoji] I created was a kangaroo with an expression of surprise.” Mr Reid worked closely with local Indigenous designer Charles Omeenyo. (Supplied: Marvin Reid)
Since being released last month Mr Reid’s emojis have featured on the iTunes download chart.”There’s million of apps submitted every week and it’s good to know that out of those millions of apps that an Australian-made app that showcases Australia can be featured,” he said.”I feel really proud.” (612 ABC Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)
“I was always really interested and in love with the Australian way,” he said.”The vast history and Indigenous art made me really fall in love with my country.”After becoming an Australian citizen I wanted to create something that showcased Australia to the world in a unique and fun way.”Indigenous culture representedMr Reid said his aim was to create an emoji set that showed sides of Australia the wider world did not always see.”My favourite emoji is the one that showcases the Australian and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island flag,” he said.”It shows the world that Australia is not just one thing. Photo:
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander designers have been part of the creative process. “I tell him my idea and then he puts his ideas together and we take a few days to get the design done,” he said.”We’re all based here in Brisbane and it’s a Queensland-created app going worldwide.”More than just an emojiMr Reid said there was also a serious side to the emojis.In the next update, each emoji will come with a factsheet explaining to users the background and meaning of each icon.”It’s not just something to make cute symbols that no-one uses,” he said.”I created it so that we use it everyday and to help Australians share their culture and history to people overseas, to show what we’re about.”

A Queensland cane toad dressed in State of Origin gear is one of the emojis created.