The fascinating story of emojis begins with their creator Shigetaka Kurita in late ’90s Japan and his original 176 symbols. “I find it hard to believe what they have become,” Kurita says. A hit in Japan, within a decade emojis were in global use. Today, boffins at the Unicode Consortium, who are responsible for approving new emoji requests, struggle to keep up with demand. How do you make sure a new language isn’t unintentionally chauvinist or xenophobic? Meet Rayouf, schoolgirl campaigner for the hijabi emoji; Katrina, who pushed for a diversity of skin tones; and Florencia, who’s trying to represent Argentina’s iconic mate tea with just a few pixels. You’ll never look at emojis in quite the same way again.