Mutant Standard 0.2.1 + S1

Promo image of Mutant Standard 0.2.1 - all of the new emoji are arranged in a scattered manner around the logo in front of a pink background.

Mutant Standard 0.2.1

For the next few months, I’m going to put my attention towards animals, nonhumans and humans, starting with animals.

0.2.1 introduces a bunch of new furry animals and almost completes the paw hand set!!! (30/31 to be exact)

It also introduces the rest of the Unicode hearts. E:

You can get them here: mutant.tech/use

 

Promo image of Mutant Standard S1 - all of the emoji are arranged in a ring around the logo in front of a flourescent green background.

Mutant Standard S1

The other day, I made a bunch of novelty thinking emoji and shared them on Mastodon, and thus the idea of making ‘special’ releases was born.

Special releases is a space for occasional memes and dumb bullshit. Like VIP emoji, they are shortcode-only.

You can get them here: mutant.tech/use/#special

Mutant Standard and Guns

So, all of the major emoji vendors have now redesigned the gun emoji to look like a squirt gun, while Mutant Standard hasn’t made any gun emoji yet. I had been asked about my opinion on this and what I plan on doing and I talked about it on Discord. Here’s a blog post summarising those thoughts.

 

 

Clearly, I don’t have any issues with the corporations deciding to slant away from Unicode Specification – Mutant Standard does that liberally and I’ve talked about why I believe that is fine to great length. But I do have problems in other regards.

I feel that the rationale for these decisions is mostly a PR move – American companies don’t want to be associated with gun violence in the American political climate, and that’s understandable, but also what often missing in this discussion is that this decision is only for them.

This move is a disneyfication. It does not erase the horror or the reality of mass shootings or racially-biased police brutality in the US. Nor does it erase the many Americans who have pernicious ideas about gun violence, nor does it erase the lobbying that prevents scientific investigation and systemic changes that might be able to help this. (And there’s also the racist relationship between gun control legislation and black and brown people owning firearms which often goes ignored.)

These companies are some of the most powerful corporate entities in the world, and if they wanted, they could lobby and use their political money and power for change. They could even just have a meaningful dialogue about it instead of vaguely pointing to ‘company values’. But they aren’t interested in taking a stand or making a real contribution to any real issue in the cultural or political sphere, so they change a gun emoji to a squirt gun instead.

It’s like the pointed peach – if you change the emoji, you can make that particular form of communication appear nonexistent without having to engage with it at all. I wouldn’t necessarily mind the squirt gun if they had a dialogue about it and actually contributed something to the world, but they refuse to. And on these kinds of principles, (as opposed to just immature psuedo-free speech narratives) i think the squirt gun is a fucked up thing to do.

 

 

 

But is making a gun emoji okay, and is it okay now, in this current situation?

I think making a gun emoji is probably fine, and maybe Mutant Standard will eventually be one of the few emoji sets that will end up having a gun. I want people to be able to responsibly talk about and communicate about violence (beyond the childish mythos of the ‘good guy’ and the ‘bad guy’), keeping in mind it also exists beyond the aesthetics of physical violence. I also want people to have guns for RPG purposes (and more guns than just a pistol because that would be fun for RPGs).

That being said, I also don’t think it’s right to do it now in the current political climate in the US. I don’t want to be seen as the validator of certain certain culturally negative groups of people who are agitated by the situation in the wake of the Parkland shooting and actively seek validation (even though Mutant Standard’s open embrace and support of certain minorities should probably prevent that to some degree). Regardless of what I intend the gun to be, my decisions have cultural consequences beyond my intent.

So yeah, at least for the meantime, Mutant Standard just won’t have a gun. If it does, it probably won’t be a squirt gun.

Mutant Standard 0.2.0

Promo image of mutant standard - all of the new emoji are arranged in a scattered manner around the logo in front of a bright blue background.

This particular update has been a long-time coming, it’s a major step forward for Mutant Standard and it’s required a major overhaul to how Mutant Standard emoji are produced and presented.

Most of this you can thank kiilas for, who is an excellent programmer and so much of this project is indebted to.

The exporter that I’ve been using to get emoji out in all the colours, sizes and formats has been replaced with a brand-new and much more powerful exporter called Orxporter. This will eventually be open source so if you know how to use a command line, you can use this tool too!

Codepoint packages

You can now download packages with codepoint-based filenames. This has been a long time coming and I thank you all for the wait!

You can find them at mutant.tech/use/#other. There are going to be some differences between the selection of emoji in the codepoint packages versus the shortcode because of how encoding works. I’ve written a new FAQ answer regarding that.

You can find the current details on how codepoint encoding is at the moment and how it’s planned for the future in a new dedicated page.

Improved Shortcode packages

‘Shortcode’ is what I’m now using to refer to the releases you all are familiar with (human-readable filenames and an easy to understand folder structure).

All emoji now only use underscores and alphanumeric characters, no more annoying square brackets to fiddle around with!

New emoji

  • Battery level emoji
  • Privacy symbol emoji
  • Red umbrella emoji (symbol of sex workers’ rights)
  • Lots of Unicode Standard food and drink emoji
  • A few other things

Many web improvements

Many pages have been simplified or greatly improved.

There’s a brand new demo page! You can now choose what type of hand emoji and colours you would like to see and it will show you!

 

Many production/internal improvements

A lot of web stuff (like the demo page) generates itself automatically and everything is generally a lot easier to update.

I have a bunch more in-house automation tools to make producing emoji packages way way quicker than it used to be.

All of these things mean I can spend much more time just making emoji.

0.2.1

You can find the notes for 0.2.1 on Trello!

My current thinking is with this release to do even more in-demand unique emoji – so more animals, more fantasy things, more fun objects!

0.2.0, Orxporter, One-Time Donations, Trello

Hey! I’ve been back for a while and posted everywhere else about it but forgot the blog >∆∆<.

Here’s a roundup of the last few weeks:

 

Mutant Standard 0.2.0 + Orxporter

I have some pretty awesome news. Orxporter (the next generation of the script that I use to batch recolour, rename and export emoji) is finally finished enough that I can use it. So the next release of Mutant Standard will be 0.2.0 and will include things like:

– Codepoint releases!
– Better shortcode releases! (better quality releases of the versions you are already used to)
– I will start outlining Mutant Standard’s encoding plans in Unicode’s PUA!
– Some more new emoji!

Orxporter will eventually be available as open source so anyone who can use a CLI can produce emoji like I do~

Thanks very much to kiilas for developing this. Mutant Standard would not be where it is without it. 💚

 

One-Time Donations

You can finally make one-time donations via PayPal:

https://mutant.tech/donate#paypal

Trello

People often ask me what I plan on doing for emoji, so I realised it would probably be a good idea to set something up where my production notes and lists are open to the public so anyone can really get a sense for what I’m thinking about and where I plan on going with things.

I’ve just done that (well, working on it right now) – I’ve made a public Trello at https://trello.com/mutantstandard.

I’m currently in the process of offloading most/all of my notes onto the service (and getting used to how Trello works a bit) so it’s not all there right now. But once this is all set up, this will become my new notes system for the project full-time, so you will be able to get a totally up-to-date view of what’s going on with the project at any time!

Personal Update

This is a personal update. It’s explaining what is going on in my life because as many of you probably know, things haven’t been good and also there’s something important about the project that I need to mention.

This is gonna get pretty heavy and mention poor mental health and abuse.

Continue reading “Personal Update”

Mutant Standard Merch Wave 2

More merch is now available, and there’s a new store too, Society6!

  • Patterns like peaches/eggplants, pineapples and paw hands.
  • Cybre/tech emoji
  • New pride flag
  • Mugs
  • Backpacks, Duffel Bags Beach Towels, Full-Print Shirts, Leggings and more!
  • Mutant Standard stickers if you wanna show your support for the project!

You can find both stores at https://mutant.tech/merch.

I’d recommend checking both stores as the selections differ.

 

 

Thank you for your support and patience again. It’s still been a pretty bad month for me, and there was so much about this wave of merch that took a lot longer than expected because I was getting into new media and processes which I’ve never really done before.

I’ll talk about some of my experiences and give tips about making merch in a future blog post.

Mutant Standard 0.1.0 – The Sketches

Quick guide!

  • Every picture of each file is a snapshot of that file of how it is viewed in Affinity Designer (so you can see each emoji artboard and it’s title).
  • You can click on each picture to get a bigger version.
  • The captions underneath each picture are the filenames of that sketch file. They’re not always the most descriptive (lol).
  • Dates of sketches are the date they started, not the date they finished.
  • Progressions go from top -> bottom, left -> right. I often use arrows to show progression when it’s not that obvious.
  • [M] means that that particular emoji design is going to the Master File (or at least that’s what I think at that moment in time).
  • I do a lot of freehand notes around the emoji iterations to give me an idea of how I’m feeling about them.
  • Some of the pictures might be a bit misleading because for some things (like some colour choices and CMs), I don’t actually make little iterations to demonstrate where I started and where I finished because it would take too long to copy, paste, edit, repeat, etc.. So i just iterate over the same images.

 

Okay, read below the cut to see all the sketches!

 

Continue reading “Mutant Standard 0.1.0 – The Sketches”

Mutant Standard 0.1.0

As you might imagine, given my current situation, I’ve been kind of scatterbrained. I was in the middle of working on some emoji that are quite close to ready a day or so ago, but then I realised that I had lost track of what I already made (which is unusual for me, but this has been a much longer release cycle than usual), so I’ve decided to get everything I’ve already done locked in place with a new release before I continue finishing more emoji.

Aside from personal things, this release is quite a bit smaller than usual because a lot of stuff in this release was quite intensive (like extra hands, new colours and extended colours). I also just had to go with what I had the spoons to create, so the kinds of emoji I’ve made isn’t necessarily what was planned, and it’s going to be that way for quite a while atm.

This is going to be very wordy because I don’t have the spoons to make diagrams explaining the CM system at the moment, so bear with me.

I’d like to thank everyone for being so patient and supportive during this really shitty time in my life. I’ve been hoping that I’d reach the end of this tunnel sooner but as usual, my spoons are in much shorter supply than I would like u∆∆u, but I am on it as much as I can be in my present capacity. 💚

Continue reading “Mutant Standard 0.1.0”

Overview of the production process

Here’s part 2 of me trying to give you an idea of how I make emoji, so you can really understand the process pics that I will be posting soon.

Because Mutant Standard is a project where I’m constantly making little pictures, a production pipeline is needed to make this run more smoothly. It helps me to spend more time creating stuff than wondering where I should put everything. This wasn’t something I came up with on day one – it’s something that has taken all this time to come up with and refine and improve. I’m quite happy and settled with it as it stands right now, but things might change in the future.

If you wanna make your own emoji, you don’t necessarily have to think about everything I say here because this is designed to help me make hundreds of emoji and you might only want to make a few, but there are ideas here that are probably worth thinking about whenever you decide to make your own emoji.

Continue reading “Overview of the production process”

My Tools

So, this project broke $100/mo a few weeks ago in pledges, which means we broke my first goal and I will start uploading my sketches and process pics with each new release.

But before I do that, I figured it would be a good idea to try to contextualise these sketches and process pics by letting you know the kinds of tools I use and what the overall production process is like.

It really doesn’t matter what hardware or apps you use as long as it works for you, I’m just using mine to give you an example of a production setup.

 

Continue reading “My Tools”