Japanese Visual Communication

Original Emoji from the 60s | Locos

LoCos is a pictorial language developed by Yukio Ota in 1964. It was meant as a method of communication for the deaf and mute as well as for the illiterate. He said: “It should emphasize the importance of communication among all the people of all the countries of the world.”

I'm a big fan of simple and functional design so get super nerdy about icons, pictograms and ideograms. How cool is it that modern day hieroglyphics like emoji help people who speak different languages communicate with each other?! 🙌

There are 8 major symbols in LoCos. The Sun or day, is represented by a circle. There is man, represented by a ring shape. Thought, is represented by a triangle with a slightly cut off top. Feeling is represented by a heart and so on...

Words are made by combining different symbols in different ways. For example if you put a dot inside a circle it will represent "today". There are around 80 words that are official according to Yukio Ota. Words can be created as long as they follow the basic word syntax.