To celebrate World Emoji Day, Ford has revealed the design of a new small pickup truck. Very small.
The Dearborn-based automaker has petitioned the Unicode Consortium to add its F-150-inspired emoji to the consortium's list of approved digital icons. The Unicode Consortium is an industry organization that sets standards for computer text. The Consortium has put the graphic icon on its shortlist of candidates for inclusion in the next update of approved emojis scheduled for early next year. If approved, it would be the first ever pickup truck emoji.
There are currently about 3000 approved icons, including many that are related to transportation, but until now, pickup truck fans could not embellish their text messages with their favorite vehicle.
“When customers started demanding a truck emoji, we knew we had to help make it happen,” said Joe Hinrichs, Ford’s president, automotive. “Given the popularity of Ford trucks globally, there’s no one better than Ford to help bring an all-new pickup truck emoji to hard-working texters around the globe.”
The automaker didn't just assign the task to a summer intern. The new emoji is likely the only one that was developed by professional automotive designers. It came out of Ford's design studio. Craig Metros, who heads design for Ford North America indicated, with his tongue placed firmly in-cheek, that FoMoCo devoted serious resources to their new little truck.
“Our team spent a lot of time digging through message boards, texting influencers and watching social media feeds to really understand our customers’ needs,” Metros said, “People want a truck emoji that’s fresh, stylish, carries their ideas, and ‘tows’ the line on what a truck means. The end result is a modern icon that should give all truck fans a smiley face emoji.”
The skill of Metros' team can be seen from the fact that even at a minuscule 32 by 32 pixels, the emoji is instantly recognizable as the profile of a Ford F-150, with character lines and the F-150's distinctive front and rear lighting.
Ford submitted the proposal to the Unicode Consortium back in 2018. Should it get final approval, Ford plans to customize the emoji for all mobile platforms.
If you think designing the pickup emoji was a waste of the company's valuable resources, just count the number of times the word “Ford” appears in this article.