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‘Stressed AF’: These new emoji perfectly sum up our new reality

For anyone who needs a salty way to express their current struggles.

Messaging services like Slack have taken over our lives even more than they had before. In fact, it’s really the only way I communicate with my colleagues now that we aren’t together in the office anymore. And over the course of the day, much of our communication defaults to emoji: a thumbs up to indicate “message received,” a flame for an especially hot take, a laughing smiley (often paired with a sobbing one), to show you’re in on the joke.

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But the default emoji library doesn’t always cut it when you want to express the newfound frustrations of working from home, or getting that 11th hour request in your inbox—when there’s no one around to grumble with and all you want to do is ctrl-alt-delete your day.

[Photo: courtesy &Walsh]
Well, creative types, rejoice—design agency &Walsh just released hundreds of new emoji to help you express all those feelings that words can’t. But be careful: with this group the coffee emoji would definitely be spiked. These emoji don’t mess TF around.

There’s a text box emoji that says “SON OF A” (it leaves the end of the phrase to the imagination), a full pajama set (saved under the file name “daily uniform”), a rosé can, and a folder icon full of “excuses.” And there are a lot more. Safe to say there are options for anyone who needs a salty way to express their current struggles.

[Photo: courtesy &Walsh]
There are dozens of riffs on existing emoji, too, like “oh no,” which is a smiley face with two different size pupils and nervous sweat droplets, or “idea,” depicting a grinning smiley with a light-bulb icon. There are even some COVID-19-themed emoji, like a golden roll of toilet paper or a T-shirt that says “social distancing since the ’80s.”

There’s also a suite of emoji specifically for designers, like riffs on Adobe creative suite icons. Some, meanwhile, depict industry heroes. What designer wouldn’t want the affirmation of emoji Pentagram partner Paula Scher?

[Photo: courtesy &Walsh]
The emoji are free to download (&Walsh is also making memes with the custom emoji). In addition to Slack, you can use the emoji as Instagram story stickers by searching gif/giphy for “andwalsh,” or as stickers in iMessage and What’s App.

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“We’re all going through unique, difficult times, and this calls for new emoji to communicate these shared struggles,” said Jessica Walsh, the founder of &Walsh. Luckily, this new emoji pack just widened our vocabulary.

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About the author

Lilly Smith is an associate editor of Co.Design. She was previously the editor of Design Observer, and a contributing writer to AIGA Eye on Design.

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