Storytelling Throughout the Ages: Hieroglyphics to Emojis

Have you ever sat down to text your friend an emoji and thought about how one simple thing like the smiley face ever got started?

When people think of storytelling, they seem to forget how far back it began to connect people across the globe. As early civilizations evolved, their visual languages expanded and became more communicable. And we thank the ancient Egyptians for creating a clear, efficient way of telling stories through their use of hieroglyphics.

The term “hieroglyphic” originates from the Greek words hiero (‘holy’) and glypho (‘writing’). The Ancient Egyptians began using hieroglyphics (also referred to medu netjer, or ‘the gods’ words’) as a way to communicate. By using symbols strung together, the first visual stories were born. This culture believed stories were divine in nature and something that would be carried on far ahead into the future. Turns out they were right!

Maya, Inca, Aztec "Evolution of Egyptian Writing and Language" 

Hieroglyphic symbols eventually grew more complex as they added vowels, grammar, and syntax to add meaning to their visual words. This allowed them to broaden their communication by using phonograms (sound forming the word) and ideograms (picture indicating meaning of the word).

As centuries passed and technology advanced, a modern version of an ancient concept was born: The first emoji ever created was in 1999 by Japanese artist Shigetaka Kurita. Today, emojis aren’t just whimsical icons on our mobile phones - they rule in current pop culture and appear just about everywhere. To this day, using symbols and pictures in animation production is an effective way to communicate with people who speak different languages. This also illustrates why visual storytelling is an invaluable tool in the development of early childhood cognitive skills.

"Back to the Future: From Hieroglyphics to Emojis"

Hieroglyphics and symbols of the past have evolved into 2D and 3D illustrations of the future. Here at 321 Fast Draw, we facilitate an inspired team of artists who consistently work their hardest to create stories that captivate people of all ages and languages around the world over.

Other than language, currency is a commodity that differentiates nationalities across the globe, as both are inherently specific to their respective cultures. Understanding different types of languages and applications of currency can be challenging, but with the assistance of succinct, well-executed visuals, confusion is clarified. Take a look at our video that showcases how PayPal became one of the newest methods of payment to get an idea of the "future of payments."

Our artistic team creates animated videos in multiple languages (Spanish, Portuguese, German, Mandarin, French, and more!) and has experience with subtitles and captioning to help educate viewers around the world!

With the evolution of technology, you are able to read this blog post with a touch of a button. Today, you can string emojis together to create short stories of your own for the world to see. The internet and social media allows us to travel the world and experience many different cultures and languages from our couches. Graphic Artists can draw with Apple Pencils on their iPads, and motion graphic animation artists can bring drawings to life with software programs. We have come a long way in how we execute and communicate with visual media, but only because someone, many thousands of years ago, picked up a stick and designated a wall of stone as their canvas.

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