Black and white emoji fonts

I’m working with Matteo Visconti di Oleggio Castello to bring modern emoji to letterpress. Nerds are into standards, so by “modern” I mean Emoji version 5.0, which is implemented in Unicode 10.0. We’re helped by our typehigh project for transforming .svg, .png, and even full .ttf files into 3dprintable .stl models (via .scad). All we need are emoji font files suitable for letterpress. After a bit of effort seeing if it would be easy to convert color fonts to black and white, we realized that there should be black and white emoji fonts. But it was harder than we thought. Almost all modern emoji fonts are all in full color, and it took some digging to find symbol fonts that are still black and white. I was able to find a bunch, as well as some full color fonts that are designed to have black and white “fallback” modes.


Here is what I found:

Noto Emoji Font
Google has a fully internationalized font, Noto, whose emoji font has a black and white version:
The smiley’s are blobs.

EmojiOne is a color font with black and white fallbacks. I couldn’t figure out how to trigger the fallbacks, but I found an early pre-color version of EmojiOne:

Android Emoji
Not sure why, but one of Android’s main Emoji fonts is black and white
The smiley’s are androids.

GNU’s FreeFont
FreeFont is black and white.;O=D

SymbolA is a black and white Linux font with nearly full Unicode support:

A free font by an independent designer.
You can convert from woff to ttf here

Microsoft Segoe UI Symbol
Microsoft has a very high-quality emoji set in its Segoe UI Symbol/Emoji font. And because of copyright law, in which things have to be copyrighted separately for different uses, there shouldn’t be anything keeping us from using it to create printed type:

This might be from an old pre color version:

Twitter’s Emoji font
Twitter open sources its emoji font. This doesn’t have a black and white version, but it does have black and white fallbacks. If I can figure out how to extract or trigger the fallbacks, this could be great.

There may be more at the bottom of this:
and here

Using/testing/seeing these fonts

Don’t do this through a browser, but on your own system. You have to install each font, then download this file (instead of viewing it in your browser):
Open it in a text editor and change the Font to each of these fonts to see how each emoji set looks.


emoji symbol font ttf otf open source fallback BW B&W


This entry was posted on Friday, June 16th, 2017 and is filed under Uncategorized.