Embroidery 2.0

Remaking a symbol of the 21st century

In recent years communications have adapted to include pictorial graphics that denote all manner of emotional conditions. We’re talking about the the language of emojis developed in 1998 by Shigetaka Kurita. Now, this pictorial language is a ubiquitous part of our rapid text communication world. It virtually defines the need for speed, instant gratification and frivolity in out hectic lives.

The emoji is a colourful digital symbol that carries a subtext of nuance and meaning unique to a single network of friends; as a language it is truly democratic with the meanings determined less by some distant tradition but rather by the users in the here and now.

This is a sharp contrast to the regimental and established meanings inherent in military, ecclesiastical and royal symbols. Here the sword and baton, the wreath, the crown, the pelican pecking at it’s chest all have firmly established meanings passed on through tradition. These images, decoded, relate back to historical, biblical or literary origins. Carved in wood, drawn by hand or meticulously embroidered these symbols are about slow craft, practised skill and resolute seriousness. They are the opposite of the emoji.

So what does this all mean? Why are you getting a history lesson in semiotics?

Well, at Hand & Lock we are always asked how does a 250 year old embroidery house evolve an age old craft to satisfy modern consumers? The truth is that the techniques rarely change, the materials stay the same and the tools are fine as they are; what changes is the aesthetic of the consumer and the imagination of the designer. With all that said, we also enjoy toying with expectations and perceptions; taking the frivolous and bestowing it with centuries of craft and skill. So we looked at the 21st century visual landscape and applied a little imagination and creativity. Do you see what we’re getting at now..?

Earlier this year we snatched the ephemeral and rendered it in thread, made the intangible real. Emoji Monograms were born; the digital pictorial language invented in 1998 has been re-imagined as embroidery. Using the traditional skills of the embroiderer and the precision craft of monogramming we created a brand new way to express your personal style.

We took the 33 most popular emojis and designed permanent versions that could be brought to life in fine Egyptian cottons on any garment for any occasion. Babies feet for a new born baby, a diamond ring for an engagements or thumbs up for passing your exams. Whatever the landmark, what ever the celebration; there’s an emoji monogram for that.

Emoji Monograms available from £15.00.
Contact H&L for details on 02075807488 or use the contact form below.