I had a go at creating emoticons. They were kind of made for Stylus -forums, but I treated this more like a personal exercise, and the chance to try doing something unfamiliar.
I was using 16 x 16 pixels format for these – and that feels really small. The main goal I had was to keep the expressions as clear as possible – which meant keeping them really simple – while getting some unique character for them on the side. Turned out keeping them just legible is quite a task in itself. No wonder the round, basic smileys are so popular: they work really well!
First round: Pretty basic:
Second round: Skulls. Thought these were a bit unclear in parts and the white color isn’t the best one to use with these. Some other color for the skin pops out the eye and teeth whites better – thus making the expressions clearer:
Third round: Simpler skulls with blue face. They’re perharps a bit too dark for this background:
It’s hard stuff – more respect for the designers and pixel artists that are actually good at this stuff.