Work     About

Chat emotes

My role

Art director

01 — Get your game on
I had the pleasure of art directing YouTube’s first ever custom global emote packs for comments and live chat. In contrast to the charming but somewhat bland universality of emoji, emotes have license to be a little bit weird and esoteric. This applies both to the subject and the style and it enabled us to tailor our packs to resonate with particular communities. For this first drop we worked with artists from around the world to create three distinct flavors of expression for all our gamer friends out there.

Abelle Hayford

Guy Field

Yujin Won

02 — Size matters
With emotes, every pixel counts. In this case, we had a mere 24 x 24 to work with so it was critical to maintain legibility without sacrificing personality. At every stage of development, I pushed to strip away unnecessary elements and to emphasize key moments. Additionally, YouTube supports light and dark themes so each asset had to read clearly on both white and near-black backgrounds.

Process — Abelle Hayford; emotes in use

Creative Director — Chris Bettig

Producer — Ash Qualischefski

Design Manager – Jason Bento

Agency art direction — Anyways Creative

Illustration — Abelle Hayford, Guy Field, Yujin Won

Jesse Lefkowitz — 2023