Where can I find good, professional smileys/emoticons?
January 7, 2011 9:03 PM   Subscribe

Where can I find good, professional smileys/emoticons?

Can someone point me to sites that have good, unique, professional-looking smileys? I'm looking for ones to use on my forums, blogs and email client.

I've searched and searched, but all I ever seem to find are horrible smileys; ones which don't look professional at all. Some of the only good emoticons I've come across are Riceballs by David Lanham; I like them because they're minimalistic and unique. I, however, would like to find more smileys that are on par with the Riceballs.

I'd prefer if the emoticons you recommend are non-animated, but you may recommend animated ones as well. I'd also prefer if they're minimalistic.

posted by GlassHeart to Computers & Internet (15 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Where can I find good, professional smileys/emoticons?

Emoticons aren't professional.

If you really want to take the professional route, skip emoticons entirely and have smileys displayed in their original character-based form.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:14 PM on January 7, 2011 [12 favorites]

posted by nicwolff at 9:27 PM on January 7, 2011

I think the OP is asking for simple/clean emoticons. If you click the link to the riceballs they point at, they're exactly that. Something that's not like those over the top caffeinated walmart smiley faces that are kinda creepy.

I think your best bet is to search through deviantART for an artist you like that has a creative commons license.
posted by royalsong at 9:32 PM on January 7, 2011

There are some things that just can't be considered "professional." You are no more likely to find professional-looking emoticons as you are to find professional-looking flip-flops.

dunkadunc's solution's probably for the best. Let people type out smileys without having them convert to emoticons. Looks professional in the same way unadorned text does. :)
posted by explosion at 9:32 PM on January 7, 2011 [4 favorites]

IANAD (I am not a designer), but have you tried resources like SmashingMagazine for icon sets or doing a search for gifs?

I like dunkadunc's suggestion to display character-based emoticons. Google kind of does this, by reorienting your standard ones after you type and hit enter in gchat. If you are aiming for something minimalist and aesthetic, this might be something to explore.
posted by pearl228 at 9:35 PM on January 7, 2011

Maze guy.
posted by erebora at 9:38 PM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

professional-looking smileys?

No such thing actually exists. Pro Tip: the business world is not MySpace.Never, under any circumstances, ever, include any "smileys" in your professional communications. Emoticons? Please. The only take-away from that would be "why is this idiot wasting my time with non-germane, juvenile, tropes?"
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 9:39 PM on January 7, 2011 [7 favorites]

Ugh, enough. "Professional" is an aesthetic, not an indication that this is work-related. Seriously, it's not hard to imagine a scenario in which someone wants to use emoticons that aren't yellow and goofy.

I think a better word to describe the aesthetic you want is "minimalist" (you already used it in your question). Maybe this?
posted by PercussivePaul at 10:23 PM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]

I will assume by professional you mean polished.

This is the best I could come up with.

It is breathtaking to see just how crappy most emoticon collections are. I do not envy your task.
posted by mazola at 10:24 PM on January 7, 2011

I think that the emoticons included with the SparkIM client beta are pretty decent (low key/"professional"). Can't seem to find a preview anywhere. but you can download the client from here. Install it and in the folder you installed to there should be a zip file with the icons in it.
posted by corvus_cornix at 10:35 PM on January 7, 2011

DeviantArt has a category for this:
Customization > Emoticons > Packs
Perhaps you can find something among the chaff there.

Rainbow Drops
posted by Mizu at 10:47 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

What do you mean by "professional"? In a lot of contexts, emoticons are not professional, period. Do you mean something like "well designed"? High image quality? Not goofy or trying to be stupid funny? Is this just a minimalism question? Something else?
posted by J. Wilson at 12:07 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]

You want Emoji. They were added to the Unicode standard a few months ago.
posted by Lazlo at 12:34 AM on January 8, 2011

As for emoticons be unprofessional, over use is annoying and it can be viewed as unprofessional. But I was tickled recently when I got an email from an administrator that had one well placed smiley. I use Emoji sparingly. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words.
posted by fifilaru at 3:25 PM on January 8, 2011

I'm not a fan of emoticons, but I've had clients insist. There are some free, graphically nice ones here.
posted by coolguymichael at 5:09 PM on January 8, 2011

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