There’s an actual artwork to discovering the right emoji, picture, or GIF to reply to a textual content. And for Molly Younger, there isn’t a higher supply than early Netherlandish portraits.

“If yow will discover an individual in a Breugel portray who displays your present temper, it’s very satisfying,” says Younger, a duplicate director at Warby Parker and a author. “They’re simply a lot extra expressive than these little yellow smiley faces.”


Younger is now sharing that distinctive sense of satisfaction with a brand new iOS app called Rejoinders, which she created along with her associate Teddy Blanks, a founding father of the Brooklyn-based design studio CHIPS. The thought for the app was seeded when Younger turned obsessive about the surprisingly mature face of a child in a 16th century portray after seeing it up for public sale at Sotheby’s.

“I completely perceive this man, along with his mischievous grin,” she says. “His rotting tooth.”


Earlier than lengthy, she discovered herself responding to colleagues’ emails with the portray of the “baby-man.” (Finally, she additionally obtained the portray itself for a much-reduced worth from Sotheby’s after—maybe unsurprisingly—it didn’t promote at public sale.)

Now, that baby-man is considered one of 40 faces accessible in Rejoinders’ sticker set for iMessage. Younger says the very best expressions are sometimes discovered on lesser characters in work—”a barmaid within the background, or a peasant little one enjoying a sport within the grime.”


A latest replace to the app added ten expressions, together with “scornful glare,” and “plaintive gaze.”

“Rejoinders present a fuller vary of human emotion than emoji,” says Younger. “And we want the fullest vary of feelings potential.”

Generally the Kanye stink-eye simply gained’t do.

This text initially appeared on Quartz. 


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