Art professor Ryan Feerer designed new Texas themed emojis for the iPhone and Android app TexMessages, which is now available on the app store for free.
Feerer said he got involved with the project after Jeff Blagg, originally from Abilene, contacted him and asked if he would be willing to design 30 emojis for the app, which feature designs from six different Texas based artists. The emojis range from barbecue and queso to football and the Alamo, among other unique Texas designs – even an Abilene one, which was Feerer’s favorite to design. He also said it was easy to work under the theme because there’s a lot of rich culture within Texas.
“The whole concept behind it is that these little emojis/stickers are Texas themed and designed and illustrated by Texas artists,” Feerer said. “[Blagg] approached me to do a series of those and he gave me a list of some of the things he wanted me to do and on top of that, he gave me some freedom to play around with a few others, so I was able to bring in Abilene centric illustrations into the project.”
Feerer said he used both Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop to create his designs, and the creative process took two weeks to complete. He also said this was the first time he had designed emojis or done anything similar.
“I definitely try to do work that is appropriate for the client or job I am working on,” Feerer said. “Sometimes the look and feel can vary greatly from project to project. However, I do have a style that I think have developed unintentionally. A lot of that is a combination of lettering, interesting typographic lockups and texture. This, by nature, has a Texas vibe I think. Almost reminiscent of old vintage signage and labels.”
His favorite design work involves branding and logo development and he’s completed several projects around Abilene, like the logo for Pappy Slokum and the branding for Abi-Haus.