I’ve been using the hot beverage emoji as my favicon here at DC, since it has a coffee (and hence caffeine) connotation to it.1 With the recent emoji changes in iOS 10.2 and macOS 10.12.2 earlier this month, the hot beverage emoji has changed. For the site’s favicon, I’d been bootlegging the PNG version of the emoji from an online repository of all of Apple’s emoji and then using IconSlate to create a retina-friendly favicon.

The problem is that this online repository didn’t update itself fast enough, and I found myself sitting on a legacy favicon. It was time to take matters into my own hands. Enter the Emoji Extractor ruby script.2 It takes the emoji font file located at /System/Library/Fonts/Apple Color Emoji.ttc on your Mac and extracts it into a folder of PNG images. The process is a thousand times better than the “TTC to PNG” resources online. All of the latter either flat out don’t work and die after a very prolonged and anguishing timeout, or they have an 80MB limit (the Apple Color Emoji.ttc file is 99.9MB), or they require a premium account.

  1. I hope it never happens, but it’s possible that Apple could update the hot beverage emoji in the future to be a non-caffeine hot beverage, such as tea. If that ever happens, I’m screwed. To just blindly use an ever-changing emoji spec for my site favicon is maybe a lousy scheme — but I’m already doing that with the site’s general font family and with the emoji throughout the site. Those things are platform specific and they’re going to look different on different operating systems. The reality is that the hot beverage emoji looks very different depending on what platform you’re on, but they all shout coffee. I’d be shocked if that drastically changed to something like tea unless the Unicode Consortium decided to fork it first. In other words, there will always be a coffee emoji, even if its name at some point changes from hot beverage to something more specific, like cup of joe. ↩︎
  2. Hat tip to Daniel Shamburger for the link. ↩︎