Joanna Figliozzi started her design career as an intern at Martha Stewart, worked in Johnson&Johnson and now is a senior art director at Whalerock Industries. Whalerock is an established digital and media firm operating for over 10 years in the Los Angeles entertainment industry. Besides working with many fancy brands it runs all of the Kardashian-Jenner clan’s apps and digital properties. Figliozzi there is practically the personal emoji designer for Kim Kardashian West.

The Kimoji app first launched in December 2015, and landed a spot in top grossing apps chart for Apple. Using it one can send about 500 Kim Kardashian Emojis to friends and post them on social media. At the rate of more than 9000 people per second were downloading the app, it should have made Kim about $1 million a minute.

Kimoji. Joanna Figliozzi

Kimoji. Joanna Figliozzi


Kim herself didn’t seem to expect such a bang. Since then the app remains highly popular among entertainment category despite many other brands and celebrities started producing their own emojis. And it’s no surprise — the designers are constantly working on new sets of Kimoji, keeping up with trending memes, jokes and newsbreaks. For example, back to school, 4th of July or pre-election — Kimoji of crying Trump, crying Clinton, and crying Obama. “[Kim] recognized the need to constantly be tweaking and iterating and adding to it—changing the design, keeping the audience on their toes,” says the head of digital at Whalerock, Jared Heinke. “She has an instinct around this stuff”.

The most popular things about Kim Kardashian turned into Kimoji are obviously her crying face and booty. Apart from that the designers team created a huge variety of emotions, reactions and the “weird faces“. They include the funny live moments of the whole family, Kim’s daughter North, sisters and husband Kanye. The emojis are realistic and full of self-irony. Being not a fan of Kardashian-West you still would like to use them, as they are made general enough. The current pop-culture requires expressing less in words and more with the help of visual effects. Junk-food, expensive cars, booze, money, weed, faces and gestures, you can tell a full story using only Kim’s emojis.

Kimoji. Joanna Figliozzi

Kimoji. Joanna Figliozzi

Specially for Valentine’s day Whalerock designed a new Kimoji pack simplifying the way of speaking about love and relationship. A bouquet of white roses, a vase of pink tulips, a shiny heart, a red package tied up with a bow, a thick slice of red velvet cake, a fat cupid with a bow and arrow. If you need, anti-love Kimojis are available too: a heart with a knife through it, a book “He’s just not that into you,” a candy heart that reads “Ratchet,” a full glass of rosé. Some of them are NSFW — a tampon, a bottle of lube, contraceptive pills, handcuffs.

“It’s been so fun coming up with these different ideas. I wanted it to be fun and relevant. I wanted to create emoji that everyone wishes they had. And we wanted to push the limits as far as we could, LOL!” Kim wrote on her site announcing the app.

In February 2016 Figliozzi’s team went further and presented KimoGIFs, animated versions of all the fans love so much. Now Kim dances, dabs, flirts, blows a kiss, throws money, bag slaps, the pig really flies, all this right inside your DMs. “They set a great visual language when communicating. For example, the eye roll KimoGIF, one of our most popular, says so much without having to type anything at all,” says Joanna.

Kimoji. Joanna FigliozziKimoji. Joanna Figliozzi Kimoji. Joanna Figliozzi

Almost all the ideas are coming from Kim. She instantly sends messages about funny moments to Joanna and later a Kimoji or KimoGIF appears. Kim is the brand and it’s entertaining to work with such a marketer, much more than with traditional companies. It’s not just a graphical design, it’s turning a life of a real person into market. Whalerock manages many Kardashian-related apps, but Kimoji is definitely the most lit.

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