Humanizing Masked Life with #maskmojis

February 21, 2019


Way back in the Beforetimes, when going anywhere, my mental checklist before leaving the house was: WALLET-KEYS-PHONE. Always those three, in that order. Now it’s WALLET-KEYS-PHONE-MASK. (And sometimes gloves.) In fact, a row of masks have taken up residence right next to the change jar and key basket by the front door.  Just a couple of weeks ago it seemed a little awkward to go for a walk to the park with a mask on. Now it has totally flipped. It feels awkward to NOT wear a mask when heading out. It’s a light-speed adjustment in social conduct.

We’re collectively trying to figure out the acceptable protocols, socially acceptable ways and methods, when and where to wear them, and on and on. Aside from the issues of fitting and breathing is our loss of facial expression. We can no longer give a quick glance any time we want. We’re essentially robots from the neck up. And it sucks.

There are seven universal microexpressions: disgust, anger, fear, sadness, happiness, surprise, and contempt. Hopefully most of us reach for our ‘happiness’ face when glancing at strangers or little kids playing, paying the cashier, etc. Here are characteristics of that one:

  • • Corners of the lips are drawn back and up.
  • • Mouth may or may not be parted, teeth exposed.
  • • A wrinkle runs from outer nose to outer lip.
  • • Cheeks are raised.
  • • Lower eyelids may show wrinkles or be tense.
  • • Crow’s feet near the outside of the eyes.

With most of our faces covered, those cues are all gone, except for maybe the last one. (Smize!) We’re all repelling each other on the sidewalk like oil and water. It feels like our humanity has been stolen. And, how do we explain this strange new accessory to our kids, without scaring them?

So, we put our Brllnt brains together to bring a little humanity back to our masked interactions: can we bring a smile to our masks? So, we designed a free batch of Emoji faces sized for standard masks. It’s not perfect, but at least we can project a little sense of humor. You can download, print and cut out, then attach to your mask of choice.


Maskmoji Free Download

Don’t see a design that represents how you want to face the world? Message us, and we’ll collect feedback for our next free set!

Don’t have a printer? Make an art project by copying our design on your own piece of paper, or even draw it right on your own mask.

Make your own mask resources:

Need a mask, or want to help supply much needed PPE? We’ve rounded up some of the most helpful links below:

Made Everyday

Instagram account with detailed patterns and guides for sewing your own pleated masks. She’s done a lot of breakdown of material selections, and has 4 size breakdowns:

  • • 14-Adult (9”Wx8”H)
  • • 9-13 Years (8.5”Wx7.5”H)
  • • 5-8 Years (8”Wx7”H)
  • • Toddler (7”Wx6”H)

Easy No-Sew Masks (watch)

All you need is:

  • • 2 hairbands or rubberbands
  • • 1 handkerchief or cloth napkin

3D Printed Masks for Medical Professionals

The Makers Unite Face Shield Project uses an open-source design which is printed by community members on their home or office 3D printers. Those parts are then accepted by Baltimore’s Open Works for full assembly and distribution. Check out this cool project to see how you can contribute!

Buy or Donate Masks

Designer Masks for Medical Workers (buy or donate)

CustomInk Pack of 12 Comfy T Masks (local printer)

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