Thanks to the Internet and digital communication, emojis have become the true universal language of the world. It is almost impossible to go a day without seeing (or sending) the funny little icons as substitutes for words or ideas. Designer Liza Nelson thought it would be interesting to create a photo series involving the real-life versions of popular emojis.

On her Tumblr site EMOJI IRL.LOL., she says that the icons "mean everything and they mean nothing at the same time." She acknowledges that they are stupid but also calls them the "best thing that ever happened to our generation." The photo series features spot-on depictions of emoji characters including a man with a mustache, a fist, a tongue, and various face and symbol emoji that mean pretty much whatever you want them to mean. Some of the photos are digitally altered to match the bulging eyes of the emoji and others are crafted from clay and paper. Our personal favorites would have to be the eggplant, flexing arm, and "praise hands" because we use those in just about every conversation around here (in that order). 

Head to Nelson's blog to see which other useless awesome icons she has recreated.

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[via DesignBoom]