Braveheart, haggis and thistles: Scots emojis set for app store 

Ayrshire artist steps in to provide Scots with their own patriotic set of emoji stickers.

Scotmoji: A keyboard app with 100 emojis for Scotland will be released soon.
Scotmoji: A keyboard app with 100 emojis for Scotland will be released soon. Scotmoji

There were sad faces aplenty last year when the big tech companies failed to release a saltire emoji.

Despite a clamour on social media to introduce a tiny Scottish flag to standard emoji keyboards used across mobile phones, the emblem never materialised as part of the Unicode Foundation collection of symbols.

The news even prompted former First Minister Alex Salmond to publicly back the introduction of one.

Now the country's mobile users are finally set to get their hands on the saltire thanks to an Ayrshire artist who has stepped up to fill the gap.

Kayleigh Dempster, a 24-year-old illustrator from Cumnock, has been working away on Scotmoji, a whole keyboard app packed with 100 emojis for Scotland.

"It all started with a phone call," says Kayleigh, a second year student at Glasgow Caledonian University.

"I'd been posting some of my student work online and I got a call from Tim Webber, who works for a company called Fanmoji.

"He had been looking for a Scottish artist and found me - it's all been a bit crazy since then."

Kayleigh's modern emoji take on William Wallace.
Kayleigh's modern emoji take on William Wallace. Scotmoji

Fanmoji, which is already in the process of launching a Welsh emoji app, was keen to add Scotland into the mix.

"Well, Scotland suffered a bit of a disservice when the flag was left out of the standard emoji set that everyone has so we thought first of all about remedying that problem," says Tim.

"As soon as we starting putting down ideas and got Kayleigh on board to illustrate them, we quickly realised that we were going to need at least 100 to get anywhere near doing Scotland justice.

"The Scottish people are so passionate about their country and there’s so much great to celebrate that a whole set of emoji stickers seemed like a great idea. And of course Scotmoij seemed like the obvious name."

Fanmoji was keen to add Scotland into the mix.
Fanmoji was keen to add Scotland into the mix. Scotmoji

Spending days drawing in her bedroom, Kayleigh came up with a selection of emojis, ranging from William Wallace to a full Scottish fry-up.

"My favourite is the Scottie dog one with his love-heart eyes. My mum loves him too," says Kayleigh, who confesses to having been a constant doodler in school.

"My fiance has red hair and he wanted a ginger emoji but I thought that might be a bit stereotypical," she says laughing.

"I basically brain-dumped everything I could think of and then we narrowed down what they wanted."

The Scottie dog is Kayleigh's favourite creation.
The Scottie dog is Kayleigh's favourite creation. Scotmoji

The app, which is due to be released in mid-March, will feature all of Kayleigh's designs, though they have left a little space for the Scottish public to get involved too.

"We've completed about 95% of the emoji stickers that will be in the first release of the app," explains Tim.

"But, we thought, as we were trying to represent Scotland and what Scotland means to the people in Scotmoji, we’d better let you guys at home have a say too."

Kayleigh came up with a selection of emojis, including this full Scottish fry-up.
Kayleigh came up with a selection of emojis, including this full Scottish fry-up. Scotmoji

Tim and the team have launched an online poll allowing fans to vote for the final few locations, phrases and people that should make the first release of the app.

Up for inclusion is Dunnottar Castle, Billy Connolly, Gordon Strachan and the humble oatcake, along with phrases such as "haud yer wheest" and "haste ye back".

Kayleigh and the team are hopeful their patriotic emoji stickers will fill the saltire gap until Apple releases the official Scottish flag emoji.

Kayleigh's emoji Saltire, set for launch in March.
Kayleigh's emoji Saltire, set for launch in March. Scotmoji

The Unicode Consortium, which manages the introduction of new emojis, is planning to release a series of new flag types, which will allow American states to have their own emoji flags as well as the nations of the UK.

"I'm totally buzzing," says Kayleigh. "It’s been quite a personal project and I couldn’t believe there wasn’t a Scotland flag when I started out.

"My mates and I are really looking forward to finally seeing them in action. We'll finally have a saltire to play with."

The app is available for download on iPhone and Android.

Download: The STV News app is Scotland's favourite and is available for iPhone from the App store and for Android from Google Play. Download it today and continue to enjoy STV News wherever you are.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check. That e-mail's already in our system. Please try again.
ShowHide
Forgot password?
This field is required. At least 6 characters please. Did you enter your details correctly?
If you've forgotten your details then use the 'Forgot password?' link.
Need to reset your password?

We'll send a link to reset your password to

We've sent you details on how to reset your password

Please check your email and follow the instructions.

Forgotten your email address?

Have you forgotten the email address that you previously joined with? Don't worry, by emailing enquiries@stv.tv we can help.

One account. All of STV.

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
At least 6 characters please
ShowHide
This field is required. At least 6 characters please.
You have to be 16 or over to join
This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date
Type your full postcode and select your address This field is required. It doesn't look like you've entered a valid postcode. Can't find your address? Confirm the details you've given us are correct by clicking here

By continuing you agree to our Terms of Use, including our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. Any issues contact us.

Upload Profile Picture

Please make sure your image is under 2mb in size and a valid JPG, PNG or GIF.

Are you sure?

Unfortunately, you'll be unable to access our premium content. We’ll be sorry to see you go, but if you change your mind you can rejoin us at any time.

Please verify your STV account

Please verify your STV account using the email we sent you. If you have lost the email, we can send you another one, just click the button below.

Thanks

We've sent you a new verification email.
Please check your email and follow the instructions to verify your account.

Welcome to STV
Thanks for joining us.

Oops!

Sorry, you must be at least 12 years old to place a vote for your Real Hero.

Please review our Voting Terms of Use for more information.

Oops!

Sorry! It seems that you are using a browser that is incompatible with our voting service.

To register your vote please copy the below URL in to your regular mobile browser. We recommend Google Chrome, or Safari.

http://shows.stv.tv/real-heroes/voting

Oops!

Sorry, you seem to have already voted in this category.

Thanks for voting

Now share your vote with friends on your social network

Share on twitter Share on facebook

Cast your vote

Please register or sign in to continue.

Cast your vote

This field is required. This doesn't appear to be a valid date

Cast your vote

Please fill out this form to cast your vote. As you are under 16 years old you will not create an STV account. Why do we need these details?

This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. Please enter at least 2 characters
This field is required. That doesn't look like a valid e-mail format, please check.
Location This field is required.
Parental Consent This field is required.

That's you. All that's left is to click the 'Submit Vote' button below. By doing so, you confirm that you and your parent or guardian have read and accept our Voting Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Cookie policy, and that the details you have entered are correct. We'll look after them as carefully as if they were our own.