Faces in a text message can be made through the combination of several letters and punctuation marks in order to create something that looks similar to a face. Some phones, such as those running the iOS or Android operating system, also have access to a Unicode standard called "emoji" that includes fictional faces and other icons.
Historically, faces in text messages and emails have been created through the combination of letters and punctuation marks. The combination of a colon and a parenthesis makes a smiling or frowning face, for example. These sorts of faces also use the semicolon for winking eyes and the capital "P" for a tongue sticking out.
For Android and iOS phones, because emoji are rendered in Unicode, they can also be seen on computers and other devices. Unicode was updated in October 2010 to include emoji.