Creative Semiotics Creative Semiotics

10 Things I Learned at Semiofest, Mumbai2


Image: finding my first Semiofest sign, on Day 1 on the way to Santosh Desai's masterclass

So, I'm still in India, down South, in Tamil Nadu, but coming down to earth after a great Semiofest event. For those that have stumbled onto this blog, Semiofest is the world's only and best applied semiotics event. It is held annually, and we have been to London, Barcelona, Shanghai, Paris, Tallinn and Toronto. And now Mumbai. I must concede that I'm a bit biased since I co-founded the inaugural event along with Lucia Laurent-Neva and Hamsini Shivakumar. In 2012. On the internet. This year's was actually the best attended to date with up to 95 delegates on a single day. For a look at the programme, please go to this link.

Five Ways BBC Two's Re-Brand Went Right

I just ( I say 'just' I this was actually 2 weeks ago, but, er I got like, sidetracked) got the Creative Review bulletin showcasing the new BBC Two idents. So I thought I'd set down some thoughts.Creative Review reports that: "It’s the first rebrand for the channel in 20 years, according to BBC Two Controller Patrick Holland is intended to “re-invigorate BBC Two” and reflect its “constantly eclectic” collection of documentary, drama and comedy."

Triangulating Semiotics with Other Methodologies

1. Introduction

This piece is first of a two parter on the state of the art of applied semiotics in consumer insight. It is primarily written for practitioners of semiotics interested in the development of the methodology and for interested researchers, strategists, planners and ambitious, progressive insight specialists. So I write this piece to give my opinion on the utility of approaches to give a sharper sense of the demarcation lines between them and how they can best work together as a consolidated insight.

Semiotics has grown in currency in the last two years. It is on companies’ radars there is increasing demand for semiotic insight, however as it makes modest inroads into research budgets, another issue hoves into view: lack of clarity amongst clients on where semiotics sits in the insight suite: how it works with other methodologies.

Semiotics and Stand Up Comedy



I have been thinking  about the parallels between semiotics and comedy a lot recently. This is partly because I have just finished a mind blowingly interesting project on the semiotics of humour. And partly because, having done poetry open mics for quite some time, I have started a stand up comedy course recently too and am immersing myself in the world of what makes things funny.

Mind the Empathy Gap



I have been thinking about Empathy a lot recently. In my work as a semiotician I have recently had two projects related to empathy. In both cases, empathy was key to a big brand relating to its audience. One was about ‘democratising’ the value proposition of a brand through communications, a brand anxious that it was losing its franchise to more agile and nimbler, niche brands, the other one wanted to ‘humanise’ and empower their brand personality through revamping the brand language of on shelf packaging. In both of the projects, it felt as if there was a significant empathy gap between the client and customers.

Semiotics as Creative Science (and Art)


I do semiotics. "What’s that?!" I hear you choke. Er, semiotics. Semiotics derives from the ancient Greek word semion, meaning sign and is a subject devoted to evidence based analysis of signs and meaning.

It is a field that encompasses, culture, communication and meaning including logos, branding and street art. Semiotics is used now as a powerful insight tool brand strategy and communication.

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