Maria spent over 10 years in advertising and research agencies (including ACNielsen, Publicis, BBDO), where she worked mainly as Media Research Director. She completed a dissertation on visual semiotics in 2004 and after that started working as a freelance semiotician with several international companies. She enjoyed the methodology so much that in 2009 she decided to make it her main field of specialization and founded semiotic and cultural research agency LocalTalk. Maria holds Masters (Hons) degree in Sociology and PhD in Social Psychology from State University of Management, Moscow.
Nick is a writer for branding and design, and one half of creative partnership Asbury & Asbury. Personal projects include Corpoetics, a collection of poems made by rearranging corporate copy; Pentone, the written equivalent of Pantone colour-matching system; and Mr Blog, a blog documenting all the ‘Mr’ shops on UK high streets. Nick was also one of the writers in the original Significant Objects project, conceived by Joshua Glenn and Rob Walker. Nick has a particular interest in brand names, slogans, language and poetry and writes for the design press, including Creative Review.
Ukrainian-born researcher with academic interests in semiotics, history and culture studies. BA & MA in History, MA in Semiotics. Has worked in Ukraine, US, UK, Hungary and Estonia. Enjoys travel and exploring new places which led to creating travel information website – now 5 years of helpingonline fellow travelers in find optimal travel solutions (timetables, best fares, sightseeing suggestions).