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.
Alison Bancroft was born in Newcastle upon Tyne and has lived in London and Paris. She has a PhD in Cultural Studies from Queen Mary, University of London, and has taught at the University of London, the University of the Arts, and the Sorbonne. She transitioned out of academic life in 2011 and is now a culture analyst, strategist and forecaster. Her work is multidisciplinary and covers fashion, beauty, lifestyle and design, and she is also a specialist in gender and culture. She writes for various consumer and business websites and speaks regularly at public lectures and commercial presentations and briefings. Her first book, Fashion and Psychoanalysis, was published in 2012.
Paul Cobley is the author of a number of books, including Introducing Semiotics (illus. by Litza Jansz), the Routledge Companion to Semiotics (Routledge, 2009), and Realism for the 21st Century: A John Deely Reader (University of Scranton Press, 2009). He co-edits two journals, Subject Matters and Social Semiotics, and is associate editor of Cybernetics and Human Knowing. He is the co-series editor (with Kalevi Kull) of Semiotics, Communication and Cognition (Mouton de Gruyter).