We welcome you to take part in developing a Field Guide to Semiotic Thinking – an independent web-platform that will exhibit and explain the most important semiotic tools to solve problems, create inspiration and get insights, along with the underlying guiding principles.

We invite you to share on the Semiofest Tallinn website tools of semiotic thinking you consider most valuable or that provide the most important insights. The process is simple:

    • Stage 1

Submit concept, tool or guiding principle of semiotic thinking with a brief reason via our website.

    • Stage 2

Get involved in developing a full description of the tools via the web.

    • Stage 3

Participate in the co-creation session at Semiofest Tallinn.

We publish updates on our website and we ask you to share your tools and comments also on Semiofest Tallinn Facebook Page and Twitter @SemioFest #25tools.



Semiotics as a term has nascent public currency and burgeoning name recognition for a variety of applications. What differentiates a semiotic from a non-semiotic analysis however remains a hermetic matter: a subject understood by the few, what seems like a secret language or something only gained through extensive academic initiation. 25 Tools: The Field Guide to Semiotic Thinking project seeks to dispel this misconception. We are looking for the most useful concepts, methods, ways of thinking and problem solving used by the community of applied and academic semioticians. The goal of extending a wide request for submissions for the Field Guide to Semiotic Thinking is to illustrate indirectly the unity in diversity of semiotics, how pluralistic thinking provides answers instrumentalized reason cannot see, and how innovation springs from engaging this unpredictability.



Building the influence of semiotics requires bringing it out of the dim attics of the academic jargon and showing its explanatory value in clear applications. By simplifying and sharing our most effective semiotic tools we draw in those otherwise put off by technicalities, rather than fending for ourselves in a market place of low semiotic competence. Developing the Field Guide to Semiotic Thinking reinforces the integrity and self-awareness of the applied semiotics community, which benefits each of us.



The finalized Field Guide to Semiotic Thinking will be published as a web page for popular reference. All contributors will be acknowledged. Co-creation of the Field Guide is an incomparable way to get your name into the pool of thinkers working to popularize applied semiotics.



Participation in developing the Field Guide is easy.

Stage 1 : April

The first stage of submission entails only a name of the tool you have found most effective in practice with a short explanation why this tool should be in the final selection. Terms like: multimodal analysis, code, chronotope, intertextuality, textual analysis, and iconicity, are illustrative of what we consider semiotic tools. Let us also know if you would like to work on stage 2 as well. You can submit your proposal via our homepage. Or you can skip the Stage 1 altogether and begin with Stage 2 instead.

Stage 2 : May 

The second stage of submission, after initial proposals have been collected, involves the selection of the best tools and writing of the introductory description of the method and purpose of the tool. This should work like a user manual entry for instruction to the layman. This should include:

  • Description, point or problem field, kind of insight or inquiry
  • Example from your own work
  • Steps or checkmarks – how to use the tool or the protocol of inquiry;
  • Instructional canvas you can use for yourself or instructional diagram.

We will provide a more detailed online template for you soon.

Stage 3 : Semiofest 2016, June 1-4

The third stage of submission, after initial descriptions of method and purpose of the tools have been collected, will take place at Semiofest itself. On the first day of Semiofest we’ll have a co-creation dedicated to developing and polishing the tools. By gathering a variety of opinions in person on each separate tool we hope to round out their definitions to produce a collection that exerts the widest interest possible.

We’ll announce details about Step 4 during the Semiofest Tallinn.

Above all, 25 Tools: The Field Guide to Semiotic Thinking aims to create a space for dialogue to discover what is unique, innovative and beneficial about the semiotic approach.


Participate, contribute, leave your mark!


Tyler, Kaie, Luukas and Katre (taking the picture) discussing the 25 tools of Semiotic Thinking.

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