Sarah Johnson

Principal, Athena Brand Wisdom, Toronto

Sarah Jane Johnson is a principal at Athena Brand Wisdom, a Toronto-based market research agency specializing in all aspects of brand experience.  In a past life she was an Account Planner at a number of Ad Agencies, including BMP DDB (London), Kirshenbaum & Bond (New York) and TBWA Chiat Day (Toronto).  Sarah’s semiotic experience ranges from a study of the semiotics of obesity in America to the semiotic history of Ritz crackers advertising.  She has lectured and presented papers at a number of universities and conferences.   She was also an organizer and host of Semiofest Toronto in 2017.


Sarah writes:

“I first came across semiotics while studying Anthropology and English at McGill University, but never thought it would be a way I could make a living.  When I discovered marketing semiotics I realized it was a perfect way for me to use my eternal obsession with culture and the close reading skills I developed as an English student.  When I first saw Semiofest being discussed on the Semiotic Thinking Group before it was ever launched, I knew I had to be a part of it.  I had been thinking of getting involved in commercial semiotics but wasn’t really sure how.  That first Semiofest was the perfect launching pad. I immediately fell in love with an event that brought together a community of bright and fascinating people from all over the world.  At the end of an exhilarating and exhausting two days I was full of motivation and had met brilliant thinkers from all over the world – many of whom I was able to tap when a global project fell into my lap a few months later.  Since then, Semiofest has always been one of the highlights of my year: where I go to be informed, inspired and to connect and reconnect with folks who care about Semiotics as much as I do.   It reminds me of what I love about Semiotics: its ability to make sense of culture – mine and others, and the infinite meaningfulness of the world around us.”

Other members

Lucia Laurent-Neva

Co-Founder, Semiofest

Charles Leech

Partner, ABM Research, Toronto

Vladimir Djurovic

CEO Lab Brand

Pavla Hind

Community Co-Ordinator, Semiofest