A project of Throughline
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Semiotic and cultural insights to catalyse company innovation


Serving complex businesses since 2007

Now, Throughline founder Dr Kate Hammer is launching SemioStories, a new project to meet the demand for accessible human sciences insight that innovative teams need.

It’s not enough to say “We need to know our why!since smart people seek evidence and explanation as pre-requisites for their engagement.

SemioStories addresses the ubiquitous search for meaning, towards which product/service innovators invent and for which brands feel increasingly responsible.

Please get in touch to discuss what you seek and how Semiostories might help.




Concrete: City of London
United Kingdom


talk [at] throughline dot

Meaning exists in the mind, heart and hand of the receiver. Failing to understand the humans you seek to affect puts your aims in peril.
— Dr Kate Hammer

Areas of Practice


Research findings are inert until teams can apply them to ideation. Through distillation and crystallisation, Kate Hammer can make analyst findings tangible, memorable and, thereby, actionable.

commercial storyforming

Canvases like the Business Model Canvas are all the rage. The simple fact is: a logically coherent arrangement of topics and a long list of relevant questions really do help people and teams get to grips with what they’re creating in a visual, engaging manner.

Because it applies across the project lifecycle, this process generates a brand identity brief; a partnership manifesto and/or a testimonial template.


Time is precious. To make a gathering of colleagues or co-creators worthwhile, workshop design is a worthwhile investment. It ensures the right people gather with at-the-ready stimulus to provoke fresh thinking.

Do the mash

Mashup thinking combines features from distinctive sectors as a way of forging a solution that is part copy - part original. Hands-on workshops help teams practice mashup thinking, for the purposes of transcending habitual constraints and projecting a business towards blue waters.


It can be very difficult to realise what a team’s or unit’s blindspots are, and how myopia may be impinging effectiveness and innovation. Shadowing is an immersive observation process that notices habits and omissions, as the basis for a discreet, frank conversation about bedrock assumptions and organisational climate.

Challenge mapping

The power of questions in generative thinking is undisputed. Challenge mapping is a facilitated, on-your-feet process for determining what questions matter most to areas of your business, and ordering them by their logical relations and functional reach.


Culture consists of patterns, explicit and implicit, of and for behaviour acquired and transmitted by symbols
— Kroeber and Kluckhohn (1952)

We are naturally cultural animals, equipped with brains that have evolved to acquire and create culture
— Zeman (2009)

Let's talk.

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