Michael Salu, British-born of Nigerian heritage, is a creative director, art and photography editor, designer, brand strategist, writer and illustrator.
Education and career
Born in London, England, to parents from Nigeria, Michael Salu lived in both countries during his childhood. He earned a BA (Hons) degree in Graphic Communication from the University of Wolverhampton.
Artistic direction, editing and art publishing
In his role as Artistic Director of Granta Publications (2010–13), Salu was responsible for the creative concepts behind Granta magazine, Granta Books and Portobello Books, commissioning and creating work for print, covers and digital. During this period, he was also the art editor for Granta magazine, publishing new and established artists’ and photographers' work. Highlights of his works include curating a showcase of art to respond to the question "What is British Identity?" for Granta 119 and a photographic collaboration with Nadav Kander for Granta’s Best of Young British Novelists 4, which also appeared in The New York Times.
Prior to Granta, Salu worked for Random House, where he designed and art directed covers for authors such as Kurt Vonnegut and Fyodor Dostoevsky, as well as for more contemporary fiction including Xiaolu Guo and Chuck Palahniuk.
Salu has done mentoring with The Photographers' Gallery, has lectured at various educational institutions such as The Royal College of Art, as well as being involved in a wide range of creative projects, including with Curzon Cinemas and musician Ticky.
Salu has written fiction and essays for publications such as Varoom, Eye Magazine, Under The Influence magazine, Freeman's Journal, Catapult and Entropy. He also contributes original art to Grey Magazine.
He has conceived a variety of digital projects for Granta and other brands. For Granta 110: "Sex", he conceived and commissioned a viral website featuring several films to promote the issue. He was Creative Director on the Granta documentary on A. M. Homes, May We Be Forgiven, in conjunction with her novel of the same title, in 2012.
His essay "Mixed Media, Dimensions Variable" is in Tales of Two Cities, an anthology on the socio-economic imbalances of New York, edited by John Freeman and published by OR Books, also including work by Zadie Smith, Jonathan Safran Foer, Taiye Selasi, Mark Doty and other writers.
Salu runs the multi-disciplinary creative consultancy SALU.io.
Awards and recognition
Salu's many awards include "Best Cover of the Year" in the British Book Design Awards 2011 for Granta 110: "Sex", and the Images 36 Gold Award (art direction) in October 2012 from the Association of Illustrators.
- Chris Elvidge, "Mr P. My Way: Mr Michael Salu", Mr Porter.
- "It's Nice That", 18 October 2010.
- "Graduate to great - Michael Salu", YouTube video.
- "Our graduates", University of Wolverhampton.
- "Britain", Granta 119.
- "Contacts", Granta, 14 February 2011.
- "High Noon (I)" Archived 24 December 2013 at the Wayback Machine, Granta, 9 September 2010.
- James Morrison, "To Convey an Idea Concisely, with as Little Fluff as Possible: An Interview with Michael Salu", Caustic Cover Critic, 14 February 2010.
- "Soda Pictures" at Salu.
- "The Abraaj Group Art Prize 2014", Cargo Collective.
- Michael Salu, "The Swarm: Language as Fiction" – biographical note, Entropy, 17 September 2018.
- Michael Salu page at Grey.
- "This is Not a Purse" at The Literary Platform, 24 April 2010.
- John Freeman (ed.), Tales of Two Cities: The Best and Worst of Times in Today's New York at OR Books.
- "Granta 110: Sex", Magazine and Newspaper Design | Magazine Front Covers, D&AD Awards 2011].
- "Prominent graduates to share knowledge", University of Wolverhampton, 12 March 2013.
- Michael Salu – Honors & Awards, LinkedIn.
- James Morrison interview with Michael Salu, Caustic Cover Critic, 14 February 2010.
- Jason Boog, "Granta’s Artistic Director on Sex-Themed Videos and Book Trailer Tips", GalleyCat, 9 April 2010.
- Bobby Solomon, "Michael Salu of Granta Publications", The Fox Is Black, 8 July 2011.
- "Publisher Profile - Granta, Michael Salu - London", Crane.tv video.
- Michael Salu. Writing, Art & Photography.
- "An Interview with Michael Salu", Wildness, April 2016.