Michael Salu

Creative strategist, writer, world builder

Berlin, Germany
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Projects credited in

About me

I am an award-winning creative director, writer, art editor/critic and artist. As a creative writer/thinker, as well as experienced, designer, creative director and visual artist, I now combine these skills to produce concepts and thinking spaces for brands really intent on exploring their relationship with their audience on a deeper sociological as well as economical level. My creative studio [HOUSEOFTHOUGHT.io] produces narrative driven creative work across disciplines. My fiction, non-fiction and art have appeared in a range of publications including Granta.com, Grey Magazine, and the anthology Tales of Two Cities (Penguin Random House). My most recent stories appear in the inaugural edition of Freeman’s, a new literary journal which also features writing from a number of top writers including Haruki Murakami, Dave Eggers and Helen Simpson and online literary journal Catapult.co. Formerly I was the creative director and art editor of Granta Publications during which time I created original features with art and photography, publishing and creating work with of a host of established and new artists including Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin. I created a distinct aesthetic for the publishing house across its magazine and book activities, collecting a number of awards including D&AD and Communication Arts along the way. Previously I art directed and designed a range of titles for the literary division of the Random House Group. Projects outside publishing included creating a brand strategy for Curzon Cinemas and work with artists such as Tricky. I often speak about art, visual culture and literature at many cultural institutions and educational establishments, such as a recent TEDx event (my talk focused on the economy of deception within images), Unseen Photo Fair, The London Literature Festival and The Photographer’s Gallery. Currently I've just finished first full novel & I am writing two films, one of which I'm directing also. I mostly split my time between Berlin & London. https://twitter.com/MichelSALU

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  • Concepts
  • Ability to Adapt any Creative Project and Branding Solution
  • 5+ Years art Directing
  • Creative Writing
  • 5+ Years Project Management
  • Typography
  • Filmmaking
  • Narratives
  • Brand Storytelling
  • Creative Storytelling

People I’ve worked with

Companies I’ve worked with

  • Innocent


    • Retail
  • House of Thought

    House of Thought

    • Design
  • Penguin Random House UK

    Penguin Random House UK

    • Publishing
  • ODD


    • Marketing & PR

Work history


Creative Art Director

Freemans Journal

Jan 2015
  • New York, United States
  • Freelance
  • Ongoing art direction for the new literary biannual 'Freemans'.


Jul 2013
  • Berlin, Germany
  • Freelance
  • My multi-disciplinary studio. I work with a broader network of top talent to produce a variety of different creative work for creative clients.




Jan 2015 - Nov 2015
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Freelance
  • Director and contributing editor and writer for the photography magazine American Suburb X.


Creative Director

Granta Publications

Jan 2010 - Jul 2013
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Full Time
  • Creative director and art editor for all the activities of Granta Publications including two book publishing imprints and Granta Magazine. Responsible for developing the brand of Granta both on and offline. Picked up numerous awards and brought in countless artists and designers for collaborations including the likes of The Chapman Brothers and Sir Paul Smith. Creative Direction Commissioning Editor for print & online (art and photography) Creative brand and digital strategy Contributing writer Designer Illustrator Granta Magazine - Artistic Direction http://www.granta.com/Online-Only/The-Art-of-Horror - Commissioning Editor of art and photography http://www.creativereview.co.uk/cr-blog/2010/september/granta-112-pakistan - Writer http://www.granta.com/Contributors/Michael-Salu http://blog.eyemagazine.com/?p=579 http://www.granta.com/Online-Only/Remembering-Tim-Hetherington Essay for issue 11 of Under the Influence magazine. Article on 'Taste' for issue 19 of Varoom Magazine - Digital and creative strategy - Viral and promotional solutions www.nothingbutamovie.com http://www.thisisnotapurse.com http://www.granta.com/Online-Only/Aftermath Granta & Portobello Books - Creative direction of all titles and digital marketing. Granta Publications - Brand development and implementation Creative collaborators and published artists include: Sir Paul Smith The Chapman Brothers Yinka Shonibare Nadav Kander The Royal College of Art Central St Martins The Photographer's Gallery Adam Broomberg Mishka Henner Ghariokwu Lemi Ian Teh The Archive of Modern Conflict A.L. Kennedy John Burnside James Jean Paradise Row The Zabludowicz Collection Magnum Photos Panos Pictures Brad Feuerhelm Kris Hofmann Catherine Anyango FUEL Publishing Pocko Big Active YCN The British Council Crane TV Owen Freeman Institute for Eyes Theo Tillberg Jocabola Monocle Melvin Galapon Meri Media La Boca Tom Darracott


Jul 2005 - Jan 2010
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Full Time
  • Design and art direction for the literary division of Random House publishing group. http://causticcovercritic.blogspot.com/2010/02/to-convey-idea-concisely-with-as-little.html Imprints: Vintage Classics Vintage books Jonathan Cape Chatto & Windus Harvill Secker Pimlico Bodley Head Square Peg Authors include: Kurt Vonnegut Margaret Atwood Christopher Isherwood Italo Calvino Fyodor Dostoevsky Sigmund Freud Marcel Proust Bruce Chatwin Patricia Highsmith Xiaolu Guo Arthur Conan Doyle Chuck Palahniuk Ian Mckewan Raymond Carver



Book design


  • Art direction award for Londoners, by Craig Taylor.


Newspaper & Magazine Design


  • D&AD 'in book' award for the Granta 'Sex' issue.


  • Winner of the Best Cover of the Year at The British Book Design awards 2011 for Art direction. Super Sad True Love Story by Gary Shtenygart (UK Edition). Design by La Boco


Award of Excellence

School of Communication Arts

  • Communication Arts Award of Excellence. Art Direction for the Vintage Classics edition of Paddy Clarke Ha ha ha. Illustration by Rod Hunt.


Site of the Day


  • Site of the Day accolade for the online graphic novel 'Nothing but a Movie' http://www.salu.io/work-1#/bolano/