About Long

Shot by  Wolfgang Zac

Steve Salgado

Art Director and Illustrator working in Chicago









A few kinds words from colleagues—current and past


Hutson Kovanda  SVP Creative at Upshot
"Very early on after I arrived at Upshot it was clear to me that Steve was an exceptional talent who was head and shoulders above the rest of his peers. Several times I walked into conference rooms with work covering the walls not knowing who worked on which campaign, but within moments it was easy to spot the work that Steve had art directed. It's not just that his design aesthetic, craftsmanship and sense of typography is amazing, which it is. It's that his work is on another level compared to the rest of his peers. Along with his art direction abilities, Steve can generate killer concepts, brings a coder's understanding of digital and the ability to render amazing illustrations. He also happens to be one of the nicest, most grounded individuals you'll ever meet. No wonder the other Creative Directors desperately keep trying to get him on their teams. He makes those he works with and for, including myself, look better. I feel I've had the privilege to work with some of the best designers and art directors in the country during my career and I'd put Steve right at the top of the list." 

Chris Sorto  Sr. Art Director at Upshot
"As an illustrator, he is insanely talented. As an art director, he always brings big ideas and beautiful executions. As an interactive designer, he's got the coding background and design chops to create best-in-class digital experiences. He's next level and can do it all. I can't say enough good things about Steve. As my contemporary, I find his work ethic, creativity & technique really inspiring. He is a great collaborator and you can always be sure that your work gets elevated when Steve is a part of the project."

Jerry Craven  SVP Creative at Upshot
"Steve is one of the more well-rounded art directors I've seen. He makes everything look great. Can concept with the best of them. Is always one step ahead in the digital realm. Knows how to win clients over. Has an amazing work ethic. And is just a hell of a nice guy. I have the utmost respect for him and really enjoy working with him."

Kristin Connolly  Creative Director at Upshot
"When we first brought Steve on to the team, it was because of his stellar design portfolio and friendly demeanor. Over the following years he grew in to a first class Art Director, with a constant desire to learn and grow, and the ability to share his myriad artistic skills with everyone around him. He gets the job done beyond just "right," and is simply a great guy to work with." 


Brian Asner Strategy Director at Havas Worldwide Chicago
"Steve is a phenomenally talented artist who always makes our clients' work shine. At the same time, he is an excellent teammate who always remains collaborative and supportive, no matter how challenging the situation. It's as much of a pleasure to work with Steve as it is to see what he comes up with."

Chuck Gniech Exhibition Curator, Professor of Art and Design, Art Director
"Steve Salgado is an amazingly gifted designer who excels at assessing the client’s specific design challenge and then offers a number of viable—and intelligent—solutions. His work is thoughtful and his presentations are always crisp. He works well in a group but also has no issue with taking the lead on any project. Respectful, considerate and deadline-aware, Steve is a pleasure to work with and I have no doubt that he will excel in this industry."

Caroline Anderson  Systems Design Engineer/ UI Designer
"I met Steve in the context of a web project he was doing for the Illinois Institute of Art-Chicago. The project wasn't clearly defined so Steve took the initiative to extend its definition and make it truly useful... two years later the site is still in use, still looking great. Working with Steve is a pleasure because he is a fantastic designer as well as a self-starting, can-do coder. His well-rounded product-producing skills are matched only by his professional yet easy going demeanor. I recommend him wholeheartedly"

Valarie Rand  Associate Dean of Student Affairs at The Illinois Institute of Art - Chicago
"Steve delivers nothing but professional, accurate and quality work! His skills were well utilized in our Department and we appreciated his excellent talent which contributed greatly to serving our students successfully."

Illustrators Lounge
"Chicago Based Illustrator, Steve Salgado is definitely a man of few words. But what he lacks in verbosity he makes up in versatility. He has a range of styles, most with a graffiti-influenced basis, but he also produces some very emotional painted pieces. His sketchbooks are particularly fun and very organic."