Behind the Design: Meet Steve Cotroneo

Behind the Design: Steve Cotroneo

Steve, is always ready for: the next round golf, using his great sense of humor, performing his best dance moves for everyone, and a large iced coffee with an extra shot. He also manages to transform his God given ability to produce exceptional design and animation work into a highly recognized award winning design company. Steve is obsessed with providing his customers with amazing work, and they always appreciate the extra effort. 

We recently asked Steve to share a bit about himself and his passion for design.

You are a Massart Graduate and a lover of learning new skills constantly. What classes have helped you throughout your professional life even as technology changes?

I think taking up intro to Adobe Flash has helped me the most. Since then I started thinking more about animation and all the great things you can do with it, and later on when Flash was becoming obsolete, I got into HTML5.  When I was at Lotus I taught myself a little bit of Flash but when I got the opportunity to work at Stormship they took me to my first class. Ever since then I’ve been using it constantly, learning actionscript ( Flash’s programming language) and really started to build up my animation skills. Because it’s not a fully programming application a lot of designers would have to learn Flash. A lot of it I learned on my own.

What are the most memorable projects you’ve done in the history of SAC Designs?

I don’t know. There are so many good ones. One of my favorite animations to work on was our award winning SAP casino animation. It was when we first really started to get into After Effects and 3D animation. We also did a series of vintage posters for Genscape. It was really fun because there were a lot of textures and hand drawn illustrations. They had a real silk screen quality that I always loved. Working on landing pages for MassGeneral Hospital was also great because it involved a lot of video editing, programming, and animation. We actually created most of their animated landing pages that year a such as cancer, women’s, children, plastic surgery. Those were tons of fun because they were very interactive landing pages.

SAP Data Challenge Animation
Genscape vintage posters designs
Genscape vintage posters designs
What are some of your non-work related hobbies?

One of the things I love to do is go to the casino. I actually got married in Vegas and engaged in Vegas. We got married at The Venetian and ever since then we’ve gone there every year until our daughter Sofia was born. So now we don’t get to go as much. It’s been a while since we have gone, but recently we just received good news that we may have the opportunity to have a work trip there!

I also love to play golf. I look forward to it every summer, when summer comes around, to play all the time. We always talk about doing a golf tournament, which we never have done. But we might be doing it this year. I would really love to go to and play at some PGA golf courses one of these days. But I haven’t been able to take the day off.

Mark Maguire, Project manager from his desk: Cause I’m working my ass off!

Steve showing off his golfing game at the Best Ball Tournament in 2017
Favorite movies?

One of my favorite movies is Goodfellas. Absolutely love it!. Joe Pesci was awesome in it. Actually when I started getting into design I remember looking at a book talking about movie titles and Goodfellas was in there. I started watching it because of that. The whole cast in it is great. That’s one of only a few movies I could watch over and over.

What are the best parts of working in Stoneham?

Everything is walking distance. When we looked at this place when we were moving from Medford to Stoneham, one of the things I wanted was not having to use my car to get stuff. I like that there are good restaurants popping up, there’s a good bar, and a nice liquor store down the street.

Steve and Mark enjoying the local restaurants in Stoneham.
Most rewarding part of owning and running your own business?

Knowing that I began just as a freelancer and eventually built up my business on my own. Learning all aspects of the business, not just design, was tough but really rewarding for me. Although I can make my own hours, I’m sure that I will always put more time into my business more than any other job. I love the fact that I now have a few employees that work their hardest for me, makes me proud.

The hardest part of owning and running your own business?

I always worry about everything. Although we are constantly growing, I am constantly making sure that work is coming in and maintain the business. I never seem to find the time to take time off and when I do I can’t switch it off. When you own your own business you’re constantly working. You’re working all the time. You’re working weekends, staying late. You’re always thinking about stuff.

Your job bucket list?

I would love to work on a movie trailer. We’ve done a trailer for a film festival. But I would love to work on all those intros to HBO shows and big TV shows. It would be really fun to work on. That would probably be a dream job. Big large animations for trade shows was always a dream of mine as well. We just received a great opportunity to design and animate for one of the largest trade shows in Vegas, working with some designers and animators from HBO and Showtime. That’s huge and I can’t wait to see that come to life. I would love to get more into augmented reality and virtual reality later on too.

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Good write-up. I certainly appreciate this site. Keep writing!


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