About

GOOD DESIGN
IS SUBJECTIVE

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Hotopp is a dynamic creative studio with multiple teams of talented artists, designers, makers, and producers. Our philosophy is that the journey is as important as the destination, and while outcomes matter, they are hard to enjoy if getting there wasn’t a good experience. We’ve been doing this work, in one form or another, for over 35 years, and we’ve stood the test of time by always remembering it’s the designer, not the design, that serves our clients.

Who we are

In 1984, corporate meetings—at least partly—meant theatrical product shows. That’s how our founder, Michael Hotopp, moved from theater to commercial work: he translated his set-design skills from Broadway to industrial musicals like Leader of the Rack, a production about Frito Lay snacks. Once we got outside the box, we never went back—three decades later, we’re still working to bring brands, stories, and other worlds to life across a variety of industries and mediums.

We don’t do many original corporate musicals these days, but we do live by the same sort of ethos our founder did: seeing new opportunities and challenges as a chance to grow, an invitation to go on an adventure, and an excuse to have fun while doing something creative with nice people.

Our credits include:

  • Televised events for major network and cable broadcast outlets (garnering 10 Emmy nominations and six Emmy wins in set design, production design, and art direction)
  • Corporate events, branded environments, and presentations for Fortune 500 companies including Mercedes, Carnival Corporation, Disney, Toyota, and Bluegreen Vacations
  • Immersive experiences for attractions including Antarctica: Empire of the Penguin at SeaWorld, ICE! at Gaylord Hotels, and KaLightoscope at the Galt House Hotel in Louisville, Ky.
  • Scenery for shows and concert events including Mariah Carey’s Butterfly World Tour, the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, the NHL Winter Classic, SeaWorld’s Electric Ocean
  • And so much more

Our values

01

Openness

Openness is being confident, vulnerable, and authentic; having a clear alignment of thoughts, words, and actions. Here, you don’t need to know it all to share an opinion. In fact, withholding an opinion does more harm than good. To foster a culture of openness, we are kind, accepting, and positive so we can all share our truths and do the best work.

02

Growth

To achieve visions that seem impossible, we need to be able to grow together. We work hard to nurture space for everyone to thrive as a team—not just as a business or with our clients, but as people. This is the foundation of everything we do. We invest in and empower every person to be their best so we can all continue to elevate.

03

Service

We’re in the service industry. We’re commercial artists, here to serve our clients’ needs—not our own wants. We solve problems for our clients and know that as kind experts, sometimes the best way to answer a question, is with another question.

04

Heart

Heart captures the enthusiasm we have for what we do. As fire-hearted builders, tinkerers, and creators by nature, we are in relentless pursuit of the right answer for our clients. It’s this passion that enables us to say “yes” and to have fun while doing everything we do to the highest degree of excellence.

We’re lucky to get to do this work for a living, and we strive for the joyous feeling you have when you’re putting on a show with your friends—it brings out the kid in all of us.

Do you have a creative vision?
We’ll make it possible.