By Xavier Carrica
When you first meet Todd Gallopo you get a clear sense of his confident and very authentic personality. He’s affably shy, tall, handsome, and lean enough to wear John Varvatos clothing from head to toe. It’s soon discovered that he is also very proud of the company he created 14 years ago; Meat and Potatoes, Inc. — as he should be. Todd, 44, is a highly successful and sought out creative director and designer, who has A-list artists and executives gravitating towards him to get their brands exposed and bought by an ever consuming (albeit fickle) public.
After graduating Magna Cum Laude with Most Outstanding Designer honors from Savannah College of Art and Design, with a BA in Graphic Design, Todd has worked continuously with the cream of the crop in the entertainment and food & beverage industries. Able to pair artistry with fine business acumen, 14 years ago he founded the highly-regarded, Los Angeles-based branding agency Meat and Potatoes. Before that, he worked at MCA Records for eight years, successfully moving his way up to Senior Art Director, where his creativity inspired the designs of innovative packaging and image campaigns for numerous rock legends.
Todd explains “I’ve always managed to work with the right people at the right time. They have extremely high expectations of how they want their products to be perceived in the marketplace. They rely on me to work directly with them in order to articulate their vision and help capitalize on their own works of art — whether it’s a new album, an about-to-be launched beverage, or branded content web series. Meat and Potatoes is a think tank for them.”
M+P’s current slate includes designing Neil Diamond’s new album, as well as albums for Smokey Robinson, Barry Manilow, and Kenny G. Long-time client and collaborator Sammy Hagar was one of the first to discover Todd’s talents early on, and has remained loyal ever since. “Sammy certainly keeps us busy with his endeavors and we love working with him.” Todd and his team’s talents provide innovative design, branding, strategy, video and digital services for a variety of large brands, including Bacardi, SKYY, Levi’s, Taco Bell, FOX Home Entertainment, and a great many more.
“We do an astonishing amount of work for being a boutique agency,” Todd proudly expressed while guiding a tour through his 4300 sq. ft., state of the art studio in Burbank. Todd’s team is an exceptionally talented group of people who he refers to fondly as his extended family. Everywhere you turn in his modern studio there are reminders of album covers, posters, DVD packaging and advertising designed for legendary artists and brands from Prince to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Sex sells. Ultra luxury sells. Love and emotion sell. Just ask Todd, arguably one of the world’s leading experts on branding, advertising and packaging. His company has designed for Tommy Lee, Simon & Schuster publishing, Sting, Snoop Dog, and the television and film juggernaut Sex and the City, to name a few. “The ideas that allow a product to stand out above all of the rest in our media-saturated society come naturally to me. My company doesn’t decorate the album or the product label: we listen to the creator of those products. We help the client find the right creative solution,” said the levelheaded advertising executive, “and since I am held responsible for that person or company’s vision we must take ideas to the next level every time.”
Todd has received a Grammy® Award Nomination for Best Recording Package for his innovative, out-of-the-box art direction for Sammy Hagar’s supergroup, Chickenfoot. M+P has received multiple Key Art Award nominations from the Hollywood Reporter, and has been published in design annuals and periodicals throughout the world.
In a natural segue to the next creative venture, Todd and his team at M+P branched out recently and executive produced Verve recording artist Yuna’s new music video. He is also co-creating an original web series called Super Taster Sisters with Creative Souls Media Group, hosted by real life sisters with acute taste buds. “The future of M+P and the creative ventures we’re cooking up are exciting and limitless.”