Mark Allen


Senior Lecturer and Creative Program Director




Mark Allen joined the Temerlin Advertising Institute at SMU in 2003 to help start and build a new creative program for aspiring art directors, designers and copywriters centered in Dallas. Since then, work produced by his students has been consistently recognized by the advertising industry’s most respected venues: the American Advertising Federation, The One Club for Creativity, Lürzer’s Archive, Adweek, Communication Arts and others, as well as media outlets beyond the industry-standard sources, including The Today Show, The Huffington Post, USA Today, Cosmopolitan and Elle. Such honors have paved the way for his students to work for many of the world’s most recognized brands and agencies.

Allen's own work as an art director and designer has been recognized for creative and strategic excellence in local, regional and international venues: the Clio Awards, the American Advertising Awards, the Illustrators Society of Los Angeles, the Creativity International Awards and the Dallas Society of Visual Communications. His work has also been published in several top creative journals like the Graphis Design Annual, the Applied Arts Advertising Annual, the PRINT Regional Design Annual and the Creativity Awards Annual. Allen has produced work for brands like the History Channel, the New York Yankees, A&E Networks, The Walking Dead, Martha Stewart, HBO, the Smithsonian, NBC Sports, NASCAR and the U.S. National Parks Service, among others.

In addition to his professional experience, Allen’s research and writing is most often focused on the intersection of the fine and communication arts. His dissertation offers a contribution to the many debates surrounding the elusive definition of art by focusing on the values of meaning, craftsmanship and beauty, which he hopes can repair the real and perceived rifts between traditional and modern forms of art, but also between the fine arts and communication arts (e.g., advertising and graphic design). Student work from his classes has been chosen for publication in one of the most widely adopted advertising textbooks on strategy, copy and design. Allen believes that, when advertising is at its best, it operates as a true art form. As advertising legend Bill Bernbach famously said: “Let us prove to the world that good taste, good art, and good writing can be good selling.”


Ph.D. Philosophy, University of Dallas (concentration: Philosophy of Art and Aesthetics)
M.A. Philosophy, University of Dallas (concentration: Art History and Ethics)
B.F.A. Communication Design, University of North Texas (concentration: Advertising)

Course list

Creative Production ADV 1360
Concepting ADV 2322
Advanced Portfolio ADV 4322
Logo and Trademark Design ADV 4363
Publication Design ADV 4364
Visualization of Information ADV 4366
Design Studio ADV 5301
Commercial Concepting & Production ADV 5301
Creative Freelance Practice ADV 5301
Creativity, Art, and Problem-Solving ADV 6383
SMU Abroad in London
SMU Abroad in India
Mark Allen