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, copywriters and designers centered in Dallas. Since then, work produced by his students has been consistently recognized in the advertising industry’s most respected award venues: the American Advertising Awards (Addys), the Clios, One Show (Young Ones), Lürzer’s Archive, Adweek, Communication Arts, Graphis, Applied Arts and others. His students have also done work that was featured in media outlets beyond the industry-standard sources, including The Today Show, USA Today, Cosmopolitan and Elle. Additionally, numerous campaigns produced in his classes over the years have been published as exemplar cases in one of the most widely adopted advertising textbooks on the market. 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, and the U.S. National Parks Service, among others.

In addition to his teaching and professional experience, Allen’s research and writing is most often focused on the intersection of the fine and communication arts. He 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). 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.”

(scroll to the bottom of my portfolio site for examples of student work produced in my classes)


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

Introduction to Creativity
ADV 1321
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