Alumni Spotlight: Tyler Kitchens, BFA Graphic Design

Designing Creative Solutions for Major Brands

TCU degree, class year: BFA Graphic Design, 2007
Current job position: Creative Director at Tracy Locke
Favorite Horned Frog memory: Senior Graphic Design Show


After Graduation, Tyler Kitchens started his own web design company before landing an art director position at Tracy Locke Advertising. Now a creative director, he has worked with clients such as Pizza Hut and the City of Dallas.


When Tyler Kitchens began his college career at Baylor University, he was certain he wanted to pursue a pre-law track.

“It took me about two days of going to my first class to realize I had made a huge mistake,” Tyler says. “I don’t think I ever made it through a full session. I switched to the art school — to design — and never looked back.”

Soon, a friend in TCU’s College of Fine Arts convinced him to transfer, and Tyler discovered his interest in advertising.

“The concept behind the commercial is what I’ve always loved,” explains Tyler. “I like the strategy behind how to solve something just as much as I appreciate the execution of the idea.”

He credits his TCU professors with having their pulse on the industry and tailoring internship opportunities to each student’s strengths. Tyler’s own senior internship affirmed that he found the right career track.

“You can’t really know for sure until you actually get your hands dirty,” says Tyler. “I interned at a small design shop, and that internship let me know this is what I need to be doing — and that I could do it.”

After receiving his diploma, Tyler and a colleague started Windsor Design, a start-up web design company focusing on small businesses. When Tracy Locke came knocking in 2008, he decided to make the official move into the ad world as an art director, working with clients like 7-Eleven and the Texas Lottery. Later, he took an associate creative director position with Publicis Hawkeye, where he had the opportunity to work with big-name clients like Red Bull and Capital One.

“The Red Bull campaign is a guerilla tactics program that’s launching in a bunch of major cities across the country,” Tyler explains. “It’s graffiti, underground parties and stuff like that to promote — mostly by word of mouth — the new Red Bull ‘Yellow’ product.”

Tyler loves the creative opportunities that Dallas provides and recently turned down a job offer in Seattle to return to Tracy Locke as a creative director. He enjoys the challenges of advertising in a changing market; particularly, engaging with the Millennial demographic.

“Millennials are a fun market to target because they’re usually more irreverent,” says Tyler. “You can’t just do a print ad and a TV spot anymore. You have to engage the customer beyond that, and you have to adapt to the market. That’s part of the fun.”