About Mark Hayes

A San Francisco Bay area native, Mark Hayes has worked in large and small ad agencies and design firms. He has extensive experience working with major brands in the consumer goods, technology, automotive, financial services, fashion, construction components, wine and healthcare industries. He’s also worked on smaller, regional brands and for non-profits.

Mark’s initial training was in performing arts (in fact, he still does voiceover, his demos can be found here). After graduating, he gravitated towards the technical aspects of San Francisco nightclubs, initially settling on lighting, after realizing that it would allow him to paint the crowds with color and texture. Later, he did production design and ran some of the larger South of Market clubs during their heyday. Eventually he started his own event production and design company. He did everything from design and produce corporate events, to creating a large-scale dance club event that included a jungle with thunder and lightning and dancers that shot industrial lasers from their bodies.

As time went on, Mark found himself being drawn more and more to the promotional materials and flyers that were used to promote events and night clubs. Realizing that when he produced his own events, he was the worst of all possible clients, telling the poor designer exactly what to do! At that point, he decided he’d probably better learn how to do it himself and went back to school to study graphic design. At San Francisco State he discovered how much he loved design and that there’s a very close relationship between spatial design (that he’d been doing for years with lighting and production design) and graphic design.

Mark's first job as a designer was at Kinko’s in San Francisco. He was hired to work with large corporate clients and to create pieces that would be traditionally printed on offset presses (and never to run a copy machine). While it was great experience, he needed more challenges and went freelance after a year.

After working for a time as a graphic designer, Mark decided that he had to do something he’d promised himself that he’d never do – follow in his father’s footsteps and become an advertising art director. In order to accomplish this he worked his way up, from the graphic design studio at a large San Francisco ad agency, and became an art director, eventually going freelance. Over a period of almost ten years, Mark worked at just about every major agency in the city. While working as an art director, he found himself writing ad copy more and more and these days is writing almost as much as he is doing layout and design.

In 2004 Mark started a small ad agency with his father in Sausalito California. When it was time to close the shop in 2009, he returned to freelance and has been doing so ever since, working with clients large and small with a special love of working with nonprofit groups.

Mark lives in Marin County, California.