Professor Emeritus Charles Shields passes away at 75

Professor Emeritus Charles Shields

By Stephanie Wong Barkema, Fresno State Graphic Design instructor.

Charles Shields was born on July 19, 1944, and passed away peacefully at home on Thursday, January 30, 2020.

Charles grew up in Hawthorne, CA. He lived in Boulder, Oakland, and Los Angeles before settling in Fresno. There he owned Shields Design and, as a full professor, helped develop the BFA Graphic Design Program at California State University, Fresno before retiring in 2016.

Charles received his BFA and MFA from the Art Center College of Design. His professional work comprises many diverse projects including illustrating a cover for Rolling Stone magazine, illustrating a book that received the New York Times “Children’s Book of the Year” award and designing props for a Steven Spielberg movie.

Charles won numerous awards from many sources, including the Society of Illustrators of New York, the Society of Illustrators of Los Angeles, the Art Directors Club of New York, the American Institute of Graphic Arts, the American Graphic Design Awards, the American Advertising Awards, the Summit Awards, the Clio Awards, and a Silver Medal, Lifetime Achievement award from the American Advertising Federation. His work has been recognized in Communication Arts magazine and exhibited in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Hong Kong. He has been published in more than 60 books in the U.S., Japan, China, and Germany.

He is survived by his family who he called “the joy of my life:” wife, Amporn, of 20 years, son Lucas and daughter Anya. He is preceded in death by his parents Charles and Eloise Shields.

Private services will be held. A celebration of life gathering will be announced at a later date.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

3 thoughts on “Professor Emeritus Charles Shields passes away at 75

    1. We are getting together to celebrate the life of Charles Shields in a manner her would have enjoyed. Charles was instrumental in creating a sense of community in the graphic design field through the Club Fred events. Come have a drink and share stories of the man who affected so many lives in the local design community. See you on the patio of Veni Vidi Vici and we will raise a glass to Charles.

      Friday, March 27, 2020
      4pm – 8pm
      Veni Vidi Vici Patio
      1116 N. Fulton St., Fresno, CA


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