University of South Carolina

Inventive Charleston artist exhibit to open at USC

By: Frenche Brewer,, 803-777-3691

He’s the creative force behind some of Charleston’s most recognizable logos, such as the Charleston Riverdogs, Palmetto Brewery and The Center for Birds of Prey. The work of Gil Shuler, one of South Carolina’s most innovative visual artists, will be on display at the University of South Carolina McMaster Gallery Oct. 23-Nov.23.

The exhibit is titled “Mechanicals to Megapixels: A Retrospective of Gil Shuler Graphic Design, Inc.”

For the past 20 years the Charleston native, who specializes in corporate identity and branding, has created some of the most imaginative and original commercial work in graphic design in the Southeast. Shuler’s work has won awards from major national and international design publications such as Communication Arts, Print, HOW and Graphis.

Marius Valdes, art professor in USC’s McMaster College who invited Shuler to showcase his work, said it was Shuler who introduced him to graphic design.

“What I really respect and admire about Gil's work is that he is a chameleon in creating creative solutions for any type of business. He can create sophisticated and elegant branding materials for an Irish golf course or he can produce a theater poster that is hand-rendered and as energetic as a Picasso line drawing. He is a master of typography and thought-provoking imagery. This collection of work he is bringing to the art department will showcase his work skills from old-school hand-rendered mechanicals to digital mastery of graphic design software,” Valdes said.

Shuler said the presentation will feature multiple works, including prints, books and old mechanical boards -- the handmade camera ready art, representing some of Gil Shuler’s most iconic projects.

“I am very excited about this show, particularly that it will showcase 27 years of various work that started pre-computers. Hopefully, students and non-students alike will enjoy seeing graphic art that has come full circle from ink on boards to digital art, and that no matter what medium, the idea is always the main objective,” Shuler said.

 Shuler graduated from Western Carolina University with a fine arts degree in graphic design and began his professional career by working as an agency art director in Charleston. In 1985, he launched Gil Shuler Graphic Design, Inc., a firm that has grown into a widely recognized leader in the communication design market. The company has been honored regionally and nationally with hundreds of top awards in brand development and marketing, communication arts design, print advertising and other categories. 

“I would argue that even though his work is mainly commercial, Gil Shuler is one of the most important visual artists in South Carolina. We are lucky to have him bring his bag of tricks to USC. I believe many of our students will be truly inspired by his work the way I was 20 years ago and still am today,” Valdez said.

McMaster Gallery is located in USC’s art department, 1615 Senate St.

Gallery hours are 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. weekdays, closed weekends and university holidays. All events are free and open to the public.

A reception for Shuler is set for 6-7:30 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 25, in the gallery. The public is invited.

For more information contact Mana Hewitt, gallery director 803-777-7480 or email:

Posted: 10/23/12 @ 12:00 AM | Updated: 10/23/12 @ 9:27 AM | Permalink