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MCCR 2020 Annual Report

State of Maryland Commission
on Civil Rights 2020 Annual Report

State of Maryland Commission on Civil Rights, 2020

In 2020, a landmark year for civil rights, the State of Maryland’s Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR) worked with Ashton Design to upgrade its annual report. The goal was to make what had previously been a routine compendium of dense, departmentally prepared narrative, key statistics in standard bar and line graphs into an inspiring publication capturing the momentous events of the year.

Print / Social / Strategy
Content Strategy
Visual Design
Printed & Digital Annual Report
Web and Social Assets
Information Graphics

In addition to the impact on MCCR’s activities of the global COVID-19 pandemic, the year was marked by worldwide global Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the killing of George Floyd and the loss of Rep. John Lewis, a civil rights icon, shown above left on the historic march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Alabama. 

The annual report redesign elevates MCCR’s role as a statewide leader in civil rights and makes the publication more user-friendly, with essential data and key messages more accessible.


From photography to typography and infographics, our team was inspired by designs associated with the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s.

The Martin typeface by Vocal Type Co. used for all headers was influenced by civil rights movement protest posters. Infographics throughout the MCCR annual report were inspired by the visually-striking graphics used in a sociologist and Black rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois’ Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America. The Maryland state flag provided the color palette and Calvert pattern theme.


The report was designed to be both substantive and easily scannable. Updated organization and significant editing unpacked important information, which was highlighted through typography and color blocking.

A complete re-organization of content forefronted data most important to the report’s primary audience of state legislators. Departmental narratives were edited to focus on take-aways from the year’s trends, directing readers to MCCR’s website for longer-form information about its routine operations and activities. Full-bleed photographic divider spreads featured 2020 images and quotes from Rep. John Lewis.


Our team re-imagined infographics to reinforce key messages, highlight trends, and illustrate MCCR’s statewide mission and reach. Case studies were integrated with data to put a human face on the data.


Laying the groundwork for MCCR’s upcoming centennial, a boilerplate organizational history narrative was re-imagined as a timeline that aligned MCCR’s accomplishments with key events in civil rights history.


To allow MCCR to extend its outreach through social media platforms and its website, report highlights were reformatted for digital.


For more information and resources from the Commission visit