Client, Year

State of Maryland
Commission on Civil Rights, 2020-2022


Annual Report
Social Media

State of Maryland Commission
on Civil Rights Annual Report

Capturing impact to compel action

In 2020, a landmark year for civil rights, the State of Maryland’s Commission on Civil Rights (MCCR) worked with Ashton to upgrade its annual report. Together, we turned a routine compendium of dense statistics into an inspiring publication that captures not only the numbers, but also the emotions, behind the momentous events of the year.


1965 march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge


2020 Black Lives Matter march

In addition to COVID-19, 2020 saw the global rise of the Black Lives Matter movement in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. The year also marked the passing of civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis. Our redesign included powerful images to make MCCR’s data feel more impactful for readers.


Beyond photography, protest visuals from the Civil Rights movement influenced the report’s design. Infographics drew inspiration from W.E.B. Du Bois’ Data Portraits: Visualizing Black America. Meanwhile, graphic elements touching on the Maryland state flag’s color palette and Calvert pattern help the report hit home.


The report was built to be both substantive and easily scannable. A complete reorganization of content made it a more helpful tool for state legislators, the report’s primary audience. We crafted a compelling narrative that holds the reader’s attention throughout the report by editing the text down to critical trends and redirecting readers to the website for additional information.


Custom case studies showcase reimagined infographics and put a human face to key data points.


To lay the groundwork for MCCR’s upcoming centennial, we turned the commission’s boilerplate “About Us” text into a timeline of key civil rights accomplishments.


Beyond the printed report, we formatted key components for use on digital platforms to help increase MCCR’s reach and engagement.


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