“August 26, 2020 commemorated the 100th Anniversary of the signing of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. This historic anniversary of suffrage was the perfect time to celebrate our Massachusetts Foremothers, more than 70 amazing women whose contributions to the Commonwealth, the nation and the world are unparalleled and who are recognized as “Trailblazers” in their fields. Learn about the stories of these remarkable women and their ties to Massachusetts, The Woman Suffrage Movement, commemorative sculptures and statues at the Massachusetts State House, the significance of the Sunflower, The Colors of Suffrage and much more!”

— https://www.visitma.com/


Earlier this year, the Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism (MOTT) commissioned us to help design one of their new projects, Historic Women Trailblazers of Massachusetts. MOTT’s goal was to develop a book commemorating the 100th Anniversary of the signing of the 19th Amendment and to recognize some of the remarkable women of Massachusetts who were ‘Trailblazers’ in their fields.

MOTT’s Executive Director Keiko Matsudo Orrall formed a working group of interested parties from across the Commonwealth. We met regularly to determine which of our “Massachusetts Foremothers” to include in the book – this was no easy task as there are so many remarkable women pioneers tied to the history of our state. We set parameters: the candidate could no longer be living; she had to have a direct tie to Massachusetts and a place, sculpture or artifact to visit that honored her.

These initial meetings took place at MOTT’s office located at 136 Blackstone St. in Boston. We looked forward to our ritual of enjoying udon soup at the Noodle Lab at Boston Public Market – delicious! Once Covid-19 hit we needed to regroup and focus on developing the project as a digital book, with the hope to print later. Zoom meetings became the norm and the book began to grow and evolve. Over time, the book flourished to include 72 Trailblazers and several stories of interest.

Interior Spread Examples

MOTT’s Director of Partnership Marketing, Phyllis M. Cahaly, CMD was the writer, editor and head cheerleader for the project. Megan James of SDS was the lead designer on this project. Each spread is unique, yet all tie together beautifully. One of our biggest challenges was finding photos of each woman and an image of a location that represented their map pin. Sheryl and her husband Norm went above and beyond, taking “road trips,” to capture images that we were unable to find usage rights for. Hunting down permissions was the final piece of the puzzle!

Thank you MOTT for calling upon Shields Design Studio to help bring your vision to life and a special thanks to Phyllis; your enthusiasm and hard work inspired us all! And your message to Mary was so graciously sent:

Hi Mary,
I hope this email finds you well and enjoying the balance of the summer. As you know, your very talented staff worked closely with MOTT this summer to help bring the Historic Women Trailblazers of Massachusetts booklet to life. We posted it on www.visitma one week in advance of the 100th Anniversary Celebration of the signing of the 19th Amendment and I’m happy to say that we are receiving great feedback on the publication.

Now that I am coming up for air, I wanted to take a moment, on behalf of MOTT to officially thank you and your team for all of the time and talent applied to the book. A special shout out to Sally, Sheryl and Megan for staying lockstep with me throughout the project and for the going the extra miles, literally, (Sheryl and Norman) to take a few missing pictures.

On a personal note, this project was a labor of love and I am certain that we have represented “The Ladies” well and that they would be proud. Thanks again and in the words of our Massachusetts Foremothers, “Onward”!

— Sally McCarthy
Creative Director
Shields Design Studio