Ten years ago Shields Design Studio began working with Plymouth 400, Inc. on promoting Plymouth’s 400th anniversary. The staff remembers saying “but it’s so far away!” It seemed premature at the time, but here we are, it’s 2020!

It began with a license plate, advertising and a website. Our own Mary Shields became a board member for Plymouth 400 in March of 2011. Over the past ten years we have created every type of promotional material possible – digital, print, outdoor, car wraps – the list is endless. Understanding the historical significance and the economic opportunities for the Town of Plymouth, Shields Design has donated their creative services.

When we first kicked off P400 our mission was to raise awareness. The idea was in its infancy and nobody knew what P400 was. Working with Michele Pecoraro, P400’s Executive Director, Cheryl Soares the Program Manager and Brian Logan the Communications Manager, we forged ahead towards a vision that has now become a reality. Caroline Quinn of Quinnovative Marketing was instrumental in getting the message out to the masses.

Thousands of vehicles in Plymouth County and beyond now proudly display the P400 license plate because of these combined efforts. Businesses and organizations have become partners and supporters and are identified by signage in their shop windows, on the Plymouth 400 website, and in print materials and collateral.

Shields Design is a proud Founding Signature Sponsor of Plymouth 400, as is Barnicle and Husk, a children’s book series created by Shields Design President Mary Shields. The book series serves as a culturally accurate way for young readers to learn about the Wampanoag people and the early English settlers. Mary’s vision for the Barnicle and Husk brand is well-aligned with the mission of Plymouth 400. Promoting the 400th anniversary commemoration, providing family entertainment at Signature Events with costumed characters, and supporting other Plymouth 400 initiatives is one of the primary objectives for the Barnicle and Husk brand.

So much good has unfolded since this journey began, and “Plymouth 400 has initiated a partnership with Mayflower 400 in the UK, Leiden 2020 in the Netherlands, and Wampanoag Nation, encompassing the federally recognized tribes of Aquinnah and Mashpee, to enhance the understanding of people, places and motivations that culminated in America’s founding story.”

Shields’ Ali Stevenson, along with Steve Polito, the web developer at Shields, has been instrumental in developing the P400 brand. Following we would like to feature a few of the projects Ali designed that brought P400 to life.

Above is a before and after glimpse of the early branding and the evolution of the brand. In the examples that follow, Ali has also giving us some insight into into her design process.

The site had to be up to date for 2020 and have a colorful and inviting feel for all who visit. The goal of the main image header was to always have a Plymouth beauty shot paired with an image of people and community. The new site also incorporated a new detailed calendar that now shares and organizes tons of events that users can easily view for their visit.

The brand for Plymouth 400 consists of world map with a color splash that over lays on top. These elements are used to represent the culture and diversity that extends from Plymouth MA to Plymouth UK and beyond.

The Bass and Blue was a stand-alone campaign but had to still be part of the Plymouth 400 family. With its own logo created from a Bluefish, this event unfolded by pulling similar elements from the P400 brand but the use of darker blues made it stand alone.

For the Illuminate Thanksgiving campaign we used a dark purple and blue look with a bright candle always prominent. The look helped capture the feel of the event where individuals light candles and as more people get involved the brighter it becomes.

We wanted to create something bright and eye catching, we wanted to turn heads when the car or pedicab would drive by people. The P400 van can be seen on the street of Plymouth and a various events. The pedicab can be spotted shuttling visitors around on the Plymouth waterfront.