May 12, 2014
By Times Staff
The selection of a design for the planned new Cape Ann license plates marks a landmark step in the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce’s project aimed at raising money that would be distributed to Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester and Essex for economic development marketing and education.
And Rockport artist Annalei Babson, who designed the plate, deserves credit for recognizing the need to showcase all four Cape Ann communities, and working with chamber officials in tweaking the design to best illustrate Manchester and note Cape Ann’s arts focus as well.
As featured in Saturday’s Times, the design (attached to this editorial for viewing online at gloucestertimes.com) includes four panels to the left of the plate number featuring Gloucester’s Man At The Wheel, Rockport’s Motif No. 1, the schooners of Essex and Manchester’s Tuck’s Point rotunda. Then, beneath the plate number, there is a listing for Chamber’s website and a small but colorful depiction of a painter’s palette.
Assuming final RMV approval, the next step, of course, will be to market the plates to residents, businesses and visitors. And the Chamber must presell at least 1,500 plates at $40 apiece to get the RMV’s production green light, while a presale of 3,000 plates would allow the Chamber to avoid having to post a $100,000 bond for the work.
But there is every reason to believe that Babson’s design will indeed help capture the level of Cape Ann pride and spirit to make this project a success.
It truly stands as a win-win project for all.