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  #61  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2010, 2:32 AM
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Best plate ever:

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  #62  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2010, 9:17 AM
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NY permits 8 character license plates?

I thought the longest in the country was 7 characters (NY, CA, TX, IL, etc.).

What states currently permit the longest license plate strings?
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  #63  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2010, 4:26 PM
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I think most allow up to 8 for custom plates (Ontario does). The longest serials, however, are only 7 digits.
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  #64  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2010, 6:09 PM
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Funny Ohio Plate Blog Critique

Found this funny blog post about the Ohio plates and plate trends in general:

The Branding on Your Bumper

6/1/2010 | Mark Szczepanik



Driving cross country in the "way back" of my family's wood-paneled 1983 Oldsmobile Cutlass Cruiser station wagon, I became quite adept at recognizing each state's license plates. That was 20-some years ago, when it was easy to tell the difference. Now it seems every state offers specialty plates celebrating everything from wildlife to the Elvis Presley Memorial Trauma Center. Has this trend gotten out of hand? Consider that at least six states have plates saluting square dancing (Alabama, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Washington and West Virginia.) Florida offers at least 115 designs.

So how did we get here? In a recent article on DelawareOnline, Tim Stentiford, a member of the American License Plate Collectors Association and editor of its magazine, explains:

For the first eight or nine decades, license plates had one sole purpose, and that was for law enforcement -- both to demonstrate that the driver had paid his or her motor vehicle registration fees as well as providing a unique identifier for law enforcement purposes," Stentiford said.

But when states began issuing specialty tags -- both as revenue generators and to mark special events -- the proliferation began.

Not everyone is in favor of all this consumer choice. Illinois State Senator Dan Rutherford is an opponent of specialty plates, citing how numerous designs make it difficult for law enforcement officers to identify the plates. I agree with the Senator's stance but for a different reason - branding.

Think about it. License plates appear on every legally registered and driven car. And depending on the commuting pattern of your residents, that plate could take your state’s brand message all over the world. But many states are willing to trade this for a few bucks.

How many opportunities is your brand selling, trading or simply giving away?

Then again, it seems that few states have the ability or the guts to produce a singular brand message. Which I'm pretty sure is a result of having elected officials in charge of marketing dollars. A politician's longevity is directly linked to keeping the majority of people happy. That doesn't work so well for branding. You can't be everything to everyone. Try and your message becomes diluted, bland and often horrifically ugly. Case in point, the new "Beautiful Ohio" license plate design. According to newspaper reports, Ohio’s first lady, Frances Strickland, was part of the design committee. Mrs. Strickland has an impressive resume - a doctorate in educational psychology, years in the public school system as an educational psychologist, author of kindergarten screening test and a children's book, The Little Girl Who Grew Up To Be Governor. But I can’t find anything in her background about design. She did grow up on a dairy farm in Kentucky, which may be why the windmill in the design was her idea.

Here is my imagined meeting transcript of the Beautiful Ohio License Plate Committee Special Taskforce on Designery.

Member 1: Ohio’s got a lot of farms. We should have a barn.

Member 2: But we’ve got cities too! We don’t want people to think we’re just flyover country. Let’s put an urban skyline in there.

Member 3: Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus?

Member 1: No, whatever clipart came with your computer is fine.

Member 2: What about the Wright brothers? Weren’t they from here?

Member 3: Yeah, but they flew in Kittyhawk, North Carolina.

Member 1: Yes, but they were born here. Slug the “Birthplace of Aviation” at the top.

Member 2: Do it in a scripty font so we look fancy!

Member 3: Shouldn’t it say “Ohio” on there?

Member 1: Yes. But that’s kind of bland. We need an adjective. “Beautiful?”

Member 2: That’s good. Let’s reverse the “O” out of the shape of the state so people can find us on a map.

Member 3: And in the center of the “O” let’s put “1803,” so people know when we became a state.

Member 1: Great idea!

Member 3: I was kidding.

And this is what it ends up looking like:


§

The state is billing the new design as a triumph. Every designer I know uses less-kind words for it.

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  #65  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2010, 6:19 PM
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Fast Company: Ohio's New License Plate Is "Unique"

Not sure if this was ever posted:


Ohio's New License Plate Is "Unique," "Different," Ugly

BY WILLIAM BOSTWICK | Wed Mar 24, 2010

The state's once-scrapped new plate is outselling its current model 3 to 1.



You can't make this stuff up: In the summer of 2008, the Ohio BMV unveiled the state's new license plate, a "bucolic, pastel-hued" landscape designed partly by the governor's wife (the windmill was her idea, she says). It's "Beautiful Ohio"--the sun rising in the east over a cartoon barn and the Wright Brothers' plane--can't you just smell the amber waves of grain? Then in May, they decided the plates would be too expensive (too beautiful?), at $2.50 each, to require all drivers to buy. So they put the 1.5 million plates they printed (which cost the state $2.3 million) up for sale as specialty plates that drivers can choose if they want. Well, the people have spoken: The new plates are outselling the old ones by 3 to 1. It's, somehow, a "Cinderella success story," according to the Dayton Daily News:

Like Cinderella, word of the new plate’s beauty reached the public, along with the fact that 1.5 million of them were lingering unused in a Columbus warehouse. ... The rest is a license plate’s dream come true. After decades of plain two- and three-colored Ohio plates, Beautiful Ohio burst on the scene like a fairy tale rainbow. "Ohioans just like having a completely unique and different option that they have never had before," [Department of Public Safety spokesman Tom] Hunter said.



Seriously, Ohio? The last two plates have been bad enough (beige gradient, anyone?) but this new plate takes the ugly cake. The aesthetically inconsistent illustrations, the faux-grass border, the script motto, the utter absence of non-gradiented colors: It's so '90s, it might as well have the state's Web site on it. If we learned anything from Josh Parsons's brilliant world flag ranking system, it's that simple is good, cartoony clip art is Northern-Mariana-Islands bad. License-plate designers--first ladies included--would do well to remember this.

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  #66  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2010, 6:27 PM
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Fast Company: Rebranding the License Plate

Rebranding the License Plate: 4 Designers Clean Up Graphic Road Kill

BY KEN CARBONE | Thu Jun 3, 2010




Article
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  #67  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2010, 6:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon716 View Post
The new New York plate didn't pass, so we're keeping the old new plate.
I've seen a number of the new blue and orange New York plates on cars around here. Did they issue some and then halt issuing them?
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  #68  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2010, 6:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Buckeye Native 001 View Post
My first car had the old maroon and white Arizona plates. Still not completely a fan of the current desert landscape plates we've been using since 1996.

Ultimate favorite is the 1982-1987 California "Golden State" plates.
Probably the most iconic license plate design ever, immortalized by a lot of 1980's movies. And you still see those around at least in California itself. Plates stay with the vehicle in that state, so every once in a while you'll see those on some 1980's soapbox.

"Busy" license plates only work if the coloring is very pastel and subtle. I happen to like Alabama's current design (released last year) for this reason.

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  #69  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2010, 7:07 PM
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These Ohio plates are my least favorite:



source
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  #70  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2010, 7:53 PM
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The best ones were the early 80's ones with the simple white background, the heart in the middle, and the Ohio font. Simple and clean design. The one with the lighthouse was nice too...
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  #71  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2010, 8:23 PM
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Montana must have a dozen different plates. It seemed like every car had its own design.

Massachusetts and Alberta plates are pretty much identical.

I think my favourite US one is D.C.
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  #72  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2010, 1:32 AM
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Does anyone know which license plate is the longest running since last changed? I know Minnesota's has looked like it does since before I was born in 1981 but every other state seems to have changed theirs?
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  #73  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2010, 1:37 AM
min-chi-cbus min-chi-cbus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ntchorba View Post
These Ohio plates are my least favorite:



source
When I first glanced at the engraving on the plate I thought it said "anal sex"!
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  #74  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2010, 2:30 AM
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While on the subject, I came across this cool lil site!

http://www.worldlicenseplates.com/
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  #75  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2010, 8:08 AM
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Informal and anecdotal survey from Ohio family members during my visit a few weeks back was that the new plates suck. At least five people I talked to thought they were designed by a fourth grader...
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  #76  
Old Posted Jun 5, 2010, 4:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by min-chi-cbus View Post
When I first glanced at the engraving on the plate I thought it said "anal sex"!
The term is embossed, and that plate looks like the serial is printed on. I hate that trend and hope that it never makes it to Canada. The plates look ridiculously cheap. Especially when they're made of plastic, as some are. Minnesota just started issuing flat plates and they're ugly.

I don't think Mexico is doing the flat plates thing either. They have some pretty good graphic plates.
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  #77  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2010, 2:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by min-chi-cbus View Post
When I first glanced at the engraving on the plate I thought it said "anal sex"!
I really have nothing against this particular design. Thought it was a great way to sneak it in.
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  #78  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2010, 4:43 PM
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When I first glanced at the engraving on the plate I thought it said "anal sex"!
Haha we all see what we wanna see, but this one's pretty blatient
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  #79  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2010, 5:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by min-chi-cbus View Post
Does anyone know which license plate is the longest running since last changed? I know Minnesota's has looked like it does since before I was born in 1981 but every other state seems to have changed theirs?
I do believe Delaware hasn't changed theirs since the late 60s, besides a few vanity editions here and there, including a horrific-looking porcelain style the size of a postage stamp
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  #80  
Old Posted Jun 6, 2010, 10:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottolini View Post
Texas started using these last year. They're no longer stamped, and added another digit. I'd like them a lot more without the star and crayon looking coloring in the upper left corner.

http://www.15q.net/tx.html
Call me crazy, but I think that's quite handsome. If only the characters were stamped.
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