A few days ago, Edward Snitkoff posted this article about how the state of New York is getting a new license plate design. At the end, Edward asked the readers of this fine site to vote on the five proposed designs and to show our favorite license plates of all time. As I read through the comments, taking in the lively conversation about various license plate designs both good and bad, I thought, well why not do a QOTD about license plates? Maybe ask what license plates look like in CC readers’ home states? Or provinces? Or… whatever, you know what I mean! And here we are!
Here’s my answer to today’s QOTD. This, friends, is the license plate that adorns many (but not all) cars registered in the most glorious state of Ohio. The man on the left is then-governor John Kasich, and on the right is Aaron Roberts, a student at the Columbus College of Art & Design. A senior majoring in Advertising & Graphic Design, Roberts was the designer who designed the design of what is now the current Ohio license plate. At first glance, it looks like a nice (if plain) plate. However, there’s something else about this license plate. Drive closer. What? You still can’t see it? Then drive closer still. What? You’re confused? Just keep moving closer.
For God’s sake! Not THAT close!! You’ll get us into a wreck!!
Maybe your state has a slogan on its license plate, like Illinois’ “Land of Lincoln” –
or Hawaii’s “Aloha State” –
Well folks, Ohio is better than your state. Do you know why? Because we don’t have merely one puny slogan. We have 46!
I kid you not, friends. The official license plate of Ohio contains 46 bits of information that relate to the state in some way. Check them out! The plate is supposed to be “…like a mobile visitors guide.” There are facts you never knew you wanted to know, like did you know the white trillium is the state wildflower? Not to be confused with the state flower, the red carnation. Or that the walleye is the state fish? There are destinations like Hocking Hills and Lake Erie. There are also phrases like “Ohio Has It All” and “Polymer Capital of the World”. Or how about this one – “State of Perfect Balance.” Seriously? State of Perfect Balance? What does that even mean?
Anyway, the problem with having so many phrases on a license plate is that in order to fit them all, they have to be small. If they are small, then it becomes rather tricky to actually be able to read them at any sort of reasonable distance. This therefore makes them pointless as what’s the point of slogans that cannot be read? You might as well make the whole plate blank (and if you changed it so it actually was blank most people wouldn’t even notice)!
This is a previous license plate of Ohio that can still be seen on many cars. I like it, some may say it’s “busy” or whatever but I think it looks nice.
Here are all of Ohio’s license plates going back to 1970.
And because why not, this is one of the first Ohio license plates, issued in 1908. I love how even back then they decided to be fancy with the OH state identifier.
Okay, now over to you. What do the license plates look like where you live? I look forward to reading your comments and seeing your pictures.