WHAT SHOULD I BE DOING INSTEAD OF THIS?
 
July 31st, 2013 By James McNair | News | Posted In: Government

Is Ohio's New License Plate the Worst or Just Bad?

Bye, bye “Beautiful Ohio” plate, hello word scramble

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In case you haven’t noticed, Ohio has gained a new distinction among the 50 states — that with the ugliest license plate.

Gone, after just three-and-a-half years, is the “Beautiful Ohio” plate, a bucolic affair that managed to combine green rolling hills, a red barn, a city skyline, trees, a yellow sunburst, the Wright Brothers’ plane and the year of statehood. The Automobile License Plate Collectors Association gave it second place in its Best New License Plate contest in 2009.

The new standard-issue plate, which went on sale April 15, is called “Ohio Pride” (no, not that pride). The word Ohio appears on a wide, red isosceles triangle bleeding from the top of the plate. And behind the plate number is a background of 46 slogans, identifiers and products “describing what makes Ohio a great state.” Such as: “State of Perfect Balance,” “The Heart of it All,” “Newark Earthworks,” “Serpent Mound,” “Polymer Capital of the World,” “Steel City” and “Walleye.” It is devoid of images.

Pity the passing driver who tries to make out any of the 46 words and phrases. Because they are jammed together in light gray lettering, they blur into a hazy backdrop. Don’t take CityBeat’s word for it. Pull up behind a car with one of the new plates. Maybe you’ll be able to make out two of the larger-print items, “Birthplace of Aviation” and “DiscoverOhio.com.”

The cacophony of slogans and products gives the new Ohio plate an edge over the regular plates of many states, said Greg Gibson, president of the ALPCA.

But he, too, was confounded by their legibility. “I doubt that the slogans can be read at any distance,” he says.

Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles spokesman Dustyn Fox said no one in the Kasich administration objected to the Beautiful Ohio plate, which was designed with the help of former First Lady Frances Strickland.

“Traditionally, each new administration redesigns the Ohio plate,” Fox says. “A selection committee made up from BMV officials, Ohio Department of Public Safety officials and representatives from the governor’s office choose final designs. The governor and first lady make the final decision.”

The review panel considered five or six designs before settling on one submitted by students at the Columbus College of Art and Design. The selection, however, represents an act of artistic regression in a milieu that has gone wild for visual elements in the past decade. Wyoming, for instance, has a bucking bronco, Oklahoma a Native American archer, Utah a skier and South Dakota, Mt. Rushmore. Elsewhere, we see trees, mountain ranges, peaches, oranges, a cactus, a pelican and a buffalo.

Closer to home, Indiana has a blue license plate depicting the state seal, but which looks like a clock face in traffic. Kentucky plates bear the slogan “Unbridled Spirit” and the head of a hurtling race horse. Cleverly, they also show the vehicle owner’s home county, which allows police officers to snag out-of-county drivers for traffic violations.

The following are the four license plate designs that were considered by the state BMV:

 

 

 

 


 
 
07.31.2013 at 03:15 Reply

At least they didn't pick concept 2, that is by far the worst.  Concept 4 isn't too great either.  I kind of like the new plates, although I do prefer the "concept 1" plates.

 

07.31.2013 at 04:05 Reply

I always thought the point of a license plate was to be able to easily identify the vehicle.  I'm glad to see a new generation of designers thinking about how things function rather than throwing up all over a design in an attempt to make it "pretty"

 

07.31.2013 at 04:50 Reply
Apparently the Ohio governor's office is JUST AS DESOLATE of a place as the BMV, sucking all the color and joy and feelings out of everything. Kind of like dementors in Harry Potter.

 

08.01.2013 at 09:09 Reply

I kinda like 1 & 4

Anyway, in October you'll be able to purchase plates with the Superman logo on the left.

 

08.01.2013 at 10:26 Reply

The Beautiful Ohio plates looked like a kid's coloring book. These are nice an simple, which is the point of a licence plate, right? To provide info? When I got my car I had the choice between the two-styles-ago plate, the one with red and blue bands at the top and bottom, and the woman at the DMV nodded and said no one wanted the new ones. 

 

 
 
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