We took a weekend trip to Denver and Colorado Springs over the weekend. Caught a Rockies game and a Jewel concert, both of which were outstanding. Also toured a craft brewery called Wynkoop and had some great meals along the way.
Aside from baseball and music and nature (and getting away from work), one of my favorite things about road trips is seeing all the license plate designs from out of state. I'm kind of an amateur design junkie (you may have noticed, if you've been to this blog before). Usually this manifests itself with baseball cards but I'm also fascinated with state license plates among other things.
So, tonight I downloaded the license plates of all 51 states (counting D.C. as a state) and ranked them in order of worst to first.
We'll start with 51- 46. This will seem pretty negative at first but realize that much of this is in jest. And you've gotta start somewhere!
Again, I have never designed a license plate before so even #51 should get some credit.
51. Rhode Island
Oh wow, what a train wreck. It just makes my eyes hurt. I'm sorry, Rhode Island. But you have to live with this!
The most damning thing about it is the clip art wave in the background. I just can't get over how bad it is. Frankly, if it didn't say 'Ocean State' I'm not sure I would even know what the background was supposed to be. I probably could have done it on an Apple IIe. On accident. In first grade. With my eyes closed?
Let the record state that my wife thinks this is 'OK' and doesn't deserve to be rated the lowest.
My suggestions for a quick makeover? Make the anchor the central theme and nautical-ize the fonts. That alone would salvage it and probably even catapult this into the top twenty. It's not that far off from being fixed -- but the things that need to be fixed really drag it down!
The border is wider on the sides than the top, the slogan is difficult to read, the font is complete patchwork and the color scheme is beyond repair. Subtlety anyone?
I don't understand the emboss pattern either. Why?
Much like Rhode Island, I think you can pretty quickly modify the existing design concept and really improve it.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Make it stop! Do you think they used PowerPoint or Word to make this? Or maybe even both?
Much like the screenplay to Armageddon (terrible, even with seven screenwriters), this looks like it was put together by a half dozen, half interested people. Ok, so that's a bit harsh. Maybe this is just a result of trying too hard, or doing too many revisions. It just feels like somebody's boss kept saying "why don't you add xyz
Me? I would scrap this and start over. Put a picture of a log cabin or a glacier or some wildlife or something. Please. Or, just do the mountain and sky.
Speaking of which, maybe it would be fun to photoshop my own versions of these. But let's not get ahead of ourselves here! Which I often do.
48. New Hampshire
At first blush it isn't awful. Honestly, there are much less inspired ones further up the list. But then you start to think about it. And what gets me is the juxtaposition of ideas here. Namely, the state slogan is morbid and extremely serious (LIVE FREE OR DIE), and yet the license plate is so peaceful and pastel-like. And I must say, I don't think they were going for irony here. They seem like completely unrelated thoughts.
If that weren't enough, let me ask: is the background a tree or a rock? I can't tell. And they totally stole the "S" from Mississippi. At least that's my impression.
Looks more like a packing label than a license plate. Boo.
46. New York
It looks like a muddy, uninspired New York Mets color scheme. What happened?
Go back a few years and New York had a very good license plate. This one is not one of my favorites.
That's it for now. We'll lead off next time with North Carolina, most likely! Hope you've enjoyed. Most of these license plates are from http://www.15q.net/usindex.html. Great website.