PREMISEA lifetime ago, the American license plate was a work of art. A beautiful union of typography and design elements, cast in metal. Each state used simple, significant details, like state landmarks, state birds and flowers, or even the shape of the state, to evoke a sense of pride and place.
Over the years, the growth of technology, computers, and 4-color printing allowed designs to become more complex and include unnecessary elements, like website URLs. More efficient production methods meant plates could be made more cheaply, and quality declined.
Today, from furniture to phones, good design is more prevalent than ever. Yet most licenses plates still seem like they were designed decades ago on an archaic computer. We’re here to change that.
50 designers. 50 states. 50 plates.
Our hope is to bring the qualities of what once worked so well, to the present, and to start a conversation about the future of license plate design.
DESIGN PRINCIPLES1. Functional
The license plate should quickly identify the vehicle and where it’s from.
The license plate should highlight or draw inspiration from the history and character of it’s own state.
The license plate should be unique enough so that it is not confused with plates from another state.
AIGA – Eye On Design
Design You Trust
ABOUTState Plates Project was created in 2014, by graphic designer Jonathan Lawrence, in collaboration with industry colleagues.
Andrew Colin Beck
Scott Allen Hill
Sean Ryan Cooley