(Note: The plate is solid dark blue, the photo has some reflection on it.)
A bike advocate, a state legislator, a graphic designer, a former State Trooper and a rep from the Oregon DMV are currently working to resolve a design issue with Oregon’s new Share the Road license plate.
Applications for the current plate are on hold because the plate’s designer, Steve Sandstrom of Portland-based Sandstrom Design, does not approve of some key design changes made by the DMV prior to making the initial batch of 500 plates.
The main point of contention is that the plate was initially designed to fit five symbols. When the DMV said it could have only four letters, the designers re-configured the spacing to keep a sense of balance. But when the plates emerged from the DMV, that spacing was not maintained (the letters were forced to the right, see photos below).
As a result, Sandstrom has refused to sign off on the design.
Notice the spacing.
DMV’s final version, which the designer will not sign-off on..
According to key proponent of the plates, Cycle Oregon Executive Director Jerry Norquist, the current design has been discontinued and the DMV will issue a recall once a new design is agreed to. Anyone who has already received the original version must replace it with the new version (you are not required to return your plate).
Last Friday in Salem, in an attempt to get the plate back on track, Norquist met with Oregon State Senator (and main legislative sponsor of the plate) Floyd Prozanski, plate designer Steve Sandstrom, retired Oregon State Trooper Ken Chichester, and a legislative liaison from the DMV office.
The group tried to agree on which new plate design should be adopted.
The DMV rep was presented with three choices. The first choice was a plate with an all dark-blue background, white letters, a yellow rider and a yellow “Share the Road” slogan (see top of article). The second choice is the same, but with a small white border around blue background. The third choice (below) has a light-blue to white fade and dark-blue letters…
In the meeting, the DMV rep leaned toward the first choice but wanted to make sure they were able to make it. After checking on it, they then said it could not be an option due to the dark background and white letters (which seems strange given the design of the existing Crater Lake plate).
If the dark-blue and white letters option doesn’t happen, the final choice is likely be the blue-white fade design. All parties agree that this option could work, although there is some concern that the “Share the Road” slogan is not visible enough.
Norquist is working with Sandstrom to iron out a few final design issues and they hope to come up with something that works for everyone very soon.
This may seem like a lot of back-and-forth for just a license plate, but the stakes are high. In order to encourage sales, backers of the plate want to make sure the design is appealing. If 1,000 plates can be sold in the first 12 months of issue, the DMV will refund the application fee of $10,000.
On the other hand, if less than 500 plates are sold in the first 12 months, the plate will be listed “inactive”.
Norquist, whose goal is to get “Share the Road” on every Oregon license plate, says initial interest and sales have been brisk, but a better design would help them sell even quicker.
Stay tuned for a final decision.