If Texas License Plates Were More Badass

Whose idea was it to make the new standard-issue Texas license plates look like cheezy souvenirs from some island celebration vacation? Well, this should fix that: Here’s Houston graphic designer Craig Minor’s new no-nonsense version, intended to look especially sharp below the front grille of one of those mean wader pickups comin’ right atcha. And hey look, it’s bilingual!

Minor’s Texas plate redesign was commissioned by Fast Company blogger Ken Carbone, a mean graphic designer himself. But it isn’t just Texas’s new plates he’s picking on — recent license-plate design is namby-pamby all over. He groups recent plate designs into 3 categories: the acceptable, the unfortunate, and the “so bad it’s good.” Carbone showcases his own improved version for New York, and gets other designers to draw up improvements for Illinois and California:


Yes, that does say “Illinois” in the background. The color-coded tags across the top are scanner-readable city, state, and emissions stickers, says Chicago designer Bart Crosby.

Oh, California: Here’s LA designer Stefan Bucher’s rendition:

Who needs Facebook? And that’s Katzenberg as the write-in candidate for co-pilot on the sample. But you can pick your own! Meanwhile, we’re stuck with these:

7 Comment

  • Craig Minor is a BADASS.

  • I sure like it better than the candy-ass ones we have now. Oooh, can I say that on the internet?

  • not only *that* but the new plates are extrememly difficult to read.

  • Well at least the current Texas plates aren’t shilling for the state tourism board.

    The STATE JUDGE plates have always bothered me, like it’s just saying “don’t bother pulling me over, I know people, and if you do, you’ll be sorry”

  • If they are not shilling for the Tourism Board then what on earth is the background for?

  • Texas has lots of choices other than the general issue plate. Check out black, pink, Longhorn, vintage, and 20+ designs for official Texas license plates at http://www.myplates.com. My Plates is a program created by the Texas legislature to give people more plate choices and raise money for the general revenue fund. Kim kim@myplates.com
    –I like Craig’s plate, too. Not sure it would meet the manufacturing specs at the Huntsville Prison or pass mandatory state tests for reflectivity and legibility, but it’s good lookin.

  • I tried to buy your 1922 Calif license plates on E bay but have nothing but trouble whenever I use E Bay. Is there another way with or without them