General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

Why is Virginia the only state whose license plates have serifs?

Asked by elbanditoroso (28879points) August 30th, 2015

As far as I can tell, Virginia is alone among the states with having a Serifed license plate font.

See:
general link

Virginia DMV

Why did they choose this font?

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7 Answers

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Are you sure that Virginia is the only state? An internet search shows images of this list of license plates by state. A fair amount have the state name in a Serif-type font. Or am I missing something?

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
fluthernutter's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer I think the OP meant as part of the actual license number.

That’s interesting (at least to me). Whatever the reason, it seems like a poor design choice because san serif seems much easier to read at a glimpse.

SavoirFaire's avatar

According to this site, Virginia uses “the only book-typography font style with bracketed (tapered) serifs seen on any Western country’s license plates. (All other license plate fonts are sans-serif — with only occasional slab-style serifs added on some letters to prevent confusion with similar characters.)”

I cannot say for certain why this is, but my guess is that it has to do with tradition and consistency. The Virginia flag uses a serif font, as do the official seals and one the coats of arms. All of the old government buildings have their names engraved in serif fonts, and most of the new ones have signs or engravings that match the old style. So when the license plates were designed, a serif font probably just seemed like the obvious way to go.

gorillapaws's avatar

It’s because us Virginians are classy like that.

elbanditoroso's avatar

@gorillapaws – I know what you mean – I lived in Frederick County for several years.

Still… mine is a serious question.

Response moderated (Spam)

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