Archive for February, 2011

7 Characters Or Less

February 15th, 2011

Backdrops Beautiful Personalized Plates

We all love to personalize our bodies and material things whether we do it with tattoos, piercings, clothing, vehicles, etc.  In most cases, we have a large canvas to work with such as our bodies and cars which make it really easy to express ourselves as individuals.  With most people, we tend to learn a lot about them by these branding messages or artwork displays.  But what happens when we personalize our vehicle plates?  If Twitter users think they have it tough with 140 characters try 7!

This morning on my drive to work I realized how many people personalize their vehicle plates.  As I came to the freeway entrance, I came across a white BMW with plates that read, “HRMNGR.”  The driver was a middle aged woman wearing what appeared to be a gray suit, a white collared shirt, and some trendy glasses.  Without me knowing anything about this woman, her message sort of fits who she is at first glance.  Her personalized plate message was clear and I was able to read it effortlessly which is why it got my attention.  I can almost assume this person has her ideal job and is happy to express who she is in the world.

On the contrary, I also came across a handful of vehicles that at times, was almost impossible for me to guess their message.  Isn’t the point to share something with everyone that is about you or something that has meaning to you? I understand that it is difficult and it can become a challenge to try to personalize your plates because by now most common phrases have been taken, but when I have to struggle to read and make it out it’s not worth the effort. In most states, no special punctuation symbols are permitted, i.e. comma, period, hyphen, exclamation point, question mark, etc.  Trying to express yourself in 7 characters or less is no joke!  I’ve see some interesting personalized plates on the road and you can definitely see that some people spend quite some time in working out the layout.  Sometimes the message is very clear and others you need to work to decipher the message.

Whether you are going to personalize your vehicle plates for personal or corporate, in doing so make sure that your message is clear and it is not lost in translation.  Do you think this is strategy or has the individual failed by making it too personal for their own audience?