Eleven days after unveiling the three finalists, the winner of the voting for the new state license plate design was revealed Monday, and it is an updated version of what’s on most cars in the state right now.
Iowa Department of Transportation Director Mark Lowe says they’ll begin the work to get the new plate into production.
“We will submit that final design to 3-M that produces the backing for our plates and we will make sure that we get a final production value for that. So, we will make sure the image is right, the color is right, and we will start on a plan to wind down our existing inventory,” Lowe says.
He says it shouldn’t take long to go through the inventory of the current plate design as they have a system that allows the to save money by not having a large number of plates on hand. He says they will plan on winding the inventory down and then shift over to the new plates — which he says will probably be in early 2018.
The three designs drew some criticism for being too bland and prompted the DOT designer to respond on Facebook that people were being to harsh in their criticism. Lowe says the negative feedback didn’t make them think about looking at other designs.
“No, we never considered reopening it,” Lowe says, “I was on the whole really very pleased with the designs we had. We had some very firm things in our mind we had to meet that the folks who were looking at more full-color designs just weren’t aware of.” Lowe says they had to make the plates so the numbers were visible and they worked well with the materials being used. And he says they felt they had enough positive input to override the negative.
“The other piece was we were very pleased with the response. More than a quarter million votes cast — very positive comments at the state fair booth — a constant flow of people coming to vote and participating in it,” Lowe says. “And from that perspective we thought with some natural questions about design and some designs we really couldn’t accommodate, we thought it was very positive and we were very pleased with it.” Lowe isn’t sure where the plate will show up first, as that depends on how many plates the counties have available.
“I think that you could see some counties start to see them a little bit earlier than others just because they will be in a little different place with their inventory and being able to make that change,” Lowe explains. “As prison industries makes that change over and we start shipping out plates — it will occur in a close period of time — just not the same time for every county.” Lowe says a set of plates costs the state $3.64 to make and ship out to the counties.
The City and Country Reboot design had 113,299 of the poll’s 291,095 total votes. The Flying Our Colors plate was in second with 110,352 votes, and the The Great Wide Open plate finished way behind with 67,444 votes.