Great state, great plate!

Image: Goes on sale Jan 2007

AUGUST 2, 2006

The urban vitality and natural splendor of Michigan's "Spectacular Peninsulas" are visual themes that distinguish the state's new commemorative license plate design, unveiled today by Secretary of State Terri Lynn Land.

It features a dynamic cityscape in the upper-left corner, a wheat field swaying in the breeze in the top center and a majestic forest in the upper right. An outline of Michigan surrounded by the Great Lakes highlights the plate's center while the mighty Mackinac Bridge arches across the bottom. The slogan "Spectacular Peninsulas" is to the right of the Bridge. Predominant plate colors are blue, green and white.

"Our great state deserves a great plate and we're proud to offer this to the people of Michigan," Land said. "Its fresh design captures the geographic uniqueness, natural beauty, agricultural heritage and urban energy that define Michigan. The plate truly represents Michigan because it integrates many of the themes submitted by people from all corners of the state.

"While no single plate can possibly encompass all of Michigan's attributes, this exciting design does a terrific job of sharing our state's story for the world to see. I congratulate everyone who participated. Narrowing all of the wonderful concepts was extremely difficult for the judges but we're pleased with the result. I look forward to seeing this plate on vehicles across Michigan."

More than 1,500 residents submitted ideas during the 2006 License Plate Design Challenge. Entrants ranged from grade-school students to professional men and women.

The plate goes on sale Jan. 1, 2007. It replaces the Great Lakes Splendor version introduced in 1997, also known as the "Bridge" plate. As is the case with the Bridge plate, the new Spectacular Peninsulas version will be available as an alternative to Michigan's standard plate for an additional $5. New sales of the Bridge plate will cease next year, though motorists who already have one may continue renewing it if they wish.

"The Great Lakes Splendor plate had a great 10-year run," Land said. "But as Michigan moves forward, it's time to update the look of our commemorative plate. The new plate has a practical side as well. In addition to complementing our vehicles, it meets law enforcement standards and serves as an effective visual identifier for police."

One of the chief contributors to the new design is Brian Whitfield, a Lansing artist employed by the Michigan Department of Transportation for more than 10 years. His entry captured several key elements that were incorporated into the design.

Land made the announcement at events in Dearborn and Grand Rapids. Joining her were Patricia Mooradian, president of the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn; Mary Esther Lee, acting director of the Public Museum in the Van Andel Museum Center in Grand Rapids; Challenge participants, members of the judging panel and area dignitaries.

Judging the entries were Kim Kyff of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan's incoming Teacher of the Year and a fifth-grade teacher at Jamieson Elementary School in Detroit; Terry Jungel, director of the Michigan Sheriff's Association; George Bayard III of Kentwood, member of the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs; Ken Hayward of Okemos, vice president of sales and marketing for the Grand Hotel and vice chairman of the Michigan Travel Commission; state Sen. Beverly Hammerstrom of Temperance; and state Rep. Richard Ball of Bennington Township.

Related Links

Fun facts - Michigan license plate trivia PDF
A long and winding road - License plates through the years PDF
Judges for the 2006 License Plate Design Challenge PDF