Some license plate fonts are more legible than others. In addition to their distinctive appearance, they can also help drivers identify their car from a distance. The most popular license plate fonts are the standard DIN 1451 and the new FE-font. This typeface was originally designed to allow the number plate makers to easily change to different letters and numbers. These changes made it possible for license plates to remain as legible as possible for drivers.
Some states use a special typeface to create their license plate fonts. In New Hampshire, for example, the state’s digits are built using an embossed, seven-digit DIN style. This design is similar to Oklahoma’s, although it is slightly less ornate than the Oklahoma dies. The angled P and R on the capital I are a bit more squarish. The rounded C and D are reminiscent of the California plates. In Iowa, the lettering was also created using an angular, oval-curve design.
The squarish, uniform fonts that make up Florida’s license plates are not the only ones to have similar designs. In some states, dies made for one state’s license plate are used for another. This is a more flexible solution than buying new dies for each state, as an AutoCAD drawing of one state’s license plate font can serve as a template for a new state’s plates.
License Plate Fonts
License is a typeface designed for car and motorbike license plates. Its letters – all uppercase – are monospaced and instantly identifiable; however, they don’t look so technical that they’d be out of place in other design applications. For instance, License is an excellent choice for address signage, too. While License only includes one set of letters, it offers three ranges of numerals. The standard numerals are classic-looking, with mostly-closed apertures and low stroke contrast. The numerals in Stylistic Set 1 are more streamlined, with generally open counters and increased character differentiation. The numerals in Stylistic Set 2 are intended for general graphic design work; they feature increased stroke contrast, additional serifs, and related forms for the ‘6’ and ‘9’.
2. Long Ride
Hi! Introducing a stylized font “Long Ride”. It’s a simple minimalistic font with modern geometric shape. This font is perfect for label and plates design or various lettering compositions.
3. Stencil Plate JNL
A brass stencil hand cut to mark the tops of oil drums yielded the lettering for Stencil Plate JNL. The font emulates the retro feel of the unique letter forms found in the original antique design.
4. Didone Room Numbers Display Font Family
Inspired by a had painted hotel room number plate I saw in Vienna, Austria. This non-alphabetic serif font focuses on numerical and currency symbols. It clearly belongs to Didone clan of typefaces and is majorly meant to be used as a display font.
TAXICAB is a full typeface inspired by the soft, rounded capitals and numerals used for medallion numbers on yellow taxis in New York and the pressed metal license plate lettering used on vehicles around the world.
Taxicab has a proper lowercase and a full complement of Latin Extended-A characters. Regular, Bold, Italic and Bold Italic weights are all included. The fonts are optically spaced, and kerned where necessary, making them extremely useful and satisfying for both text and display purposes. The family transcends its automotive origins and can be used wherever a modern, efficient, yet friendly quality is required.
6. Driver Gothic
Driver Gothic is based on the typeface used for Ontario license plates. Although unique among Canadian provincial license plates, this face is very similar to, if not outright identical with, the face used on car plates in 22 American states: Arizona, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia.
7. British Vehicle JNL
uto license plates in the United Kingdom are made with a typeface originally designed by (and named for) Charles Wright and must meet strict criteria as to type height, weight and spacing.
A bold sans serif design; British Vehicle JNL is available in both regular and oblique versions.
8. Sauerkrauto Pro
In the late 90’s, there were many German cars coming into Malmö (where I lived at the time). I was blown away by the font on the license plates. So strange, so strong, peculiar – but still macho. I built the uppercase from my own photos. After this I completed the font with my own lowercase, small caps and punctuation.
Dealerplate is a series of 17 fonts based on various embossed license plates in the United States and Canada. Most Dealerplate fonts feature the most recent embossed style as of 2019. To get a more authentic monospaced look, try turning off kerning. Almost all current Latin-based languages are supported, including Vietnamese, Cyrillic languages, and Greek.
10. Charles Wright
K-Type Charles Wright is a full typeface in the style of lettering used for British vehicle license plates. The family includes the standard Bold weight which is based on the condensed bold ‘2001’ style with an uppercase which conforms to UK registration plate specifications for character heights of 79mm and widths of 50mm.
The licensed family also includes previously unavailable Medium and Regular weights, and a set of Obliques , each containing a newly designed lowercase and a full compliment of Latin Extended-A European accented characters.
The new typeface has also been carefully kerned to perform well on the page. All three weights and their obliques contain numerous typographical nuances and aesthetic improvements to make the fonts more acceptable for design work. Curved terminals are a little less obvious so glyphs are more open and clearer. Rounded shapes are not quite as square as older versions so characters look less blocky. A hint of stroke contrast has been introduced with horizontals being very slightly thinner than verticals on the Bold, a little more contrast on the Medium and Regular weights.
11. Motor 4F
Display typeface inspired and based on letters used on car number-plates in Russian Federation.
Licencia is inspired by the tall, soft-cornered lettering on vehicle licence and registration plates world-wide, and has the functional appearance of serial numbering. Although designed using a 3×7 matrix, Licencia breaks free of the grid whenever necessary and doesn’t stick rigidly to its monospaced origins.
Mandatory is a full small caps font developed from the typeface used for UK vehicle registration plates.
There is improved stroke separation on the M and W which are pointed at the centre, and the tail of the Q is thinner and clearer.
A typeface of grace, power and exceptional versatility, the Slate collection is a truly beautiful design that achieves stellar levels of readability, both in print and on screen.
Created by the award winning type designer Rod McDonald, this six-weight sans serif family is a rare example of sublime aesthetics meeting world-class functionality. The typeface’s legible letterforms embody an amalgam of the best traits of both humanistic and grotesque letterforms.
15. Egyptian Slate
Egyptian Slate was designed by Rod McDonald and published by Monotype. Egyptian Slate contains 24 styles and family package options.