Online Northwest 2009 presentation materials

Here’s the “meta handout” and the slides from my Online Northwest talk:

(Both are PDFs, of course).


License plates – good for analogy and cool as designed objects

When I teach about Library of Congress call numbers, I like to show a photo of an Oregon license plate – the discussion that results – why do states need to use letters AND numbers? so there are enough combinations so every car gets a unique plate! – really helps to explain why LC is so complicatedly funny looking. It’s not a perfect analogy – license plates are random, LC isn’t – but it works. (I write much more about using analogies in the library instruction classroom here).

Anyway, it’s finally Finals Week so I have some time to tackle the to-do list before my summer break – one of my oldest notes (from, like, January) reminds me to design my own made-up number license plate graphic, just in case my Google-imaged Oregon plate really belongs to a real car. You never know.

Being a typography geek, I don’t want to mess around: I want to use the REAL font for Oregon plates. But who knew the hunt would be so interesting? I found a complete history of Oregon plate design (we’re one of the only states to manufacture plates in-state) and so much more …

Did you know that there is no official US license plate font? Seems weird since there are strict typeface rules for all other road signage. But no: it’s up to states to design their own plates (which makes sense if you’ve ever driven in Virginia).

For a fascinating history of plate design, check this out:

So much to think about here: embossed lettering v. digital (flat) lettering – does it make a difference in terms of road visibility?

I’ll leave you with an international gallery of license plates, including historical designs:

Happy Finals Week! Drive safe!!

Oregon Information Literacy Summit 2007

The second annual gathering of Oregon community college and university Writing faculty, Librarians, and Information Technologists to draft shared information literacy proficiencies for students ready to begin upper-division (300 level) coursework.

Check it out: