Many Ontario citizens are not pleased with the new Ontario License plates that were released in Feb., 2020. 

 

“After getting the new plate I thought to myself, what if someone hits my car at night and drives off? They seem so difficult to read at night with this design, how is that safe for anyone?” Julia Mitri, an Ontario citizen said.

 

The old white design of the plates have been replaced with a dark navy blue and light blue insets. The plates also feature the new Ontario trillium logo and do not have the raised white letters and numbers as the previous plates. 

 

According to the Ontario government, the new license plates have cost just under $600,000 and are intended to assist with the province’s rebranding. 

 

Jack Bowman, a graphic designer with over ten years of experience, said the recent design changes on the new plates disregard the AODA guidelines. 


“A lot of those guidelines actually include clear contrast ratios, so one thing being that the letters, whatever typography and colour you have on a design, they recommend a 70 per cent contrast ratio, which is far greater than the license plates. I would probably say the license plates are at 40 or 50 per cent,” Bowman said. 

 

Bowman said that the contrast ratio on the new license plates does not help with the clarity of the plates in the day time and that it makes it even harder to read at night. 

 

“Why they decided to invert the type and invert the design is beyond me. It just seems like there was no real oversight and they didn’t actually consult designers who are experienced in printing, reflective and safety materials,” Bowman said. 

 

Julia Mitri said she feels that if the Ontario government had the opportunity to change the plates, the best option would be to revert to the previous design to increase the readability. 

 

“I feel like it’s definitely also going to be harder for police officers at night to fight crime because of this issue. They probably won’t be able to see the letters as clearly as they used to when they had the old plates,” Mitri said.

 

According to Bancroft Wright, Peel police, there were no reportable incidents regarding the plates after he had contacted traffic units. 

 

Ford’s government said that they would stop issuing the new license plates on Mar.5, and will return to the old plates temporarily, following the controversy with the new design.

 

The Ontario government is said to also do their first press conference on Mar.2, after the new license plate release and is expected to further address the conflict regarding the situation.