This month, I was hired by a script writer / director to do some graphic design work: my client Lili Wexu needed a driver's license for a character in a short film and so– unexpectedly– I became quite familiar with the California driver's license, which is beautiful, and now available to all residents of California, regardless of their status as US citizens! Try as I might, Google was not able to help me uncover the name of the designer or design firm responsible for the re-design, which took place in 2010, and includes some neat features like a laser perforation of the California Brown Bear, which can only be seen when a flashlight is pressed up against the card (!).
I decided to contact the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to try to find out who was behind the design. Who is this mysterious designer(s) behind the California Driver's license? What might the process look like to re-design a US states' driver's license anyway? Or is that classified information?
Being a person who loves real actual mail, I wrote and printed a real actual letter to the Director of the California DMV (Jean Shiomoto).
Office of the Director,
Department of Motor Vehicles2415 1st Ave., Mail Station F101
Sacramento, CA 95818-2606 USA
July 8, 2015
Dear Ms. Jean Shiomoto,
I hope you are well! I sincerely thank you for taking the time to read my letter.
My name is Andrea Schmidt and I am a Canadian graphic designer who is doing a project about the California Driver’s license design.
What I have learned so far is that it was re-designed in 2010, and includes some incredibly interesting features! In my opinion it is very beautiful. Also, I would like to congratulate you on making the license available to all residents of California. What a wonderful choice.
Is it possible for you to tell me who was behind the re-design in 2010, and a bit about what that process was like, if you can? Do you have in-house designers at the DMV? Or was a team of specialists from a marketing agency consulted?
Although I realize his information may be lost or classified, again – thank you – I truly appreciate any light you can help me shine on this matter!
. . . I will let you know what happens! . . .