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ARLnow.com Alternative Vehicle Decal Contest

by ARLnow.com January 18, 2011 at 10:23 am 3,127 61 Comments

Every year, Arlington holds a competition for high school students to design the next county vehicle decal. Voting is currently underway for the 2011-2012 decal contest, with four perfectly adequate designs to choose from.

But what it you’re not a high school student? Why can’t you be in the running for the contest?

Well, that’s where we come in. Today we’re launching our first annual Alternative Vehicle Decal Contest.

So fire up Photoshop and design the most breathtaking or humorous decal you can come up with. Next week we’ll pick a few of our favorites and let everybody vote on them. The winner will receive the high honor of being named the best alternative decal designer in Arlington.

Use the blank decal here as a template, then use our new image upload feature in the comments to display your masterpiece for all to see. Good luck!

(Just to be clear, this contest is not sanctioned by Arlington County or any other governmental body.)

  • Kyle

    Too easy, but still.

    • CrystalMikey

      Should have known that would be the first one! LOL

      • G. Clifford Prout

        Would someone please let me in on this brown flip-flop thing? I just don’t get it.

        • mehoo
        • JD32

          Lots of horribly unfashionable yuppies in Arlington wear brown flip flops during summer. It’s from a YouTube video parodying Arlington’s demographics (look up “Arlington Rap”).

          • G. Clifford Prout

            Many thanks. I never want to be behind the times.

          • mehoo

            Now you just need to wear flipflops in December and jeans that are 3 inches too long so your heel shreds them in the back and you’re super-20-something hip.

          • JamesE

            I’m guilty of wearing them this summer when it hit over 100, also to show off my hobbit feet.

          • Kenny

            “Horribly unfashionable”? I’d suggest that since everyone was wearing them… (And yes, they were—including myself! I intentionally noted the incidence after the notion became something of Arlington folk lore.) maybe the brown flip-flops were the height of popular fashion. I wonder what will this summer bring? :o)

  • Black Flag


  • Mike

    It’s sad, but it’s true…

  • Mike

    Also, a little too easy.

  • Brad

    Don’t say you weren’t warned.

    • Scott

      BRAD – GREAT!!

  • Jason S

    LOL, if I could draw it would be a snowflake eating a cupcake in the middle of Wilson Boulevard.

  • Sara

    Especially if it involves dogs on four mile run or sidewalk signs.

  • If the stache fits

    • mehoo

      It has to be clever though.

      • Isn’t life stranger than art?

      • FrenchyB


    • KArlington

      I almost spit my cupcake onto my brown flipflops when I saw this.

  • charlie

    most loved blog on most love sticker

  • JimPB

    Great idea!

    How about extending design competition to ArlCO’s residential trash containers (large, very ugly black) and recycling (equally large and a bit less ugly due to its bright color). ArlCo recognizes that the containers are unsightly, urging residents to not put them out until after 5 pm the day before collection, and at other times, for residents to keep them out of sight. Fortunately, these are only recommendations, not law, and hopefully will not become law.

    Hopefully also, residents putting attractive designs on the containers will not run afoul of the No Signs ArlCo storm troopers. This prompts me: How about a petition drive for legislation prohibiting the use of tax dollars for No Sign enforcement?

  • Sgt. Hartman

    Arlington County, the new home of pizza.

  • charlie

    game show

  • charlie

    game show!!!

    • charlie

      sorry but I already deleted it…

  • Steve

    The real reason the county continues to require decals.

    • Steve

      Improved version using a mocked up parking ticket instead of the public domain photo I found on Wikipedia.

  • Brian

    Arlington takes a page from DC.

  • charlie

    will the sticker talk??

    • Dan

      “will the sticker talk?? ”

      No, I believe that he has been paid for his silence.

      I think that the agreement included tax stickers with sound chips.

  • GeorgeOrwell

    this is what it should be. stop the silliness.

  • Hank

    Let me get this straight. I have to pay a $33 decal fee for the right to prove that I paid my personal property tax that was supposed to be phased out in like 2006. What a farce.

    • mehoo

      Yep – AND you don’t really save any money from the reduction in the car tax, because the state reimburses the localities. You can thank Gov. Gilmore for that goofy debacle.

      • Dan

        “You can thank Gov. Gilmore for that goofy debacle”

        But it got him elected….I don’t think that he would have defeated Beyer without that gimmick.

        • mehoo

          Then you can thank the voters for falling for such a ridiculous gimmick.

          I remember that some voters were angry when they still had to pay the tax the day after the election! Those geniuses must be awful mad now, still paying a property tax long after Gilmore is gone.

      • ArlBlueSky

        And on top of that, the localities get to decide how its distributed to its taxpayers.

        In Arlington, that means owners of luxury hybrid SUV’s get 80% of 3,000-17,000 “subsidized” while those with more efficient cars, but priced higher, get only 34%.


        • 4Arl

          And a decal to go along with that thought…

    • Steve

      No, the $33 is really just a vehicle license fee for the county. Even counties in Virginia that ditch the decals still typically charge the yearly fee. The decal also does not prove that you paid your taxes given that it’s mailed out with the tax bill prior to even paying it. The single reason the county still continues to issue the decals is so that parking enforcement may issue parking tickets for failure to display the decal.

  • Dave

    Bring plenty of money. The taxman cometh.

  • these are all great! We should have a new sticker every month – so in a year we get 12 fantastic stickers. (That’s a joke – I don’t want a new sticker every month!!!)

  • The Pope of South Arlington

  • Brian

    The real reason we all put up with these obnoxious stickers.

    • mehoo

      Not all of us.

    • G


  • brendan

    Here’s my set http://www.flickr.com/photos/lifeinthedistrict/sets/72157625817165880/with/5364661429/

    if it’s required to upload for the contest i’ll have to work some energy first.

    • Please upload so people can comment

    • Steve

      I like the tow truck, the meter maid, and the covered dog park mural.

  • brendan

    “business casual”

  • brendan

    “stay awhile”

  • brendan

    Dog Park…

  • brendan

    I’m Chris Hansen….

  • brendan

    and straight from the headlines… “only god can judge me”

  • brendan

    The People’s Republic

  • Questioning

    I see no cupcakes….yet

  • They can double as an instructional aid.

  • Kenny

    Tin Man, Scarecrow, Cowardly Lion, Dorothy, or Toto. All are welcome. 🙂

  • Pingback: Iconic Views » Twelve Mile Circle » maps, geography, travel()


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