Oregon Decal Spawn (Part 1)

If we lived in a square state like Colorado or Wyoming an Oregon border style decal would not work. It would look square much like any old frame or square, so it’s amazing how unique and appealing a frame in the shape of the state of Oregon is. Any symbol can be placed within the state border to make a statement that says, “we do this in Oregon.” What’s more it’s a message that suits a decal. If I had not been searching in vain for a Portland Flag decal, I may not have caught on to the decal phenomenon.  My search focused on decals people put on their car windows and bumpers.  I saw many of the green heart within the Oregon border sticker but then noticed variations on this design. Images of golfers, bikes, and sports related designs within the Oregon border cropped up.

Mt Hood Heart of Oregon

The Oregon Decal Grandaddy with Mt. Hood.

I have to believe it starts with the heart of Oregon image. This is by far the most popular Oregon state border decal I’ve seen on cars. I would estimate seeing it on one out of ten cars. It’s like the gateway decal. If someone is going to have one Oregon outline decal it’s at least going to be that image. I even know a guy who had the green heart in Oregon tattooed on his right calf. It’s likely that a decal historian could confirm or disprove my theory that all the rest of the Oregon related decals borrow from the original green heart design. The Portland Orbit crack investigative team researched the wikipedia entry that says the green heart design was created in 2003 which has me hard pressed to imagine that there were other Oregon border designs before then.  I would be happy to accept any information from decal historians out there who can set the record straight. Also any decal statistician would be welcome to set me straight on my one out of ten cars estimate.

The state of Oregon border decals now come in many variations and themes.  The ones I’ve discovered so far and documented consider Oregon and Portland related themes–the stuff we do here. It’s great to see them paired up with local stickers touting the the community radio station KBOO and the St Johns Bridge .

Oregonians Rule decal

Airport Carpet Decal

How can you not get excited about an airport carpet reference.  It wasn’t until all the clamor started about replacing the carpet that I even realized there was such an interest in it or even noticed it and I had been to the airport more than a few times.

A certain mystery lies in exactly what these decals are promoting but put it in the border of the state of Oregon and that has to at least mean it’s an Oregon thing, whatever the thing is.

mystery decal

green decal

Sometimes the decal makes it statement in writing:

wild decal

Other times it’s symbolically obvious that Oregonians are as addicted to their coffee as any other member of any of the other states in this union.

coffee cup decal

I’m loving the sports references.  Portland teams are Oregon’s teams so seems to say this one:

Timbers decal

Go Timbers!

UofO

The University of Oregon has a design which makes me wonder what aspect of U of O life the one below represents:

pink U of O decal

Who cares! It’s colorful, cool and small for some reason.

Then there are the flat out promotional decals doing it in the Oregon border style:

Powell's Decal

   kombucha decal (1)

This one struck me as the most beautiful with it’s quivering border outline, faded heart and wood grain.  It shouts, “I love wood working in Oregon, plenty of trees, great lumber” etc…

wood decal

If you haven’t seen enough Oregon border decal inspirations this one proclaims, “I run marathons in Oregon, none less than 26.2 miles thank you.”

26.2 Decal

The REI decal is usually found in basic black, but it wouldn’t be an Portland Orbit post with out a reference to graffiti in some way. So here’s how REI represents with some additional artistic flare.

REI Decal

Note:  Having Part 1 in the title means another onslaught of decal photos is in the plans. I’ve noticed more decals out there that I was not able to photograph either due to being in a hurry or seeing car decals in traffic. Hang tight for more images related to activities like running, golfing, Indian rights and Woman’s soccer as well as more discussion of this decal phenomenon.

Another note: At times I wish these photos had been a bit better but there is only so much you can do with an iPhone 3 under these conditions. Here’s hoping a soon to be acquired macro lens will help the situation.

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