About Leeward Productions

Custom License Plates with Your Artwork Created Free by Accomplished Graphic Designers

Leeward Productions (formerly Shiney Communications and Cartags.net) has been designing and selling custom auto, motorcycle, and bicycle plates since 1989. For many years the company concentrated on screen-printing only aluminum auto tags and produced all its own license plates. A key part of our offering has always been a focus on good plate design and including it as part of the package with straightforward, predictable pricing, without artwork setup fees except in limited situations.

A truly easy buying process. We realize many potential customers have nowhere to turn for design work, or are uneasy paying open-ended hourly rates for something they aren’t familiar with, as may be the case elsewhere. Removing this barrier to a good plate design is the missing piece of the puzzle that simplifies the buying process to make it truly easy. Tell us what you want, we do the rest — it’s just that simple. Or tell us “hands off” if you’ve got a design you’re already happy with, and we’re okay with that too.

An ownership change in recent years prompted us to consider broadening the license plate types we offered and expand into a fuller array to better serve the varied requests we kept getting. To do this we began working exclusively with hand-picked wholesale producers nationwide, guided by the company’s previous experience gained printing our own plates in finding the best firms to team up with.

A plate type for every budget. Each producer we work with has been chosen for what they do best, at the lowest reasonable price without sacrificing “build quality” compared to similar alternatives. Our goal is to offer a range of volume-priced custom plate types that have proven most popular over the years, so your group can choose the right plates for your situation and budget. And so that regardless of which way you want to go, you still receive a good design.

  • Screen-printed spot-color aluminum. Our basic custom aluminum tags are printed with fade-resistant, screen-printed inks on rustproof aluminum for long life and excellent durability, second only to our state-license-plate-grade auto tags (see further below). The same applies to our embossed aluminum plates as well. Screen-printing is the traditional “gold standard” for outdoor durability, yet is the most economical production method for volume quantities.
  • Screen-printed spot-color polyethylene plastic. The basic plastic auto plates and plastic motorcycle tags we produce are also screen-printed, and we carry only polyethylene plastic, which does not yellow with exposure to sunlight as cheaply made polystyrene plates do, or crack in colder weather as the latter can. Even better, in contrast with even most polyethylene plates you’ll find elsewhere, ours sport a smooth, high-gloss surface virtually as shiny as aluminum. So unlike the textured and dull matte surface typical of most plastic tags, you won’t sacrifice much in the way of looks if you decide to go with less-expensive plastic instead of aluminum.
  • Digitally printed full-color polyethylene plates. Our full-photographic-color plastic auto tags utilize commercial-grade UV-cured inkjet printing for brilliant, vivid color. Unlike some prominent competitors who use grainy, low-resolution, quick-and-dirty inkjet technology that produces a spattered, sprayed-on appearance, the high-grade UV-cured inkjet utilized for these plates gives you razor-sharp high-resolution color. UV-cured inkjet will also outlast common “photo license plates" printed by dye-sublimation, and at a much more affordable price as well.
  • Industrial-resin “state-license-plate-grade” tags. As a specialty distributor focusing only on custom license plates, Leeward Productions has been chosen by one of the nation’s premier commercial producers of official state license plates as its exclusive manufacturer’s outlet to the consumer market for its reflective, full-color, highest-durability aluminum plates. Industrial-resin printing equals screen-printing for outdoor durability but is printed digitally. This enables the use of roll-fed materials such as the reflective sheeting used in these plates’ manufacture, resulting in the most economical reflective plates available in larger volumes, with the bonus of full-color printing.
  • Variable-data/serial-number plates. A unique offering you will find nowhere else (that we know of) is the “variable data” capability for our state-license-plate-grade auto tags. This can be used to produce serially numbered plates for retirement community golf carts or municipalities where such vehicles may need to be licensed, or for corporate, government, or military vehicle fleets. Variable-data imprints can also be arbitrary or non-sequential as well.
  • Half-size plates for EMS and fire departments. To complete our line of plates, custom half-size auto tags can be produced for those residing in states that require full-size plates on both the front and back of vehicles. Half-size tags mount above or below the full-size front plate without obscuring any part of it, enabling important identification for first-responders on the scene of emergencies. These plates are particularly helpful for small and/or rural fire departments to identify volunteer firefighters who drive their own personal vehicles to the scene.

Rely on our thorough product knowledge. We know license plates inside and out, and can help you decide which custom plates are best for your requirements. We strive to provide plates with the best durability specification and/or appearance for each type of production method, aimed in most cases at longer-term name-identification and promotional use within a given budget. And don’t forget at Leeward Productions you’ll actually talk to a real human being — without having to wade through the maze of a phone menu system designed to make you hang up first. Old-fashioned service like what used to exist in America is still alive and well here.

Good design is built right in. Leeward Productions does more than simply kick license plates out the door with no further thought given. Free design work for custom tags is provided in most cases (about 75% of customer orders) by experienced graphic designers, based on your logo, idea, or rough sketch. For license plates or any other promotional items to do their job, they must successfully gain attention, and be visible and readable from a distance, not to mention look good to project the image you want. Design is the key element in this. Our philosophy is to help you put it foremost, built right into the pricing so you don’t have to worry about it.

Competitive pricing. But if you think including design work in the price might make our custom license plates cost more than elsewhere, think again. Most places price their license plates without the cost of design work included, or make you do it yourself with a crude online layout interface, or you pay an open-ended extra hourly add-on rate for it — so as to be able to advertise the lowest “list” prices possible. But that temporarily “hidden” cost of design will eventually factor in, if a plate design is to be more than a slap-together throwaway. We believe our plates are already competitively priced, but for a true apples-to-apples comparison, if you submit professional print-ready art using one of our templates, you’ll qualify for a discount. Compare our prices with others’ after that, and we think you’ll agree you get a very good deal at Leeward Productions — and one that relieves you of the worry of getting a good plate design if you don’t have design skills yourself.

Satisfied customers nationwide. Leeward Productions customers include businesses, auto and motorcycle dealerships, churches, schools, nonprofits, fire/EMS/police departments, and many others across the United States who use our custom auto, motorcycle, and bicycle tags to identify and advertise their organizations.

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