For about 6 months I had a 90 minute commute (one way) so I spent a lot of time in the car and a lot of time behind other cars. In this time I started to develop the theory that if you read car decals in the same way you might read hieroglyphs you will discover interesting things about the owner of the car.
In essence they are the same, visual representations of intentions, beliefs, words, concepts and ideals. We tend to look at things in the same way that we right. Upper left hand corner, then read left to right and top to bottom.
The first thing I noticed was the order of the family identifiers. Like in Egyptian hieroglyphics the male figure is taller than the female figure, and is always given the left most position. It “starts” the family story. And the female comes next, followed by children. I generally assume that the children are ordered in birth order and they are followed by the pets.
I have found that funny or more socially accepted things go on the window, and tend to be in the center. Or if it is something that identifies the owners social group. Sports often reside on the window and are centered.
Political tend to stay on bumpers, sometimes trunks and they tend to go on the left although some go on the right. I’ve taken several pictures in the past. I sort of “collect” decals but not for myself but rather images of other’s decals. I find the personalization interesting. I would love to interview people and find out what they value and try and come up with a more solid theory.