2 of 5
BACKNEXT
Graded sticker
Graded sticker
Grade: F

It seems appealing because it's simple. The most salient feature of this proposed label is the big letter grade in a colored circle. Better grades -- and brighter colors -- mean better fuel economy.

Don't be fooled, it's a really bad idea and here's why:

First, it's unnecessary. Fuel economy is already described in nice easy-to-compare numbers. We all know that 40 mpg is more efficient than 25 mpg. Turning that into letters and colors only adds a layer of pointless translation.

Second, it's confusing. Imagine a car shopper going into a dealership and seeing a car that's not very dependable and that has poor crash scores with a yellow A+ sticker on it. Nearby is another car of flawless quality with excellent crash ratings and a B+ in the window. Try telling that customer they're really better off buying the B+ car, not the A+ car.

With these stickers, that scenario would happen a lot. Fuel economy numbers already work without seeming like a government-approved sales pitch, so let's use them.

Beyond the oversimplified letter grade at the top the rest of this label is, ironically, a confusing visual babble. There's simply too much information here for anyone to make sense of.

This fuel economy label gets an F.

NEXT: Simple sticker

Last updated September 02 2010: 6:00 AM ET
More Galleries
Graffiti about Greek crisis fills Athens' streets Artists are taking to the streets to express their views on the Greek crisis. More
My whirlwind 24 hours in Taiwan as a bridal supermodel Unlike the West, Taiwanese brides-to-be sit for hun sha ?? photo sessions before their actual wedding day. The photos are seen as a status symbol as well as a way to capture the brides' youth and glamor. More
8 startups that'll make your travel experience so much better Here are the new travel apps and services that will make trips easier, less time-consuming, and more fun for the every day business traveler. More

Special Offer