ISSUE DATE: Monday, December 2, 2019
DUE DATE: Deadline is 5:00 p.m. CST, Friday, January 31, 2019 (“Submission Deadline”)
SUBMISSION: Artist applications must be submitted online at no later than the Submission Deadline. Proposals submitted by mail or email will be rejected. First time users of Submittable will be required to set up a free account with the platform.

CONTACT for INFORMATION: Christine West, Cultural Programs Manager

BACKGROUND:  Houston First’s core mission is to position Houston as a world-class destination for business and leisure tourism.  In addition to marketing our region aggressively and contributing to enhanced quality of life in our City, Houston First also operates the city's finest convention and arts facilities. In 2014, Houston First and the Greater Houston Convention and Visitors Bureau aligned operations to create a single voice representing the city under the brand Visit Houston. Houston First owns the Hilton Americas-Houston hotel, manages the George R. Brown Convention Center and 10 city-owned properties and is a driving force in developing the new Avenida Houston entertainment district. Learn more at and

Sky Art 2020
The intent of this project is to give a local artist(s) the opportunity to have their art work be featured in multiple outdoor advertising locations around Houston. Instead of a “your ad could be here” message on an un-rented billboard, these outdoor advertisements will provide a moment to celebrate Houston and all that Houston has to offer. Local artists are invited via an open call, free of charge, to propose a design that will promote Houston in a unique, positive and authentic way. Their designs will entice visitors to return and residents to feel pride in their city.

Artists may submit proposals for one or more designs through the online site Artists may apply as many times as they wish, submitting each different design concept as a separate submission application. The selection committee may choose more than one design from the same artist.
Artist proposals do not have to submit final artwork. Proposals may be submitted as design ideas or concepts. If selected, artists may be asked to revise their designs in order to meet the production requirements of the printer and outdoor media provider.  Once selected the artist will have up to 10 business days to finalize all artwork with the Visit Houston graphic design team to prepare the design for print production.

Each design must include the word “Houston.”
This text must be prominently featured and make up at least 2/3 of total design. The graphic design team will be available to assist selected artists with digitally preparing their works for print production.

Houston themes may include:
1) Houston is inspired
All over Houston many cultures, organizations, institutions and entrepreneurs find that Houstonians are inspired to go further, explore new ideas and celebrate all that the city has to offer together and with pride.
2) Houston is the Culinary and Cultural Capital of the South
Anyone can take a trip around the world simply by exploring the rich and diverse neighborhoods throughout the region. In no other city in the U.S. will visitors and residents find food, shopping, festivals and daily traditions from so many cultures in such an accessible and welcoming atmosphere.  

Applicants must be 18 years or older to apply.

  • This opportunity is open for artists living and working in the Houston region.
    The region being those living in the following counties: Angelina, Austin (county), Brazoria, Brazos, Chambers, Colorado, Fort Bend, Galveston, Grimes, Hardin, Harris, Jasper, Jefferson, Liberty, Matagorda, Montgomery, Newton, Orange, Polk, San Jacinto, Trinity, Tyler, Walker, Waller, Washington or Wharton. 
  • Artists selected for the Sky Art  2019 Project are not eligible to apply in 2020.

Final art will be 300 dpi, CMYK and vector to be enlarged to a final size of 14’h x 45’w.

Sign Size
Final Trim: 15’H x 49’ W
Live Area: 14’H x 48’W
Mechanical Size:
300 to 408 ppi image resolution
Images must reach bleed
Mechanical can be created at any scale as long as it is in proportion. 1” = 1’ is recommended.

Tips for designing for outdoor media:
Use bright colors – avoid contrasting colors that may be too similar in hue.
Imagery - bold, clear and easy to understand.
Typeface – Select a typeface that is clear and concise, large and legible. Fonts with thin strokes or ornate script will be difficult to read. Words comprised of both upper and lower characters are generally easier to read than words comprised of all caps. Fine typefaces fade into the background, while overweight letters lose their basic shape when the viewing distance is increased.
Letter Height – Letter heights below 1’ are not readable from the roadside. Letters greater than 3’ are clearly readable.
Kerning – avoid placing letters too close together because at a distance letters tend to attach to each other visibly.
Stacking – A single line allows for rapid assimilation. Multiple text lines increase the time needed to understand a message.
Leading – Allow enough space between lines to maintain clarity of the message.

Consider these important design guidelines:
• Are the fonts easy to read?
• Is the letter size large enough?
• Does the spacing between the letters, words and lines aid legibility?
• Do the colors properly convey a high contrast of value and hue?
• Are the images comprehensible?

An honorarium of $1000 will be paid for each design selected.

Submission of a proposal represents an offer to HFC to enter into the Sky Art Project Artist Agreement, if selected by HFC, on the terms and conditions set forth in such agreement. Without limiting the foregoing, each Artist submitting a proposal represents to HFC, that the artwork (i) is an original work, created solely by Artist, over which Artist has all necessary rights, title and interest, including copyright; (ii) does not infringe upon the intellectual property rights, or defame or invade the publicity or privacy rights, of any third parties; (iii) does not use, and is not confusingly or deceptively similar to, brands, trade names, trademarks or logos of any third parties; (iv) is suitable for the purposes of the Sky Art Project and appropriate for family audiences; and (v) has not been published previously or submitted in any other design contest, sweepstakes or competition. Artist agrees to grant HFC an irrevocable, royalty-free license to create, use, reproduce, display, edit, exploit, exhibit, publish, transmit, and distribute photographs, images, recordings, models, and other multi-dimensional physical or digital representations of the artwork (including derivative works), or any portions thereof, in any commercial or non-commercial form, media or medium, now known or hereafter devised, throughout the universe in perpetuity, including, without limitation, in advertising, merchandise of any kind or type, marketing materials, webpages, broadcasts, banners, billboards, posters, postcards, calendars, kiosks, e-mails, and publications. For a full list of the Terms and Conditions click here.

On View: HFC may not at any time know when or where a particular billboard will be on view at any time. Designs are expected to be used for a period of approximately 12 months.


Houston First Corporation