Signal Box Artwork

How do I get a permit for signal box artwork?

Decorating signal boxes near the intersections in your community can be a great way to engage local artists and make your streets more vibrant.

Step 1 - Talk with your community

Talk with your community members and find local artists who want to work with you. Look for local funding opportunities and work with your community to put together a design for your signal box.

Check out these resources for design guidance and funding:

  • The Neighborhood Matching Fund at the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods provides funding opportunities for neighborhood improvement projects 
  • 4Culture provides funding and support for the cultural work that makes King County vibrant
  • Urban Artworks provides opportunities for underserved youth and contemporary artists to create public works of art
  • SEEDArts connects professional artists with developers and community groups to design, fabricate, and install artworks in public spaces

Step 2 - Review guidelines

The Office of Arts and Culture will consider the following when reviewing proposed designs:

  • Artwork should have a consistency of style and medium to create a unified aesthetic between signal boxes. Think of them as a series, rather than individual pieces of art.
  • Designs for the boxes contribute to the visual quality of the streetscape. Consider using a limited palette of colors and simple graphic images to avoid visual clutter.
  • If original artwork is being created, a lead artist/designer should be responsible for designing the images.
  • Artwork should contribute some kind of public benefit. Community support for the designs is a must. 
  • Images that convey messages appearing to advertise or promote a private entity (corporation, neighborhood business, chamber of commerce, or other community organization) will not be accepted.
  • Images that create a driver distraction or could be confused with traffic signs will not be accepted.
  • Arts representatives will review locations to determine proximity to artwork in the public art collection.

Step 3 - Create a design

Check out our signal box template available here.

Step 4 - Apply for your free permit

You can apply for this permit on the Seattle Services Portal. Use the button on the right to sign in!

Under "Create New" select "Permits-Street Use" and navigate to and select the "Long Term Use" and "Private Structures/Uses" record type. Follow this guide for more detailed instructions.

Required documents:

For additional information on permitting signal box artwork, refer to CAM 2505.

Step 5 - Create your Signal Box Artwork

Once your permit is approved, you're good to go! Enjoy your beautified public space and share pictures of the project with us at @SeattleDOT on Twitter.