AUSTIN, Texas — Texans with a knack for design, or simply a love of the Lone Star State, are encouraged to submit original art for the chance to have that image on Don’t Mess with Texas litterbags.

The Design A Litterbag contest begins May 12 and designs are due by June 16. The winner will get a Texas-sized prize: The winning design will appear on 200,000 special-edition Don’t Mess with Texas 25th anniversary litterbags.

Don’t Mess with Texas is the litter prevention campaign of the Texas Department of Transportation. The public can order free litterbags at Litterbags are reusable and help keep trash off roadways. Research shows that the Texans most likely to litter are ages 16 to 34.

“This is the chance to show your Texas pride and visually convey that trash has no place on Texas roads,” said Brenda Flores-Dollar, program administrator for TxDOT’s Travel Information Division. “This is the 25th anniversary of Don’t Mess with Texas, so now’s the time to pull out all the creative stops.”

The 200,000 special-edition litterbags will be printed courtesy of A Bag’s Life, a public education campaign uniting organizations around promoting the three R’s — reduce, reuse and recycle.

“A Bag’s Life is in the business of educating and informing Texans how to reduce litter, just like Don’t Mess with Texas and educating about recycling plastic bags,” said Texas Retailers Association President and CEO Ronnie Volkening, who represents more than 2,000 Texas retail locations participating in the Texas A Bag’s Life plastic bag recycling campaign. “The more we know, the better job we can do in reaching our shared goal of keeping Texas beautiful. Our retailers are thrilled to support this design contest and look forward to seeing the winning entry.”

In the past, Don’t Mess with Texas litterbags have featured such designs as a monster truck, a tattoo and a boot. Fashion and home décor designer Todd Oldham, who grew up in Corpus Christi and lived in Dallas, donated his time by designing a 2008 featured Don’t Mess with Texas litterbag.

2011 Design A Litterbag Contest

Specs and Details

• Copy and/or visuals (the design) must be original to the entrant and not previously published.

• Design only one side — the front of the litterbag.

• Full-color is accepted.

• Design must be scalable to 11 by 17 inches.

• Design must incorporate the Don’t Mess with Texas 25th anniversary logo; the trademarked logo is available online and only for use in this contest.

Key Dates

• June 16: Deadline for designs.

• June 20: Top 10 designs unveiled.

• June 20-July 6: Texans can rank designs and comment on their favorites.

•  July 12: Winning design announced and chosen by judges’ vote using the following criteria: Originality and creativity (30 percent), communication of litter reduction message (30 percent) and overall appeal (40 percent). The judges’ panel score (60 percent) will be combined with the public’s input (40 percent) for a final score for each entrant.

• Late July: Litterbags are printed.

Application and Rules

• Entrants must be Texas residents 18 years or older.

• The design should be entered online as a jpeg no larger than 2 megabytes at or mailed. A completed application should accompany the design.

• To view the application and complete rules, or to obtain mailing information, visit