Bay Area Designer Brian Singer Turns SF’s Papered Telephone Poles into Art for Target


From the Bay to the Golden Gate to its awe-inspiring scenery, San Francisco is famed for its stunning beauty. But when graphic designer/artist Brian Singer moved to SF in 2000, he fell head-over-heels for the city’s – telephone poles. “I found them beautiful… layers and layers of paper, rust, events past. I wanted to hang them on my wall and couldn’t figure out how, short of cutting down the pole and putting it in my house.” says Singer.

So the former AIGA SF President and founder of design firm Altitude, began experimenting – painstakingly removing thousands of rusted staples and weathered flyers, tearing and sorting, and reassembling into bold, graphic shapes.

Recently, Singer’s street art caught the attention of retail store Target, who commissioned the artist to create a triptych of bullseyes for their Minneapolis-based corporate collection of target-shaped art. Singer documented his ten-week process from removing ancient “lost cat” flyers and “my band is playing” posters from telephone poles to hand-placing thousands of individual pieces into repurposed art. And the result – nothing short of mind-blowing.

“Depending on how deep the paper is and how many staples there are, it can be difficult to get off the poles,” explains Singer. “Let’s just say I’ve had my fair share of blisters from the process.”  

After the removal, Singer cuts and sorts every single piece.

Once sorting is complete, Singer begins hand-laying and gluing the material onto wood panels – one piece at a time.

“It’s a quite laborious process,” says Singer. “But fun to make and look at – little bits of typography, rust, weathering, and so on.” 

Above: Singer in his studio adding the finishing touches to the Target artwork. Each graphic panel measures 28-inches square.

The final result is nothing short of swoon-worthy. You can check out more of Singer’s work on his website, I Am Some Guy. 

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