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LA’s Old Billboards Get A Second Life as Sick Surfboard Bags

A new campaign by RAREFORM and Lamar Advertising called Art Lives taps iconic graphic design Milton Glaser for a series of upcycled goods.

Image courtesy of Chris Burkard

Do you ever wonder “where do all the lonely, no longer relevant, billboards go?” Well, rather than the dumpster, several are now being repurposed into surfboard bags, hand bags, and other accessories—and it’s all for a great cause. Recently, RAREFORM, a Santa Monica-based company that repurposes billboards into bags and accessories, partnered with Lamar Advertising Company, the nation’s largest billboard advertising company, to launch #ArtLives – an Artist Series. The project is a fun and quirky sustainability campaign meant to give commercial art works a second life as your new favorite accessory.

Image courtesy of RAREFORM

The collaboration is also HUGE news in the design nerd community: for the first installment of Art Lives, RAREFORM and Lamar recruited world-renowned graphic artist Milton Glaser (of the iconic “I heart NY” logo, and “Mad Men” ads). To fete the project, Lamar installed Glaser’s “It’s Not Warming, It’s Dying” campaign on its billboard space located at Crenshaw Blvd and W. 59th Pl. in Los Angeles, and will leave it on display throughout October. After the work comes down it will be repurposed into approximately 300 limited edition backpacks and accessories.

Image courtesy of RAREFORM

“We’re sharing artwork from the ‘godfather of graphic art’ and transforming billboards in a way that people may not have thought possible,” says RAREFORM Founder Alec Avedissian. “Art Lives promotes RAREFORM and Lamar’s shared commitment to art and the environment, and we hope that it inspires people to do more.”

Image courtesy of Jeremiah Klein

As part of the Art Lives partnership between Lamar and RAREFORM, the sign giant will be donating approximately 10,000 pounds of billboards each month. It’s anticipated that over 500,000 people will see the billboard during the course of the campaign. At the end of November, RAREFORM will host a gallery showing in Los Angeles featuring videos, photos and products from the Art Lives project--as well as some of Glaser’s many famous works.

Image courtesy of Jeremiah Klein

Image courtesy of Stone Crandell

To purchase your own upcycled bag and learn more about Art Lives visit


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