Nearly a decade ago, a young design professional sat in an extension class at the University of California, Berkeley that focused on Stefan Sagmeister, the Austrian artist, typographer, and graphic designer. Sagmeister’s work has graced album covers for bands like The Rolling Stones and Talking Heads, and he has won Grammy Awards in design-focused categories. Wylie Robinson, the design professional who studied Sagmeister early in his career, eventually founded Rumpl. Today, Rumpl presents Sagmeister’s art to the world on a new canvas—the blanket. The product has an interesting backstory that boils down to a research project by Sagmeister aimed at finding universal agreements on beauty.
“I filled out the generic contact form on Sagmeister’s site, thinking it was unlikely that I’d hear back,” says Wylie Robinson, CEO and founder of Rumpl. “I shared with him my background in design and admiration of his work. I introduced him to Rumpl and told him that we’d be honored to work with him on a project and support a cause of his choosing. Sagmeister responded promptly to my message. It was both inspiring and humbling to have one of my favorite designers be so approachable.”
The message morphed into an email thread, the digital dialogue became a conversation and now the conversation is a beautiful collaboration. Rumpl, the category leader in technical outdoor blankets, launches Stefan Sagmeister’s Beautiful Shapes Down Puffy Blanket, almost a decade after Wylie learned about him in the extension course. The artwork that Sagmeister selected for Beautiful Shapes is the result of an intensive research project by Sagmeister and his team where they sought out the truths about beauty.
“We started doing this research to find universal agreements on beauty as a response to the worst thing that ever happened to beauty—it’s repeated by everybody around the world: ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.’ That really killed beauty. If that were true, it would make no sense for a designer or architect to pursue beauty. That really brought us into the research, and it turns out that there are universal agreements on beauty. We basically gave [our Instagram followers] a bunch of shapes and asked them, ‘which of these shapes do you think is most beautiful?’ In every culture, the circle won. And, in every culture around the world, the rectangle came in last. That dictated the design of the blanket,” says Stefan Sagmeister.
The Beautiful Shapes Down Puffy Blanket (MSRP: $259) is made with 600-fill duck down fill, 30 denier ripstop polyester fabric, and a durable water repellent to keep users dry. Rumpl’s Down Puffy Blanket helps blur the line between indoor comfort and outdoor performance, making it the perfect, high-quality versatile product for the comfort of home or an outing to the local park. Stefan Sagmeister’s Beautiful Shapes design is an even more unique conversation starter for people who celebrate design, architecture, and the ways that humans perceive beauty.
“I think it’s a wonderful thing to be able to create something that lives in people’s lives,” says Sagmeister. “We are very big fans of going for picnics. On Saturdays and Sundays, my girlfriend and I take The New York Times and drive somewhere where there’s a good view. We put out a big blanket and have a picnic. It made a lot of sense to design our own picnic blanket for our outings. That was my main motivator with Rumpl.”
All the design fees from this project, which total to $10,000, will go to the High Line Organization in New York City, a non-profit designed to conserve and protect the cherished, beautiful and elevated green beltway that bisects Chelsea and the Meatpacking District.
“It worked out quite well that the fees for this blanket design are going to a place that has brought beauty to my life—the High Line,” says Sagmeister.
The Beautiful Shapes Down Puffy Blanket will be available at www.rumpl.com on April 27, 2021. To learn more about Stefan Sagmeister, check out sagmeister.com, and if you are interested in learning more about New York City’s High Line, please visit www.thehighline.org. Please direct media inquiries to PR Account Manager Maria Brickman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Rumpl: Based in Portland, Oregon, Rumpl makes Blankets for Everywhere. Utilizing material technologies commonly found in activewear and outdoor gear, Rumpl aims to modernize the everyday blanket. Rumpl’s high-quality, versatile blankets keep you comfortable no matter where you are. The materials have been tested and proven in harsh environments, yet specifically selected for comfort and durability. Rumpl believes the blanket you use every day deserves the same attention to detail as a sleeping bag you might use ten times a year. The end result is a premium and versatile blanket that can be used anywhere you go … or when you don’t go anywhere. www.rumpl.com.
About Sagmeister: Stefan Sagmeister is an Austrian graphic designer, storyteller, and typographer based in New York City. In 1993, Sagmeister founded his company, Sagmeister Inc., to create designs for the music industry. He designed over 16 album covers for bands like Talking Heads and The Rolling Stones and has promoted brands, music and entertained a diverse range of clients such as the Guggenheim Museum, HBO, and Time Warner. For his renowned achievements, he won three Grammy Awards and the National Design Award. www.sagmeister.com.
About High Line: The High Line is both a nonprofit organization and a public park on the West Side of Manhattan. Through work with communities on and off the High Line, the organization is devoted to reimagining the role public spaces have in creating connected, healthy neighborhoods and cities. Built on a historic, elevated rail line, the High Line was always intended to be more than a park. Visitors can walk through gardens, view art, experience a performance, savor delicious food, or connect with friends and neighbors all while enjoying a unique perspective of New York City. Nearly 100% of the High Line’s annual budget comes through donations from the public, who helps s operate, maintain, and program the park. www.highline.org.