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.

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