03/52: Corona

Celebrating a total solar eclipse this August


Each week for a year, I’m going to be designing a shirt and releasing it on my Threadless store. This is the third design of fifty-two.


This week’s shirt is pretty straightforward. On August 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse will move across the United States. It’s the first transcontinental solar eclipse since 1918. My hometown of Columbia, South Carolina is in the path of totality and will experience a total solar eclipse for 2:30 minutes. It’s the first time Columbia has experienced a total solar eclipse since 1970.*

I wanted to design a shirt to commemorate the occasion. I looked at a couple of different approaches, but settled pretty quickly on an abstract visual representation of the sun’s corona. During a total solar eclipse, you can directly observe the corona around the moon’s shadow. As an added bonus, the 21st is also our wedding anniversary, and I felt like the shape of the corona was slightly evocative of a wedding ring.

My sketches and my first draft had more text in and around the corona, but I fell in love with just having the date positioned off to the side.

I originally planned to release this design the week of the eclipse, but I wanted to give people plenty of time to purchase it and have it in time for August 21. It’s available in a range of dark colors, including a really sweet looking black and gray baseball shirt.

You can purchase "Corona" over at my Threadless store.

* If you want to learn more about the solar eclipse, listen to episode 47 of Liftoff, a Relay FM podcast about space.

Bob Wertz writes about design, technology and pop culture at Sketchbook B. Bob is a Columbia, South Carolina-based designer, creative director, college instructor, husband and dad. He’s particularly obsessed with typography, the creative process and the tools we use to create. He's currently in the middle of a project to design a new shirt a week for an entire year. Follow Bob on TwitterInstagram and Micro.Blog.