49/52: Orion’s Belt

Ancient stories in the sky


Each week for a year, I’m designing a shirt and releasing it on my Threadless store. This is the design for week 49.


At certain times of the year, when I walk out my front door, the constellation Orion is directly in front of me. Orion’s Belt is easy to spot — three bright stars aligned in a row. I learned all these constellations in Cub Scouts in elementary school, and I had a star field guide at some point. I’ve forgotten most of them, but I remember Orion. I tend to look for it whenever I’m somewhere I can see the stars clearly. Now, my kids and my wife look for it, too. My son, Ryan, is still convinced it’s called “Ryan’s Belt.”

I’ve been thinking about constellations lately. How ancient people found shapes in the night sky to tell their stories… and how we don’t really do that anymore. Our ancestors shared their ideas widely as they traveled and traded. Other cultures took and shaped the stories to fit their traditions. And now, we know stories that pre-date written history. It’s impressive that their narrative is alive today.

What constellations could we find today in the night sky to pass onto our future generations? What grand stories do we even want to pass along?

This week’s shirt is Orion’s Belt and you can purchase it on my Threadless store.


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 nearing the end of a project to design a new shirt a week for an entire year. Follow Bob on TwitterInstagram and Micro.Blog.