Creating an Identity System for a Stellar Event

Photo by James Sprankle for Atlas Obscura

In August of 2017, a total solar eclipse carved a channel of darkness through a large swath of the United States. Atlas Obscura seized the opportunity to celebrate this incredible phenomena by creating a weekend-long celebration of celestial wonder in the desert of eastern Oregon. I was tasked with creating a comprehensive visual identity that could set the tone for Atlas Obscura’s most ambitious event to date.

MicrositeEvent microsite

After developing a visual identity system for the event, I worked with Atlas Obscura’s Director of Events and the in-house Product team to create a comprehensive microsite which would act as a ticketing portal as well as a guest’s primary source for festival updates and information leading up to the event. Eager travelers revisited the site often for updates to the lineup and event schedule, travel details, and to find answers to frequently asked questions.

As the event approached, ticket holders received a detailed information packet containing information they would need to prepare for journey to and time at the festival. Cellular reception was likely to be spotty as travelers reached the event site and as such, the packet was a valuable resource to ensure a seamless arrival experience.

Event brochure

Upon arrival to the festival grounds in the rural town of Durkee, Oregon, guests received a keepsake brochure I had designed, detailing the schedule for the event as well as a map of the event grounds.

I also designed and oversaw the manufacture of fully custom solar viewing glasses distributed inside the arrival packet. The distinct form of the glasses—based on a set of vintage viewers found at a thrift store—elevated these solar viewers far beyond their mass-produced counterparts more commonly available.

Custom-manufactured solar viewing glasses

Photos by Kello O and James Sprankle for Atlas Obscura