The assignment was to create a stamp to anticipate the 2017 total solar eclipse that followed a path across the continental U.S.—a rare event that has not happened in this country since 1918.
The goal was to create a stamp to celebrate this momentous event with cross appeal from school-aged children to NASA scientists. For this first US stamp of its kind, the designer combined existing photographs of an eclipse and the Moon with a printing process using a temperature sensitive ink. Placing a finger over the stamp causes the ink to change from black to clear to reveal an image of the Moon--the object causing the eclipse. The image reverts to black once it cools. The reverse side of the pane shows the path of the eclipse.
The stamp was released two months before the event and helped spread the news about America's rare eclipse. For those not in the path of totality the stamp was an opportunity to experience their own personal solar eclipse. The issuance was covered by the traditional press as well as philately and astronomy publications, and it pleased Americans of all ages. Some post offices sold out of the stamp in hours. Of the 60 million stamps produced more than 45 million have sold.