In Virginia Beach, there are few things more iconic than King Neptune nor events as beloved as the Neptune Festival series. To say we were excited when we got the opportunity to design tee shirts for their events would be an understatement!


The Neptune team came to Red Orange in search of a fresh, new approach to the tee shirts worn by staff, volunteers and attendees at their events: the 47th Annual Virginia Beach Neptune Festival, 24th Annual Fall Wine Festival and Neptune’s 8k Race. We met with the client to talk about their designs over the years, as well as their goals moving forward to modernize and further elevate their brand.


There were so many directions we could go with these designs, and the exploration was a fun challenge. It also gave us an opportunity to put some cool design technology to work. The artwork for each of the tee shirts was digitally hand-illustrated using an iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.

We presented several options to the client for each event, and we narrowed in closer by refining some of the designs based on feedback to deliver exactly what the client was looking for.


Once we got to the end of our creative journey, we were proud to present our client with three strong designs that not only delighted them but also were big hits at the events!

Red Orange Studio | Neptune Festival

For the Boardwalk Weekend shirts, we wanted to combine all of the things that make Virginia Beach memorable for locals and visitors alike. Like the others, we incorporated friendly, hand-lettered typography and illustrations throughout. This design features beachy elements like a jumping dolphin, striped umbrella, seashells and sunshine. We also wanted to represent each piece of the Neptune Festival that make its attendees want to return each year – the music festival, volleyball tournament and their amazing sandcastle competition. To tie the design back to the overarching Neptune Festival event, a trident and the event logo were added as final touches.

The Neptune Festival 8k Run shirt started with the idea of someone enjoying the Virginia Beach Boardwalk during an early-morning sunrise run. We created a contained design to stand behind a running figure who is the central focus. We customized them with a beard, crown and trident in hand to give the impression that Neptune himself joins in the annual 8k.

Since vendors come from all over the state, the design for the Wine Festival started with an outline of Virginia. Several different types of wine were then hand-lettered within the state’s border. To keep the design fresh and fun we kept the organic, hand-done aspects – lines running off the edges and, overall, a more raw look to the illustration.

Blog NeptuneFest 600x600 sketch Neptune
Blog NeptuneFest 600x600 sketch 8k
Blog NeptuneFest 600x600 sketch Wine

Seeing these designs come to life for event goers to enjoy was incredible. There is something amazing about working with clients to help them realize their vision. If you’d like Red Orange to help you do the same on your next project, contact us today!