70th Washington Mardi Gras Luncheon

Client

SLEC

Date

2018

Work Type

Identity
Event Materials

One Love for Innovation, and One Love for a Tradition

In 1944, Louisianians living in our nation’s capitol longed for the cherished Mardi Gras celebrations they remembered from back home. That year, they would rally together to bring Mardi Gras to Washington, DC and thus begin a new, beloved tradition that carries on to this day.

In partnership with the South Louisiana Economic Council, we were given the honor of branding the 70th Washington Mardi Gras Friday Festival, an economic development luncheon featuring Louisiana’s most prominent politicians, economic councils and chambers, business leaders, and more. The theme of the year was “One Love for Innovation”, an homage to the year’s King of the Krewe while also a focus on business and industry growth in Louisiana.

The Work

Previous years’ collateral for the event had been designed by different creative teams, so we knew the pressure put on us to exceed expectations. Both personally and for the good of the 70th event. Thankfully for us, Mardi Gras revelry comes pretty natural and we had already done intensive research into the history, tradition, and decor of the Carnival Season for other projects. We had always been fascinated by the charm and creativity of Mardi Gras ephemera from the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and decided to bring some of that whimsy into this year’s theme dressed in gold.

We first began with the idea of creating a doubloon unique to the 70th event that would be used as a motif to brand all collateral. The doubloon prominently displays the ubiquitous fleur de lis, but designed specifically heart-shaped to recall the theme’s “One Love” homage.

The Work

Next, we focused on the invitations which would double as the entry badge for guests. Inspired by old Mardi Gras Ball invitations, we chose to step away from the usual lanyards and rectangular badges and instead opted for traditional Mardi Gras beads and medallions. These “medallions”, shaped and cut into the state of Louisiana, would become our primary graphic of the event and feature hand-drawn lettering and illustrations steeped in Louisiana themes. The decisions and style of these two elements would go on to inform the remainder of the collateral, bringing old and new together for a successful 70th event.