I’m not a personal fan of Mardi Gras, but I enjoy how excited people get about it along the Gulf Coast. Most years, I don’t even know when it is. I recently made the observation that I only seem to know the date when it’s part of my job. In radio and television, I always knew. In retail, I only knew when I looked up on a Monday and said, “Who let in all these people, and why are they all buying shiny shoes?!?” When I taught in Mobile, AL, I knew (because we had that day off). Then I lost track for a while.
This year, it became relevant again. We had several Mardi Gras events going on at work, so I had to kick the designing into gear. The two main campaigns were for an outreach feast for the homeless, sponsored by the parish’s youth group, and a beer cart at the local Mardi Gras parades, located in the church courtyard.
Designing flyers for an event that has to somehow maintain some dignity while also conveying the wild nature of the phenomenon was…fun. So was trying to convince several people there is, in fact, a limit to the number of words you can put on a flyer and still have it be effective. The final versions are far too wordy for me, but they are at least less wordy than they started. I always remind myself in these instances to pick my battles, and if it keeps the client happy to keep a wee bit too much copy, that’s fine sometimes.
Left to my own devices, the first one would have had “It’s Mardi Gras, y’all!” Then I would have included the street sign, the date, the CCP logo, “laissez les bon temps roulez,” and the website address. That’s it. It’s even safe to say I may have scrapped “laissez les bon temps roulez” after a few more edits. For the second one, I’d have given the event itself a much shorter and catchier title (don’t ask me what; I would have had to workshop it a bit), and I’d have limited the description to “donations needed,” the date, and “find out more at <website>.” Of course, I’d have included the logos, too. No need for the address since this was for parishioners.
Either way, though, I thought both of these turned out well and appropriately festive for their occasions. I guess Mardi Gras behind the scenes isn’t so bad.
I’m including the .pdf versions here: