3 Inspiring Mardi Gras Colors For Graphic Design Projects

Check out the top 3 inspiring Mardi Gras & Carnival colors palettes for graphic design projects, tips to use, and brand festivity examples

By Claudio Pires
Updated on March 6, 2023
3 Inspiring Mardi Gras Colors For Graphic Design Projects

Initially, Mardi Gras has its roots in medieval Europe — it used to be a religious event, and nowadays, it’s a festivity that celebrates spring and fertility. Check out the top 3 inspiring Mardi Gras & Carnival colors for graphic design projects, tips to use, and examples.

It has gradually become a staple of New Orleans, and people celebrate Mardi Gras with exuberant parades, parties, colorful clothing, and loud music. Its significance is one of joy, excess, and abundance. 

Mardi Gras gradually moved on from its Christian background and became a cultural event in New Orleans. People of all backgrounds enjoy it. 

However, it’s important to mention that Mardi Gras has also become a recognizable cultural event outside Louisiana—its influence extended into the whole of the United States, Canada, Australia, and beyond. 

Graphic designers often use Mardi Gras color palettes to imbue brands with a sense of festivity, empowerment, and unity. 

The Importance of Colors in Mardi Gras Celebrations

Mardi Gras colors are essential when it comes to the festival’s symbolism. Traditionally, these colors have been purple, green, and gold—they have a profound cultural and historical significance. They are used throughout the celebration, from parade floats to costumes, food, and beverages. 

The Importance of Colors in Mardi Gras Celebrations

Let’s explore the meaning of these colors, shall we?

  • Purple is typically associated with royalty—this connotation has existed since the Middle Ages. This color is culturally associated with pride, justice, nobility, and power. There were times in Medieval France when people outside the royal families were forbidden to wear purple clothing. 

Exploring this color in 2023 is especially relevant because magenta has been named the Pantone Color Of The Year, which provides lots of space for experimenting with purplish-red shades. 

  • Green is the color of nature, faith, growth, and fertility. All of the above meanings are relevant to the season when Mardi Gras is celebrated—right before spring hits and nature awakens from its winter hibernation. 
  • Gold represents power, fortune, and abundance. It’s common to see this color used in art and design to accentuate an artwork’s or product’s exclusivity, scarcity, and prestige.

How to Incorporate Mardi Gras Colors Into Graphic Design

It’s safe to say that Mardi Gras colors are vibrant, especially when used together. 

Graphic designers have a lot of space for experimenting with them, and incorporating them into designs can add a festive and joyful touch to a brand’s identity

Below, we’ve put together some actionable suggestions to help you effectively use this palette in your work:

Make necessary adjustments

It’s important to mention that simply blending in Mardi Gras color in a brand’s campaigns won’t necessarily grant you a balanced design. 

Take your time playing around with the colors by adjusting them to fit the business’s primary palette. Tweak parameters like contrast and depth to blend them harmoniously. You can use a free photo editor to make it easier to adjust and incorporate your brand’s color palettes into your social media accounts.

Play around with typography.

Typically, we associate carnivals with a sense of excess and flamboyance—this should also be present in your choice of typography.

Consider exploring bold, playful, ornate fonts that resonate with the Mardi Gras theme. However, pay close attention to legibility—these typefaces can be less readable than “safer,” more conventional options.  Check out the top 3 inspiring Mardi Gras & Carnival colors for graphic design projects, tips to use, and examples.

Incorporate carnivalesque symbolism

Mardi Gras-themed patterns, such as stripes, checks, or harlequin prints, can add a playful and festive touch to your design.

Go beyond gold, purple, and green.

You should feel free in your choice of colors when crafting carnival-themed designs. Consider exploring colors like pink, blue, and red to combine with traditional gold, purple, and green. 

Be playful but consistent.

Experimenting with carnival colors in design can be fun. But it’s easy to get out away, especially when deviating from a brand’s primary color palette. Make sure to tread carefully regarding the shades you use, and maintain a consistent choice of fonts, icons, symbols. Patterns to ensure your overall design is cohesive and coherent.

Okay, now that we’ve explored some actionable recommendations on incorporating Mardi Gras colors. In your design, let’s look at some businesses that have successfully done it in recent years. Check out the top 3 inspiring Mardi Gras & Carnival colors for graphic design projects, tips to use, and examples.


Popeyes is an American fast-food chain present in Louisiana. Naturally, coming from Louisiana, Popeyes invests much time and effort into celebrating Mardi Gras with its customers. 

During the carnival, the fast-food chain decorates its restaurants and online presence. With traditional symbols, like harlequins, beads, and other attributes. Even their branding colors include shades of purple, gold, and green. 

American Express

In 2021, American Express launched a social and out-of-home campaign called “Express Yourself” to underline the value of self-expression. In the LGBT community and empower people to celebrate their identities. They’ve used traditional Mardi Gras colors elegantly while adding some of the secondary colors mentioned above—blue, pink, and red. 

The Bottom Line

In conclusion, Mardi Gras colors offer a lot of space for experimenting for graphic designers. When used effectively, these colors can create lively, vibrant, and joyful designs and capture the essence of this iconic holiday. 

By incorporating traditional Mardi Gras symbols, balancing the use of color, and experimenting with different shades and hues, designers can create designs that truly stand out and capture the carnivalesque spirit of this event.

Claudio Pires

Claudio Pires is the co-founder of Visualmodo, a renowned company in web development and design. With over 15 years of experience, Claudio has honed his skills in content creation, web development support, and senior web designer. A trilingual expert fluent in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, he brings a global perspective to his work. Beyond his professional endeavors, Claudio is an active YouTuber, sharing his insights and expertise with a broader audience. Based in Brazil, Claudio continues to push the boundaries of web design and digital content, making him a pivotal figure in the industry.