Vintage Mardi Gras Design Inspiration

March 7, 2011

Get your beads because today is Mardi Gras! Why do people also call Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday? Because Mardi Gras falls on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, which signals the beginning of Lent. During Lent, people tend to give up eating fatty foods. So the day before, people tend to eat a lot of those bad foods and indulge before giving those luxuries up. I love vintage postcards and posters so in honor of Fat Tuesday in the Big Easy I've rounded up some vintage Mardi Gras souvenirs. Many of these images are taken from Wikimedia commons and could probably be re-used for a special postcard or invitation printing project. Vintage Mardi Gras poster for a celebration in Mobile Alabama in the year 1900. Image via

This illustrated 1982 poster was featured on by seller Lunchboxlady.

This postcard shows a group of revelers on Canal Street. If anyone knows what this vintage color technique is called, please leave the information in the comments. This odd coloring is found in many of the samples to follow. Image via

Here's a similar-looking postcard that seems to be from around the same time period as the postcard above. The colors on this one are much richer. Wonder what that seal means in the top left corner? Image via

This illustrated card shows the procession from an iconic wrought-iron balcony. What a beautiful perspective to frame the postcard with! Image via

Send in the clowns! According to the sign in the background NOLA is the "Winter Capital of America." Image via

This poster looks like it's more modern. I love the close-up views of the floats and the apparent crush of the crowds. Image via

This illustrated postcard is much more whimsical than the others, which just depict street scenes. Image via

Another more modern postcard showing the Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans. I like all the store signs in the background! Image via bananastrudel's shop on There's that blue and yellow crest again. The source for this card says its from 1911. If any of our readers might now more about these vintage postcards, such as what the crest is for and what kind of color techniques are used, please leave your thoughts in the comments. Image via

Here's a view of Canal Street. This particular example looks like it may also be from the early 1900s. I love that the artists captured the sunset in the background. Do you think you could recreate this vintage color and light somehow in Photoshop? Image via

Featured Image credit: Caitlinator

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:22 am #

Thanks for putting this collection of ephemera together. I can't read the writing on the "blue and yellow crest", but it looks much like the Louisiana State Seal, which depicts a pelican and if often rendered in blue and gold.


Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:22 am #

[...] all the reason I need to swoon over these Mardi Gras images from the days of yore!  The blog over at PS Print assembled a beautiful collection of vintage images, like this 1900 poster from Mobile, Alabama. [...]

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:22 am #

Loved this website! I have some old post cards NOT of New Orleans or Mardi Gras but would like to find a good forever home for them in Colo Any Ideas for me?

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:22 am #

I'm sure there are some historical societies or museums that would be glad to display your postcards in a safe and secure environment. Good luck!

Anonymous's picture
January 07, 2016 03:22 am #

[…] blog over at PS Print assembled a beautiful collection of vintage images, like this 1900 poster from Mobile, […]

Leave a Reply

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

What is the PsPrint Blog??

The PsPrint Blog is a resource for graphic designers, freelancers, small business owners and fans of print marketing. You'll find helpful techniques on printing everything there is to print, including business cards, postcards, brochures, stickers, invitations, greeting cards, door hangers, magnets and more. The PsPrint Blog shares creative ways to improve your design and layout skills, and useful tips for marketing your business in any medium. We also like to have a little fun, sharing design inspiration and spotlighting some our favorite customers' printed pieces in our "Hot Off the Press" series.