From Mardi Gras to Gasparilla, parade krewes bring their communities to life through snazzy costumes, elaborate parade floats, and fantastic live performances. Sometimes a unique badge of membership. Sometimes a parade throw. Always full of unique flair. Krewe pins are designed with color and personality reflecting the larger-than-life character of their organizations.
Krewe Pin Inspirations
Finding creative inspiration for a pin is rarely difficult for members of a krewe. From old traditions, like Krewe of Rex’s annual monarch to Krewe of Boo’s spooky Halloween spirit, every parade Krewe has its own attention-grabbing personality and aesthetic. The bigger struggle is deciding which part of a krewe’s colorful identity you want to capture in a pin design.
How you and your krewe uses its custom pins determines the tone and purpose. Establishing a pin’s purpose as your first step quickly narrowing your choices. Here are a few examples of how different uses for Krewe pins can inspire different designs:
As krewe membership pins
Decorated with krewe colors and antique plating, custom pins are used as intimate badges of membership among some krewe and their members. The Krewe of Rex, founded in 1872, has commissioned jewelry-grade pins for its members and their families nearly every year since its founding and gifts them in presentation boxes with cards detailing their design.
As parade throws
Custom soft enamel pins designed with a krewe’s unique personality and name add wearable pin flair long after your float has rounded the corner. As parade items, these krewe pins run the gamut from wearable doubloons with blinking lights to simple enamel pins painted with official krewe colors.
As krewe party favors
While the most visible krewe parties are annual events like Mardi Gras or Gasparilla, many krewes run private parties and dance events throughout the year. Some are just for fun or for charitable causes, but they all run on the same carnival energy. Both soft enamel and cloisonne pins make unique party favors for guests reminding everyone which krewe runs the best party in town.
As fundraiser gifts
As big community organizations, many krewes start fundraising drives, not only to finance the millions of multi-colored beads and fanciful parade floats but also to support causes they believe in or to support their local communities.
Expressing Krewe Life
Whether you’re making a custom sign of membership or just another parade throw, you want a design that captures the personality and flavor of your individual krewe. This is a good time to look at existing krewe assets like logos, emblems or art your group is already using as they’ll already have colors, typography, and visuals that resonate with your krewe. But don’t just slap a logo on a pin and call it a day. Krewe pins are meant to be loud and full of color just like their organizations, so look for ways to not just advertise your organization, but also express its character.
One of the first designs we helped design as a company was a krewe pin for the Krewe of Sirens, a Pensacola-based krewe promoting self-confidence among women. Krewe of Siren’s pin design is represented by a crest of a mermaid bearing a trident but the addition of vine and floral background to the pin further represented the feminine empowerment of the organization and created visual interest in a design that otherwise only features a plain background. With sparkling paint and high-polish silver plating, the pin gleams and stands out against almost every background, while emphasizing the organization’s distinctly feminine theme.
Think about what keeps your krewe distinct when looking at a design. From krewe colors and mascots to individual symbols and purposes, every krewe has a unique spark to it. You only need to capture what makes your krewe special.
Just to give you a hand, here are a few thinking points to consider incorporating into a custom krewe pin:
- Your krewe’s purpose: Some krewes are just out to throw the biggest party and to have the most fantastical parade floats during the parade. Some krewes are brought together by existing groups and organizations like firefighters, police officers or even local baking associations. Other krewes are built to help bring attention to community issues or to help fundraise for major social causes. Whatever brought your krewe together, it’s a uniting force that can help a krewe pin become immediately identifiable with other a group or a mission.
- Your krewe theme: Every krewe has a theme or aesthetic, from genres like pirates and swashbucklers to more grounded community organizations or cultural groups. Your krewe theme is the first thing people notice when they see your parade marching down the street and it’ll be the first thing that reminds them of your krewe once you’ve marched past.
- Your Parade: The core activity of most krewes are the big parties and carnival parades like Mardi Gras or Gasparilla, which all have their own customs and traditions ranging from official colors to official foods. Whether your krewe prepares year-round for a single event or hits up festivals throughout the year, creating a custom pin designed with a pin’s colors or emblems helps identify your involvement with that event and makes for a more exclusive design.
Making it Your Own
Don’t have a design in mind? All About Pins is ready to help you make custom krewe pins look flashy and awesome, just in time for the carnival season. Between the costumes and the parade float, your plate is already going to be full but we’re here to make designing krewe pins simple and easy with our company’s four-step design process. We work with all of our clients at every step of the design and you can trust us to make sure your pins are perfect.