Bringing Back the Pennant

Have you ever wondered what happened to those good-old fashioned pennants of our past? I remember my walls as a child being covered by colorful pennants from all my favorite sports teams. The simple felt triangles were motivational and symbols of dedication to your home team. Now, The Peoples Pennant project is reviving those pennants, but instead of championing your favorite sports teams, they celebrate everyday life. The Peoples Pennant team consists of Jessica K. Heltzel, Tim Hoover and Eric R. Mortensen. To add a little bit more detail to the project, I had the opportunity to interview them, which went as follows:

Why is the project called The Peoples Pennant? And why pennants?

“The name is sort of summed up in our description and the idea that, “We elevate the pennant from the confines of sports to celebrate the everyday.” We give the pennant back to the people, to rally around whatever it is that makes them happy. Whether that’s dog-eared books, coffee breaks, or hearty breakfasts.”

“We love vintage pennants. Pennants that remind us of previous hometowns, road trip stops, and old dream teams. We love discovering hand-drawn lettering and illustrations that don’t exist anywhere else in the world but on that pennant. We wanted to provide that same sense of discovery, nostalgia, and emotion and apply it with a twist: to pennants that celebrate everyday activities, humble joys and little things that make life worth living.”

Plus there’s something so satisfying about felt, it has a nice weight and the ink on the fibers provides such a nice texture. It’s so great to see the digital illustrations transferred to a tangible, tactile piece of felt.

How did you come up with the idea?

“We have always loved pennants, and we found that there has been a recent resurgence of vintage pennants popping up on Flickr sets, in thrift stores, and in retail environments. We thought, “We love pennants, and we love illustrations and hand-lettering. Let’s team up with designers and illustrators that we love to create modern pennants, with themes that people can rally around.” With any project that we work on we really try to focus on creating opportunities for others, and with The People’s Pennant we created an opportunity for the illustrators to showcase their work and also to make something fun, about something they love.”

“Practically, the three of us have collaborated on a few projects in the past through school or freelance but we wanted to really take this opportunity while we were still in the same place to really hustle to get this idea out there. We’re really passionate about The People’s Pennant and we want to continue to build and grow the brand.”

Who do you have create the pennants?

“We partnered with a small shop who shares our passion for renewing interest in these timeless artifacts. They’ve produced felt products since the turn of the century and we were really interested in partnering with a manufacturer that shares our same values and mission for production of the pennants—people that care about the product and the act of “making” rather than just mass production.”

Sum up the theme, or message, of your company, in one sentence.

“Celebrate the everyday.”

What is it about this project do you like the most?

“We love the chance to collaborate with designers and illustrators to make something playful and fun. We also love the great feedback we’ve gotten from our customers, who are really excited by the idea for The People’s Pennant and the chance to rally around something that they love.”

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