CASE STUDY: 1951 Pennants Galore

February 01, 2018

CASE STUDY: 1951 Pennants Galore

Recently we were entrusted to design the perfect display for sixteen professional baseball pennants dating back to 1951 for an avid baseball collector. Typically, pennants are displayed in their own case - but with this project, making sixteen pennants work collectively in one 57” x 88” case provided an exciting challenge.

Each pennant had its own set of characteristics that truly made it special and as we worked to create a layout, their individual histories began to unfold. We were able to see where some of the logos had transformed over time into the logos we know today. Each of these pennants represented much more than a logo, however - they each were representative of teams that gave reason for communities to gather together. In the early years of modern baseball, the American League intentionally put teams in National League cities to compete directly against one another. Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, and St. Louis were two-team towns, while New York City had three. This effectively had baseball confined to the Northeast and Midwest, with no teams located west of St. Louis or south of Washington, D.C. Starting in the 1950’s, however, professional baseball saw the move of several Major League franchises to include the Western and Southern United States as well, with some of those showcased in this collection.

One of the pennants stands out from the rest - the All Star game pennant (top right). The 1951 All Star game took place at Briggs Stadium in Detroit, Michigan that year and had several notable players. This pennant features some of those hall-of-famers like Jackie Robinson, Ted Williams, Stan Musial, Joe DiMaggio, Yogi Berra, and more.

Because these pennants had such a rich history, it was important for us to showcase them in a way that allowed each one to shine. We wanted to come up with a design that would highlight the individuality of each pennant without taking away from the others. After thinking about several different layout options, we decided on a vertical stack with two columns. The pennants slightly overlapped one another to offer dimension and yet also allowed them to fit proportionally and aesthetically into the size constraints of the wall where it would be featured. The true transformation comes with the addition of the custom-printed background. We selected a vintage photo of a professional baseball stadium that lined the background and carried seamlessly onto the side panels of the case. By doing this image in a black and white halftone, it added a subtle nod to the time period while allowing the vibrant colors of the pennants to truly stand out. This combination of design elements transformed this collection from a simple display to a one-of-a-kind baseball experience.

When the client received the case he and his wife were blown away. Instead of collecting dust in a closet, this collection is now safely protected and hanging proudly on display for all of their visitors to enjoy.

The challenges faced with this display were overcome thanks to a combination of creative design, great craftsmanship, and attention to detail. From listening to the history, to drafting the renderings, to the production of the completed product, we were so grateful to have helped this collector create something that will preserve those happy memories and keep them protected for generations to come.