Collegiate Pennant Buying Guide

A pennant is perhaps the most iconic of ALL promotional items for colleges. Prospective and current students, alumni and staff will proudly display a pennant to show their loyalty, endorsement, and plain old LOVE for a school.

Common Uses

In addition to being popular, pennants are versatile, often being used to target prospective students, campus visitors, and high school counselors. Schools handout pennants to prospective students at campus tours or open house events. Some colleges include mini-pennants in an admitted student mailing.  High school counselors frequently display college pennants in their office or in a classroom. We pinned a few displays of pennants at schools in teacher classrooms on our “Products in Use” Pinterest Board.  When you see all types of pennants gathered together, it’s obvious that a lot of options and levels of quality are available to reflect your brand and budget.

Pennant Buying Guide

To make it easy to find the best pennant option, we have created several key areas to consider: material options, distribution, imprint options, sizes, and average turnaround time.

Felt Material Options

Depending on the main distribution method (hand deliver vs. mailing), select from two material types: Polyester felt or wool felt.

  1. Polyester Felt –  most basic, lowest cost pennant type, may CREASE when folded
  2. Wool Felt – higher end, best quality pennant type, will NOT crease when folded

The most affordable polyester felt option is the Felt Strip Pennant, as pictured below. Two colors can be imprinted on the solid background.  The fabric is the thinnest option, so it will crease if folded or rolled up for mailing.  Read on for more mail-friendly, higher quality pennant options.

Felt Strip Pennant

The Most Affordable option – Felt Strip Pennant


How will Pennants be Distributed?

It’s best to consider how the pennant will be delivered to its target audience to help narrow down material choices. Will the pennant primarily be handed out at events? Will the pennant be folded or rolled-up and mailed? While this isn’t always the first consideration that comes to mind with other promotional items, distribution is very important for pennants to make sure the correct material is ordered.

Lower-cost, polyester felt pennants can easily crease when folded and mailed, leading to unattractive results. If mailing is your primary distribution method, we recommend investing in a higher quality polyester or wool felt blend that will not crease.  Based on the desired design, all of the pennant options listed below are suitable for crease-free mailing.

Full Color Printing – Premium Felt Pennant

One step above the Felt Strip Pennant, is the Premium Felt Pennant (pictured below) with a full color design, making it truly standout from other options with just one or two color imprints. The full color, dye sublimated digital imprinting delivers excellent image and color quality on a higher quality 100% polyester felt material that can be rolled and folded without creasing.

mid range option - premium felt pennant

One Step Up – Premium Felt Pennant

Thickest Material – Wool Felt Pennant

As another step above the premium pennant, the wool felt pennant shown below is made of the thickest material.  One color direct printing is available.

The thickest material - wool felt direct print pennant

The thickest material – wool felt direct print pennant

As an alternative to direct printing, full embroidery is also an option on a wool felt pennant, giving the pennant a premium, classic look shown here in a mini, 6″x15″ size.

Best quality, embroidered wool felt pennant

The thickest, crease-free wool felt embroidered pennant

Popular Sizes

The most popular sizes for pennants are 8×18 inches and 9×24 inches.

Additional sizes available include: 4×10 inches, 5×12 inches, 12×30 inches, or the largest size 17×40 inches.

Average Turnaround Time

Once artwork is finalized, pennants can be produced in as few as 5 business days, depending on printing and material types. Allow for more lead time for mid-range to best pennant options as noted below:

  • 5 – 10 days for more affordable, felt strip pennants
  • 20 – 30 days for thicker wool-felt options
  • Up to 90 days for embroidery on pennants

Final Details

If mailing is going to be the primary distribution method, make sure an appropriate envelope or mailing tube is available.  This 2×9 inch mailing tube will fit the most popular sizes and would work well with any roll-able, non-creasing pennant.

Mailing Tube for Pennants

2×9 inch Mailing Tube for Pennants

It’s easy to find the ideal pennant to help promote your college after considering the material type, distribution method, printing method, size options, and production time frame. As mentioned in the introduction, a pennant represents and reflects your school’s brand, so we recommend choosing an option that fits your desired level of quality and budget.

Check out our pennant listing for a complete listing of all items. Let us know if you have any additional questions about pennant options. We are happy to be a resource for you!