Between Folds / Bananas

Bananas – The Literary Newspaper (N.1-9). Published and edited by E. Tennant, designed by J. Rothenstein; Notting Hill Gate 1975 – 1977.
163 x 92 cm
2012

As words are the beading together of ideas, thought and imagination, print is the frame of communication. Suggestive and tantalising of where each word will take the reader, type-face, paper, texture and design have the power to shape how a story is told. The text of the 1970s literary publication Bananas intended to push boundaries with wit and innovation and its presentation was apt for the message. Printed as a tabloid, rather than a magazine, Julian Rothenstein’s design embodies the spirit of the publication, building springboards for words. Each trope – emboldened text, angled type-setting, the inky lines of illustration – winks from the folds, embodying its pointed showmanship among a sea of text. The angle of an ‘A’, the very first letter, triumphant in a Constructivist abstraction, imposes itself across the composition, inspired by the angles of the Russian movement. A symbol of the strength of design and meaning, the work pays homage to the ideals of Emma Tennant’s Bananas.