Red Valentine

In 1969, Olivetti launched a fiery red portable typewriter which quickly became so iconic that it was already part of MoMA's permanent collection by 1971.

Originally published in Domus 475/March 1969

Due nuove macchine per scrivere
[Two New Typewriters]

Olivetti Valentine
designer: Ettore Sottsass Jr.
collaborator: Perry A. King

A new portable, red and made of ABS. The case is a bucket into which you put the typewriter, and the handle is attached to the machine and not to the bucket; you thus carry the machine with the bucket attached to it.
Details of the Valentine typewriter, produced by Olivetti and designed by Ettore Sottsass Jr. with Perry A. King.
Details of the Valentine typewriter, produced by Olivetti and designed by Ettore Sottsass Jr. with Perry A. King.
The general idea is that a portable typewriter is no longer a special object, but an everyday tool like a pencil, a biro or something of the sort.
The Valentine typewriter, produced by Olivetti and designed by Ettore Sottsass Jr. with Perry A. King.
The Valentine typewriter, produced by Olivetti and designed by Ettore Sottsass Jr. with Perry A. King.
The design takes this new situation into consideration and attempts to get rid of all the more or less traditional features of the object as status symbol, aiming instead at providing as smooth-operating and normal an instrument as possible.
The general idea is that a portable typewriter is no longer a special object, but an everyday tool like a pencil.
When the outer case is closed, the Valentine is totally covered by a simple plastic shell.
When the outer case is closed, the Valentine is totally covered by a simple plastic shell.
Olivetti Studio 45
designer: Ettore Sottsass Jr.
collaborator: Hans von Klier

A new handy typewriter, "crossbreeding" between a portable and an office model, intended for professional people or offices in which the machine is not subject to heavy and continuous use.
Like the Valentine, it is made of ABS and has a case also in ABS.
The Olivetti Studio 45, designed by Ettore Sottsass Jr. with Hans von Klier.
The Olivetti Studio 45, designed by Ettore Sottsass Jr. with Hans von Klier.
The design is intended to provide a machine as compact and solid as a stone, so that its form can be seen at a glance, it can be picked up and moved easily, and will fit among the other objects in any environment. It is produced in bluish-green which is a traditional colour for office equipment. The case is in the same green as the machine and its interior is yellowish-green, so that when you open it the typewriter seems to be fitted inside as snugly as the stone in an apricot.

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