Introduced on Valentine’s Day with a flurry of advertising, the Olivetti Company’s bright-red portable typewriter was an instant sensation of the Pop Art movement. Ettore Sottsass and Perry King designed valentine to be the “anti-machine machine,” meaning that it functioned as a typewriter but also had a humanized quality lacking in most office equipment. Sottsass noted that his seductive red typewriter was for use “in any place except an office … rather to keep amateur poets company on quiet Sundays.” To further differentiate valentine from workaday equipment, Sottsass’s early designs lacked both uppercase type and the bell signaling the end of a typewritten line. Understandably, Olivetti manufactured the typewriter with these necessary features, but the lowercase “v” in the logo above the keyboard recalls the designer’s original intention. 1969
Providence, Rhode Island
Rhode Island School of Design Museum; typewriter
Industrial and Product Design
RISD Museum; King, Perry A.; Nichols, Khipra; and Schapira, Kate, "Valentine Portable Typewriter and Case" (2014). Channel. 36.