Olivetti Advertising, Early 1970s.

by Sandi Vincent

Poster advertising Olivetti’s participation in office equipment exhibit (Switzerland)
Designer: Walter Ballmer & Titti Campagnoli
Graphis Posters 1973

Advertisement from inside flap of Graphis Annual 73/74
Designer: Walter Ballmer?

Silkscreen poster for a portable typewriter (Italy)
Designer Robert Pieraccini
Graphis Posters 1973

Ad for Olivetti blue-green portable typewriter, featuring Twiggy
Photographer: Justin de Villeneuve, Art director: Henry Wolf
From an article about Henry Wolf in Graphis 149, 1970

Poster for the small Olivetti Valentine typewriter (Germany)
Designer: Milton Glaser
Graphis Annual 70/71

Advertisement from inside flap of Graphis Annual 70/71
Designer: Walter Ballmer

Poster for the Olivetti Valentine typewriter
Designer: Adrianus Van Der Elst
Graphis Annual 71/72

[ All images © ]
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[A] preoccupation with design developed into a comprehensive corporate philosophy, which embraced everything from the shape of a space bar to the color scheme for an advertising poster.

–Jonathan Martin, International Directory of Company Histories
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Italian company Olivetti S.p.A. was founded as a typewriter manufacturer by Camillo Olivetti. The enterprise expanded over the last century to produce calculators, computers, printers and other business machines. The Lettera and Valentine typewriters are now treasured vintage pieces to collectors worldwide.

Happily, Olivetti’s innovative aesthetic vision went beyond their product design, reaching into graphic and architectural design. The list of artists and designers affiliated with Olivetti in the 20th century is ridiculously impressive: Giovanni Pintori, Ettore SottsassMario BelliniWalter Ballmer, to name a scant few.

I’m particularly charmed by “free to be you and me” look of the early 1970s Olivetti print pieces. Providing an enchanting visual narrative, climb on board to this design time machine, to an era all about expanding boundaries.

See more >> Olivetti Advertisements flickr set
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Sandi Vincent grew up in the bay area of California surrounded by mid-century modern architecture and other influences responsible for her affinity for the period and its pop style, including her early exposure to The Monkees, The Avengers and Gerald McBoing-Boing. Sandi now resides in Portland. In her day job at a community foundation, she sports the web/social media/print materials coordinator title.

Follow Sandi on Twitter > @SandiV

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