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  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Barcelona (made)

  • Date:

    1969 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Sottsass, Ettore Jr, born 1917 - died 2007 (designer)
    King, Perry, born 1938 (designer)
    Olivetti & Co. S.p.a. (manufacturer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Metal and ABS plastic

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

The Valentine, created for the Italian brand Olivetti, was designed in collaboration with the British designer, Perry King and entered production in 1969. It was not a commercial success. The Valentine was technically mediocre, expensive and failed to sell to a mass audience, yet still became a design classic. Valentines can be found in the permanent collections of London's Design Museum and New York's, Museum of Modern Art as well as the V&A. The product's critical success was unhindered by its functional limitations because its design focused on its emotional connection to users as it did on its practical ease of use.

Physical description

Typewriter: the typewriter has a red plastic casing and a standard QWERTY keyboard with keys made of black plastic with white lettering. Front strike metal arms and typeface with fabric typing ribbon with both red and black ink. Orange plastic ribbon spool holders, black rubber roller and silver metal return arm and paper guide. Four black rubber feet on bottom, red plastic swing handle at back of typewriter. Raised lettering in plastic along front: 'valentine' and along back right edge: 'olivetti'. Raised lettering at back of typewriter: 'made in Barcelona, Spain'.

Case: the casing is made of red slightly textured plastic. It is rectangular in shape with rounded edges and an opening at one end. The typewriter slips into the case and locks into place by way of two black rubber tabs on either side of the opening.

Place of Origin

Barcelona (made)


1969 (designed)


Sottsass, Ettore Jr, born 1917 - died 2007 (designer)
King, Perry, born 1938 (designer)
Olivetti & Co. S.p.a. (manufacturer)

Materials and Techniques

Metal and ABS plastic

Marks and inscriptions

In raised, lower case lettering across the front above the keyboard.

olivetti alongside the olivetti logo.
In raised, lowercase lettering in the right hand corner of the back plate.

made in Barcelona Spain
Raised leterring on the back of the typewriter.


Height: 117 mm, Width: 343 mm, Length: 352 mm

Descriptive line

Olivetti Valentine Typewriter, designed by Ettor Sottsass and Perry King for Olivetti, Milan, made in Spain, ca.1969.


Metal; Plastic


Stamping; Reaction injection moulding


Metalwork; Product design; Interiors; Household objects; Shekou; Values of Design; Design Society


Metalwork Collection

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