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2003/13/1 Typewriter and case, 'Valentine', metal / plastic / rubber, designed by Ettore Sottsass and Perry King , made by Ing C Olivetti & C SpA, Barcelona, Spain, 1969. Click to enlarge.

Olivetti 'Valentine' portable typewriter

The Olivetti Valentine portable typewriter was designed by Perry King in collaboration with Ettore Sottsass and was in production in 1969. As a typewriter the Valentine was not an outstanding commercial success, however its radical design was recognised as revolutionary (for a typewriter). The Valentine is revered as a 20th century design icon and has been collected and displayed by design museums internationally. Ettore Sottsass joined the Olivetti product design team in 1958 which at that …


Object No.


Object Statement

Typewriter and case, 'Valentine', metal / plastic / rubber, designed by Ettore Sottsass and Perry King , made by Ing C Olivetti & C SpA, Barcelona, Spain, 1969

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.


'Olivetti' is written across centre top of typewriter.



100 mm


340 mm


340 mm




Perry King designed the 'Valentine' typewriter in partnership with Ettore Sottsass. Conceived by Sottsass as a machine that could help demolish the popular prejudices about office equipment with its Pop styling, the 'Valentine' was promoted in a distinguished series of posters by Milton Glaser, but it was technically mediocre and failed to sell. The typewriter was made by Olivetti, Barcelona, Spain in 1969.


Credit Line

Gift of Mike Dawborn & Cathy Lambert, 2003

Acquisition Date

22 January 2003

Cite this Object


Olivetti 'Valentine' portable typewriter 2021, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 24 October 2021, <>


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