The Valentine is made of orange-red injection-molded ABS, in keeping with the 1960s-era craving for brightly colored plastics. The machine is light, easy to carry, and can be used anywhere, since its rigid case also serves as a work surface.

Sottsass stated that it “was invented for use anyplace except in an office, so as not to remind anyone of monotonous working hours, but rather to keep amateur poets company on quiet Sundays in the country or to provide a highly colored object on a table in a studio apartment.” His subversion of the idea of a typewriter as a practical instrument has profoundly influenced designers of today, such as Philippe Starck, for whom usefulness is only part of the design equation.

Artwork image is not available online.

Artwork Info

Artwork title
Valentine Portable Typewriter
Artist names
Ettore Sottsass Jr.Perry KingIng. C. Olivetti & C.
Date created
design object
metal, plastic, and paint
steel, aluminum, rubber, and red paint
4 5/8 in. × 13 1/2 in. × 13 7/8 in. (11.75 cm × 34.29 cm × 35.24 cm)
Date acquired
Collection SFMOMA
Gift of Dung Ngo
Permanent URL
Artwork status
Not on view at this time.

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