Thursday, August 18, 2011

Can I Blog on This?

For many of our youth mention the word typewriter, and they probably would not have any idea of what you are talking about, let alone having actually seen one. In today’s world of technology the word typewriter seems almost obsolete. In its place we have PCs, Macs, notebooks, and tablets. All these can be highly mobile devices so that we can remain connected and even blog no matter where we are.

Before these items became the norm if we wanted to express ourselves while on the move, paper and pen came out and we actually wrote down our ideas.

When it came to the manufacture of typewriters nobody did it better than the Italians and especially Olivetti. Vintage and antique typewriters have become quite the craze over the past few years and Olivetti is right in the thick of it, especially the stylish Valentine! This typewriter made history in 1969 as soon as it came off the assembly line.

Designed by Ettore Sottsass and Perry A. King, this small, lightweight and bright red typewriter quickly developed into a cult object with its own dedicated following. For the fashionably hip this was the ultimate accessory (like today’s ipads). It was a design statement more than an office machine.

Sottsass designed the Valentine to be an "anti-machine machine," for use "anyplace but an office. Advertising put the machine at the beach, airplane cockpits, in the ski fields, anywhere but the office.

Undoubtedly one of the great design classics, the Valentine expresses the mood of its time: goodbye to the bulky cast-iron housings of old typewriters, hello to the new mobility of a light, modern, plastic casing made from ABS.

It was the unique and sleek design combined with clever advertisement of the Valentine that brought Olivetti to new heights. Aimed primarily at the youth market, with psychedelic advertisements this was no ordinary typewriter.

Here’s what its designer Ettore Sottass said about it:

“The Valentine was designed to keep lonely poets company on weekends in the country.”

In comparison here is what the makers of the Blackberry Playbook said recently about their product.

“We remain excited and committed to delivering innovative and powerful 4G tablets to the U.S. market together with our carrier partners,” the company said. “Testing of BlackBerry 4G PlayBook models is already underway and we plan to enter labs for network certifications in the U.S. and other international markets this fall.”

Enough said!
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