Double Happiness

Happiness #1: the 1956 red Royal Quiet De Luxe Typewriter that I bought on ebay (for $66 plus shipping!) just before Valentine's Day has arrived! She's a beauty... just needing some cleaning, oiling, ribbon and general TLC.

Happiness #2: Camilla has sent me a pair of her Converse Red All Star sneakers! Camilla - a million thank yous for this and the creative inspiration you bring to us all.

They look so good together:
( a few more images posted to Flickr  )

Ettore Sottsass


Ettore Sottsass, the famed Italian designer, passed away on New Year's Eve. He designed the iconic Olivetti Valentine typewriter which was released on Valentine's Day, 1969.

“I worked 60 years of my life, and it seems the only thing I did is this fucking red machine,” he said (in a 2006 interview). “And it came out a mistake. It was supposed to be a very inexpensive portable, to sell in the market, like pens. It didn’t have capital letters, it didn’t have a bell [to let you know when you’d hit the end of a line]. I wanted the case to be inexpensive. Then the people at Olivetti said you cannot sell this kind of cheap Chinese thing. So, everything was put back: the capital letters, the bell, even the expensive plastic, which I was thinking would be this horrible, cheap plastic. So, it was a mistake.” – LA WEEKLY

Sottsass has also described the Valentine as "too obvious, a bit like a girl wearing a very short skirt and too much make-up." Nevertheless, the design of this machine – introduced near the end of the typewriter era – will forever be celebrated as one of Sottsass' great contributions.


Typewriter Club Meet tomorrow!


Our little typewriter club is getting together Saturday at 2pm in the Palette Coffeeshop (same floor as UPPERCASE). Everyone is welcome. If you have a machine to show off or donate to the group, please do stop by.

The images above are from an amazing collection of typewriters being auctioned off here

I sold my Olympia yesterday to a lovely girl from the UK who is lugging it home as carry-on luggage! I know it has found a loving and attentive new owner. I enjoyed cleaning up this machine and giving it a new life. Next project: a green Royal Quiet Writer Deluxe!


Good design...


I'm looking forward to reading the new book by Gordon Bruce about Eliot Noyes (published by Phaidon). My particular interest is Noyes' involvement in the industrial design of typewriters. (via Coudal)

Eliot Noyes (1910–77) was a remarkable figure in twentieth-century design. An architect who began his career working in the office of Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer, he went on to become the first Director of the Industrial Design department at MoMA in the 1940s. From the late 1950s until his death in 1977 he was Consulting Director of Design for IBM, Mobil Oil, Westinghouse and Cummins Engine Company, and was responsible for bringing about a change in the way that these corporations, and others that followed, were to think about design and its impact on business. He enlisted pioneering designers, notably Charles Eames, Paul Rand, Ivan Chermayeff and Tom Geismar, to help him bring about innovative architectural, graphic and industrial design. He was personally responsible for the design of some notable twentieth-century classics, such as IBM’s Selectric typewriter