I have always loved the design work created for Olivetti. The colourful midcentury designs by Italian designer Giovanni Pintori, the minimal typographic posters by Swiss designer Walter Ballmer and my personal favourite, the 1959 poster for Olivetti designed by Herbert Bayer. I recently found out Triest Verlag released a new book, Visual identity and branding at Olivetti which contains further work by Xanti Schawinsky, Renato Zveteremich, Ettore Sottsass, Hans von Klier, Egidio Bonfante and Walter Ballmer.
More information from Triest Verlag:
An interdisciplinary research project was carried out by ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne and the University of Ferrara in collaboration with the Association for the Historical Archives of Olivetti in Ivrea. With contributions by Alessandra Acocella, Chiara Barbieri, Renata Bazzani Zveteremich, Paolo Bolpagni, Alessandro Brodini, Alessandro Chili, Graziella Leyla Ciag, Alessandro Colizzi, Galileo Dallolio, Elena Dellapiana, Amparo Fernandez Otero, Ali Filippini, Caterina Cristina Fiorentino, Davide Fornari, Lucia Giorgetti, Josefina Gonz, lez Cubero, Stefania Landi, Lorenzo Mingardi, Elisabetta Mori, Pier Paolo Peruccio, Paolo Rebaudengo, Raimonda Riccini, Dario Scodeller, Azalea Seratoni, Daniela Smalzi, Elena Tinacci, Caterina Toschi, Elisabetta Trincherini, Marcella Turchetti, Davide Turrini, Denise Ulivieri, Carlo Vinti, Stefano Zagnoni.
Olivetti’s world-famous typewriters best embody the company’s industrial legacy and visible identity, which was both innovative and complex, material and immaterial. Olivetti Identities. Spaces and Languages 1933– 1983 presents the results of this research with the aim of analyzing the Olivetti phenomenon as a whole, paying particular attention to the context of corporate evolution and the approaches of designers such as Xanti Schawinsky, Renato Zveteremich, Ettore Sottsass, Hans von Klier, Egidio Bonfante and Walter Ballmer, among others.
The research analyzed the corporate identity journey of Olivetti from the establishment of the Olivetti advertising office in 1933 to the opening of the permanent Olivetti pavilion at the Hanover Fair in 1983, which was intended as the final step in a particularly efficient corporate identity strategy. The volume is organized in four sections dedicated to the design of showrooms and exhibition design at trade fairs and expos, the analysis of languages that have shaped corporate vocabulary as well as visual communication and interaction design, and cultural and promotional activities, respectively.
A final section summarizes the credentials of designers Santiago Miranda and George Sowden, as well as former Olivetti collaborators in sales and training. Two visual essays featuring published and previously unpublished documents from the Olivetti historical archives complete the book.
About the editors
Davide Fornari is associate professor at ECAL / University of Art and Design Lausanne where he leads the Applied Research and Development sector. He has authored, edited and served as art director for a number of publications on design, including Mapping Graphic Design History in Switzerland (2016), Bianca e Blu Monica Bolzoni (2019), Carlo Scarpa: Casa Zentner a Zurigo (2020).
Davide Turrini is associate professor at the Department of Architecture of the University of Ferrara, where he teaches design theory and sustainable design. He has conceived and coordinated research projects on Italian product design and craftmanship. His publications include Giuseppe Terragni. Album 1925 (2018), Creativa produzione. La Toscana e il design italiano 1950–1990 (2015).
Davide Fornari, Davide Turrini (eds.)
Spaces and Languages 1933–1983
Book design: Federico Barbon
400 pages, ca. 230 images
Euro (D) 39–, Euro (A) 40.–, SFr. 39.–
English edition: ISBN 978-3-03863-060-9
Italian edition: ISBN 978-3-03863-061-6