Skip to main menu Skip to main content Skip to footer content

Category: Online Archive

New in the Online Archive: Giovanni Pintori for Olivetti

In the 1950s, Pintori revisualized the typewriter, transforming it from esoteric machine to a charming companion of modern office life.

Detail of Olivetti 82 Diaspron pamphlet, 1960s.

See all this work at our hi-fi web resolution in the Online Archive.

The lifeless, rectangular slabs of metal we type on these days were preceded by tools with personality. Sculptural, colorful, and often weighty, typewriters were transformative machines that shaped modern industry and communication in the 20th century. The Italian brand Olivetti, founded in 1908, was among the many key players in the market and was unique in the way they saw approachable design as core to their identity. Part of Olivetti’s success is owed to Giovanni Pintori, who was the company’s art director from 1950 to 1967. Pintori’s color palettes, shapely abstraction, and smart use of the grid conveyed both the mechanic power of an Olivetti device and the joyful ease one should feel when using it.

Read More

Coming Soon to the Online Archive: Tables

For every Letterform Archive tour we set a table — a visual feast of objects that respond to the interests of each guest. Soon, you can get a taste of this experience from anywhere.

Photo of Letterform Archive reading room.
This table is set for “1960s–70s Independent Publishing”, a section of last year’s California College of the Arts MFA course on the history of typography.
Read More

Designing the Online Archive

We’re building a virtual discovery machine for letter lovers. Meet the designers who put you in the driver’s seat.

Designers and Archive staff discuss features, prototypes, and user flows during the development of the Online Archive.

The Online Archive beta is running and members are taking it for a test drive. Meanwhile, we’re taking a peek under the hood and introducing you to the people who built it.

Read More

The Online Archive: Describing Design

Established library vocabularies aren’t right for our unique collection of type, lettering, and graphic design. So we’re creating a new one.

Letterform Archive’s catalog search function
A powerful search function surfaces our design-specific vocabulary and supports multiple filter terms.
Read More

Join the Letterform Archive Mailing List

Learn more about our collection, including additions to the Online Archive, and get news of upcoming events, workshops, and publications.

Join the list