Design Friday. Olivetti Lettera 22 Manual

This is my design Friday post. It’s not new, and some of you might have seen this floating around the web over the last few weeks. What I have chosen is the owners manual for the Olivetti Lettera 22 Typewriter. The Olivetti Lettera 22 instruction manual shows what can happen if a graphic designer doesn’t compromise on quality despite the potential banality of the subject matter. What is wonderful is that the designer was supported by a client that shared their passion and allowed them to create a beautiful piece of graphic design that accompanied a classic product. This is a beautiful example of the late 50’s early 60’s international style that influenced so much graphic design for decades after.

I was looking at this and thinking about the instruction manual that accompanied  the new Olympus EP1 I just purchased. It made me think back to the amazing manual that had come with my OM1 back in the Mid 70’s and how cool it looked compared to the cheap two tone thin paper manual I have today.

What a solid case for design. It seems so simple but in many ways the documentation completes the overall experience of a product. This is what a good designer brings to the table. The full Flicker stream of this manual can be found here.




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