Why everyone loves the Valentine

The colourful and portable Olivetti Valentine typewriter fused functionality with 1960s pop art style. Jonathan Glancey explains why it’s a design classic.

Think of the 1960s and its pop art prints, Bridget Riley swirls and psychedelic tunes. Right at the end of that decade, the Olivetti Valentine arrived to bring excitement to an otherwise mundane piece of office equipment.

Available in lime green, white, blue and lipstick red, the plastic typewriter – also portable in its matching carry-case – was a true product of the brightly coloured era. Its manufacturer aimed to bring the unfashionable product, associated with dreary office pools, right up to date.

And although it was ultimately deemed a little clunky and less proficient than some of Olivetti’s other models, the cheery Valentine has become a collectable – and an enduring design icon.

If you would like to comment on this story or anything else you have seen on BBC Culture, head over to our Facebook page or message us on Twitter.