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Object Timeline

1976

  • Work on this object began.

1979

  • We acquired this object.

2013

2015

2020

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Poster, Olivetti, 1976

This is a Poster. It was designed by Milton Glaser. It is dated 1976 and we acquired it in 1979. Its medium is lithograph on paper. It is a part of the Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design department.

Graphic design legend Milton Glaser has undoubted prolificacy in the U.S. — he received the National Medal of Arts from President Obama in 2009 for his far-ranging achievements — but he has also long been active throughout Europe and Japan. This whimsical poster was completed for the Italian office machinery manufacturer Olivetti in 1976, the same year the designer produced his soon-to-be-famed I Love New York logo. Historical art references are absorbed into the poster featuring the world’s first portable single element electric typewriter: Olivetti’s Lexikon 83 DL. Distinguished by a rapidly rotating ball imprinted with letters and symbols, Glaser was compelled to animate this defining component by adorning colorful balls with Renaissance-inspired wings. The advertisement’s design provides a visual unity to the product, further emphasizing its lightness and portability. A central and recurring interest to Glaser is this exploration between the real and unreal. Here, he brings a hand-drawn quality that blurs fine art with commercial graphic arts to strengthen Olivetti’s reputation for original and sophisticated products internationally.

This object was donated by Milton Glaser. It is credited Gift of Milton Glaser.

Our curators have highlighted 3 objects that are related to this one.

Its dimensions are

67.8 x 47.9 cm (26 11/16 x 18 7/8 in.)

It is inscribed

Imprinted in brown and cream, lower right: [logo of Milton Glaser] 1976 / MILTON GLASER / Printed in Italy cod. 3990930 W

Cite this object as

Poster, Olivetti, 1976; Designed by Milton Glaser (American, b. 1929); lithograph on paper; 67.8 x 47.9 cm (26 11/16 x 18 7/8 in.); Gift of Milton Glaser; 1979-42-5

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18498105/ |title=Poster, Olivetti, 1976 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=27 September 2020 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>