Saturday, December 4, 2010

Olivetti Graphika



27 comments:

  1. Wow! An amazing find - and the typeface is gorgeous, proportional spacing or not. Very distinctive. Great job for working with a German collector to get it to Ohio all the way from Munich; it looks like it survived the trans-Atlantic journey very well, and I know that takes a lot of time and effort. Just beautiful.

    I haven't seen a Varia here in Hermes-land either, but I'll keep it in mind and alert you in the event that I find one someday.

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  2. That's pretty impressive and I love that typeface too.

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  3. Very nice and the perfect color to match everything else in the kitchen ; )

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  4. Bravo to you, from a trained graphic artist, for using the word "typeface," instead of the misused "font!" ("Font" really means the size/pitch of the type.)

    I hope you've seen Cassandre's work, which includes those fantastic steamship and railroad posters, some of which are in the Museum of Modern Art. He was a tremendous typographer, too.

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  5. Nice post! Interesting information! :)

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  6. you put tears in my eyes as I looked upon a photo of my long deceased Olive Olivetti Grafika, on which I wrote my UCB thesis (1969-70), and the best poems that I have ever written, before or sense, I still have a Lettra 32 & when I want to write poetry I get off the computer & open up the portable typewriter ... but nothing can match the experience I had with my beloved Grafika, which melted in a SF fire at the Planet Drum offices as I had loaned it to them while in Europe 1972-74 ... as I am again living in Europe, I am searching for a usable Grafica in old typewriter shops, but not many such shops left even here

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    1. Hello,
      I have read surfing the Internet that would be interested in buying an Olivetti typewriter Graphika. I would have a sale if interested please contact me, my email address is igrioni@yahoo.it and I write from Italy MIlan. I also have a Olympia the same historical period (long carriage). This machines have a story that will explain it with pleasure.
      regards

      Ivano

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  7. That typewriter is really nice. =) I really love the typeface!

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  8. Fascinating typeface, thank you for the post.
    Just wondering, would it be possible to see a hi-res scan of the character set? I'm doing a research on typewriter typefaces and this is the first I encounter that one. Thanks in advance

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    1. You can download a font based on a hi-res scan here. Thanks for your interest.

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  9. Thank you for your answer. Unfortunately the font I've downloaded is a conversion from a bitmap image (scan of the typed letters) to vectors. It's pretty rough, and I don't mean to be ;-), so to get a proper look at the original shapes I still need a hi-res scan, if possible.

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    1. Send me an e-mail (polt@xavier.edu) and I may be able to help.

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  10. Hi Richard,
    I remember the Graphika very well even though it was it was about 50 years ago when I first saw one when I was working for Olivetti in Melbourne, Australia. I went into a large Bank to service all their machines (Olivettis) and I came across a Graphika. It was stored away in a an old locker room set right back in a dusty corner. No one could use it properly. Not having seen one before I took it down and removed it's carriage, what a mistake! it took me ages to get to settle down in it proper place before I could replace the carriage screws. I had a chance to examine the escapement and to get an idea of how it worked. I have a friend who had one at home but I have long lost contact with him. Whilst working for Olympia, I was there when thay introduced their proportional spacing electric typewriter, SGE52? I have forgotten the model number. Sufficed to say another brute of a machine for the mechanic.. Nice to read about the Graphika though,

    Best regards, John

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    1. Thanks very much, John. Contact me directly if you'd like to get in touch with an Australian typewriter mechanic who owns a Graphika.

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    2. Thank you Richard, my contact details are...laverypeach@bigpond.com. Please feel free to contact me at anytime and also to pass on my details to your friend.
      Best Regards, John

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  11. Guess who just snagged one of these. I may be back for advice!

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  12. OK, this phrase of John's is now haunting me, "Not having seen one before I took it down and removed it's carriage, what a mistake! it took me ages to get to settle down in it proper place before I could replace the carriage screws." I hope he comes up with some advice before my impatience gets the better of me and I start slackening those screws :-)

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    1. Congratulations Rob on your find. Peter Brill has one of these machines as well and he said that removing and refitting the carriage could be a trial. I always approach these questions with the attitude, " am I up for the challenge or not?" But on the other hand, Olivetti provided two carriage screws so they must have meant the ordinary mechanic could do the job. Big question; Why do you want to remove the carriage? Curiosity? There may be an easy way to do it but I am still haunted by my experience 50 years ago,lol.

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  13. Rob, contact me on laverypeach@bigpond.com if you wish to ask any questions regarding Olivetti's, I may be able to help.

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  14. In the eventuality that a fellow traveler might be here benefiting from Richard's insight into the Graphika, there's a faulty carriage/escapement treatment here and a drawband/carriage strap repair solution here.

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  15. Hello,
    I have read surfing the Internet that would be interested in buying an Olivetti typewriter Graphika. I would have a sale if interested please contact me, my email address is igrioni@yahoo.it and I write from Italy MIlan. I also have a Olympia the same historical period (long carriage). This machines have a story that will explain it with pleasure.
    regards

    Ivano

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  16. I remember reading this post a couple years ago and already remarking in my head: what a striking looking machine and today, its still wonderful to behold. I have a lexikon 80 and once I have time I think I might paint it pistachio

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  17. As a former apprentice of Deutsche Olivetti GmbH in Frankfurt I am surprised about the Graphika, I have never seen one but far away I still remember the Lexikon 80. But the the method with two space keys with 2 and 3 elementary steps and the proportional letters in 5 witdth groups is well known to me as the electromechanic Olivetti Editor 5 uses it as well and combines this with carbon ribbon to a very nice writing result. Beside proportional space it also supports justification of text (straight left and right border) by using a letter&space counter, what means that the uswer has to type each line twice, one writing 'blind' and start the counter and one time again with printing and using the two space keys accourding to that counter to insert enough spaces. I still have one E5 and it only needs just a cleanup to operate properly. Also the Olivetti Lexikon 94C ball head typewriter supports proportional letters and justification and additionally lift-off/cover-up correction. On the other hand I have specialized to collect the Olivetti electronic daisy wheel typewriters of the ET, ETV, Praxis and so on series, currently I have about 40 different models including the very rare ETV 210s thermo transfer model.

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    1. Thanks for your informative comments. Now I want an Editor 5!

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  18. i think the machine had been abused before you purchased it.

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