“Design is a question of substance, not just form…it’s a tool a company uses through its products, graphics, and architecture to convey an image that is not just simply appearance but a tangible reflection of a way of being and operating.” (Adriano Olivetti, who pioneered Olivetti SpA’s unique approach)
The company hired some of the 20th century's greatest creative and intellectual minds, including: Mario Bellini, Ettore Sotsass, Perry King, Giovanni Pintori, Carlo Scarpa, Louis Kahn, Renzo Piano, Milton Glaser, Walter Ballmer, Egidio Bonfante
Olivetti's graphics and advertising were eye catching, fun, bright, bold and inventive. Their showrooms were consumer-friendly and engaging retail spaces, presenting the range of products in a gallery-like environment.
Their iconic products included the Lettera 22 and the Valentine - portable, easy to use, fun to use and beautiful-looking. "When I was young, all we ever heard about was functionalism, functionalism, functionalism,” said Sottsass. “It’s not enough. Design should also be sensual and exciting.” The Programma 101 (arguably the world's first desktop computer), "was a machine designed to be part of your personal entourage." Mario Bellini
Olivetti also had a strong influence on its corporate architecture, particularly in Ivrea, where the company has its roots. Their workspaces and factories were visionary in being socially-responsible, desirable places to work.