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Olivetti Lettera 22

For me he was a musician. He touched the keys creating scores of letters that became words and then stories.

Writer using a vintage typewriter



One sentence after another, one sheet after another, he built a symphony that rose in the room and filled the silence of the sultry afternoons.

Day after day, the idleness of that summer was broken by the music of his keys, by the sound of the bell at the end of each line, of each paragraph, of each pause to resume thinking and throwing himself back into the story.

olivetti graphic advertising art

He was an orchestra conductor who, with rapid finger movements, dictated the tempo to each sound. Sheet, carriage, roller, return lever. And then keys, hammers, bell. And the mechanical hum of rewinding the tape, as if to give the imagination time to reload new ideas and imprint them as notes in the right place in the perfect harmony of a narration.


The sheets were thin, soft, with the letters deeply engraved. I read them and in the meantime I touched the back of the sheet with my fingertips: I felt the words, their succession of blacks and whites, fullness and gaps.

Summer burned inside and outside of me, lost in an adventure that took me far without letting me leave that dim room.

Writing instrument aesthetic sketch



Years later, Uncle Sergio’s Letter 22 fell to me. And it happened again, many summers later. I went on a long journey without leaving my room. I became a musician and wrote scores of words and music of phrases and harmonies of thoughts that became journeys in the lives of others.


olivetti lettera 22 script

typewriter font notes


Written by Antonio Galuzzi

Original images by ©Sakka



Olivetti typewriter Lettera 22:

projected in 1950 by Giuseppe Beccio and designed by Marcello Nizzoli.

Masterpieces of design – slimline and pastel-coloured — became icon of Made in Italy.

The machine is presented at the MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) in New York in the Architecture and Design section.

In Villetta Casana, Ivrea (Turin), home to the Olivetti Historical Archive, you can visit the permanent exhibition dedicated to the unique products made by the historic Olivetti company.

The Olivetti Lettera 22 typewriter was featured in the film “The Talented Mr. Ripley”, and typewriter collector and actor Tom Hanks owns Lettera 22 typewriter.


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