Typewriters are often featured in the artwork used by film and television production companies to promote themselves, which makes sense given it is after all a natural connection: What better than a typewriter to represent screenwriters and their artistic efforts?
These animated corporate logos using a typewriter are usually run within the opening frames of a film that you’re about to watch, or during the fleeting final seconds of a television program that has just ended. And more often than not the typewriters are not literal images of a specific model, but rather a creative embodiment of a non-specific model.
Two of my more favorite typewriter adaptations are those used by Primrose Hill Productions and K/O Paper Products. The Primrose version, a skeleton clacking away at a tombstone-like machine confers the loneliness of the writing process, while K/O’s take pushes a different theme, the transfiguration of a standard typewriter by a four-handed keyboard to represent the power of collaboration in writing.
As absurd as the concept is for a rodeo rider to use a portable typewriter on the back of a bucking bronco, imagine how foreign it must have all seemed for Swiss typewriter buyers who faced the localized version of Remington’s American ad.
Selling typewriters internationally no doubt posed many challenges for manufacturers, and it’s easy to imagine how many of the ads created using culturally skewed themes ended up being lost in translation. Was it a cost-saving measure for Remington to re-use the same artwork the world over, or just simple ignorance to global diversity?
This example of the artwork used to promote the Remington Portable by a typewriter retailer in Lausanne, Switzerland, (it’s now the site of a chocolate store), loudly praises the ultra-portable model, and lists its virtues as robustness, speed, compactness, and it being well-featured. Of course it would have to be all these things – and more – to be effective on the back of a wild animal, not to mention to be able to survive such a stunt.
It might not exactly be an example of typewriter porn (yes, collectors actually use the phrase), but this postcard that features a model seductively draping her arm around a Swedish-made FACIT T1 is a curiosity.
The T1 is not exactly an attractive machine, and it makes one to wonder if the postcard shouldn’t have been titled Beauty and the Beast.
You would think that the card, which is postmarked July 1962, was a promotional item from Facit, but it doesn’t have the company name anywhere on it. If this was supposed to be a form of advertising, it wasn’t a very effective one. And if not advertising, does it suggest that there was actually a demand during the ’60s for postcards that featured women posing with typewriters?