Donald Deskey’s Decorative Designs

From brand identities to floors and walls, Donald covered them all

Donald Deskey understood that every element of design contributes to the collection of experiences that defines a brand. It’s a legacy that inspires our work to this day. Part of Donald’s genius was his ability to bring great design to everything he touched: logos, table lamps, streetlights, toothpaste tubes, airline seats, department store windows, prefab houses, exhibitions, bowling alleys, billiards tables — even a wooden bicycle. 

Some of his most colorful and striking designs were for textiles — patterned carpets, rugs, room screens and wallpaper. One of the wallpapers, “Finger Print,” is featured on our building’s outside wall and interior carpeting. It’s a bit of Donald we and the city of Cincinnati get to experience every day.

Donald’s most acclaimed textile work is inside New York’s Radio City Music Hall. His Art Deco designs for spaces, as well as the furniture, wallpaper and carpets that decorated them, are legendary. He famously designed the “Singing Women” carpet for the hall’s 6,000-seat main auditorium. The original brown, tan and purple motif from 1932 was updated in modern materials in the 1990s and still adorns the hall today. In fact, most of Donald’s textile designs still decorate the theater from floor to ceiling and are the headliners of Radio City’s behind-the-scenes tour.

Interestingly, while Radio City Music Hall is an Art Deco masterpiece, Donald never considered himself an Art Deco designer. He thought the period defined a style more flamboyant than his own and preferred to describe his geometric designs simply as “modern.” 

Four textile designs from our agency’s namesake, including “Singing Women,” are featured in black and white on coasters we keep around the office. It’s our way of inviting clients and guests to have a drink on Donald. 

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