A History of Our Desk Pad

history of the desk pad

Thirty years ago there wasn't a lot to choose from when it came to protecting fine quality furniture like a boardroom table or executive desk. After investing a lot of money in their quality crafted furniture, with special finishes and coatings, people didn't just want to cover them with glass or a desk pad from the local stationery company. What they wanted was something that not only could function as a suitable writing surface but could offer the protection that the table or desk deserved.

The Idea

In the late 60s and early 70s a number of companies starting working on the idea that a desk pad could be much more than just a writing surface. What they had realized was that the desk pad could protect the work surface as well as offer a pleasant writing surface. But it was JKS Marketing who took this idea one step further. Their desk pad would be able to fulfill both criteria while at the same time complimenting the design integrity of the surroundings and furniture. The idea being that the desk pad should also be thought of a piece of furniture in its own right.

Protection was of prime importance, especially to anyone who had paid the price of re-finishing a boardroom table. The trick would be to provide a certain level of insurance without compromising the idea that the desk pad is itself a piece of furniture.

From the outset the desk pad seemed to be the most practical way of protecting wood and veneer surfaces (even laminated surfaces). Instead of covering the complete surface, the individual desk pads could be easily stacked and stored when they were not needed. Even in use they would still offer a nice landscape of the wood table. Glass tops couldn't compete. They were unwieldy and required spacers between the table surface and glass which only created a space that collected dust, food particles, etc.

The Design and Material

In order to develop a pad that would not only serve as a "friendly" writing surface but would also offer a prestige appearance, the search began in earnest for a design and a material that would be compatible with both contemporary and traditional furniture. This turned out to be a long and time consuming process. Ideas came and went, from aluminum to wood cores, from the uninspired to the impractical design. Early attempts were tried on kitchen tables or developed utilizing friends' furniture factories long after the staff were gone for the day. Some of these experiments lasted well into the wee hours of the morning.

After months of trial and error, it was finally decided that the pad should have a transitional design with a soft upholstered edge detail and stitched edge detailing which harmonized with any contemporary or traditional seating. In time it was also determined that they would use an upholstery-weight vinyl which would give the pads a distinct "leather-like " appearance. Only the finest leathers were used for the all-leather pads. Since these pads were usually used in prestige environments, JKS felt it couldn't afford to compromise this quality.

Having chosen a design and material that seemed hard to beat, JKS began to seriously consider manufacturing the new desk pad on a much larger scale. By 1976 they were manufacturing the new desk pad for many large corporations world-wide. Their clients included the United Nations, Canada's leading financial institutions and Canadian embassies from Thailand to England. Naturally, the original product is somewhat different than today's pad. Design changes were made over the years to maintain relevancy to changing tastes and design but the basic philosophy has never changed. The JKS desk pad still is one of the finest and most practical solutions available for insuring that your desk and boardroom table will maintain its new appearance for a long long time.

For prices & answers to additional questions please contact us by email: or by telephone: 905.475.7451.

JKS Marketing Inc. ~ 3575 - 14th Avenue, Unit 5 ~ Markham, Ontario ~ L3R 0H6
Tel: (905) 475 - 7451 ~ Fax: (905) 475 - 1653 ~ Email:

Desk Pads