Koons, Irvin L., 1922-

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Irv Koons was born in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1922. As a young man, Koons became interested in typography while working in his father's print shop. Koons studied art at the Pratt Institute in New York before being drafted into the army in 1942. During the Second World War, he served in the China, Burma, and India Theatre as art director for the Army's Information and Education Program. While stationed in New Delhi, Koons helped organize the first International Art Exhibition held in India and was instrumental in the founding of the National Art Gallery of India. Following the war, Koons studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Fontainebleau, France. After returning to New York, he worked briefly in the publishing industry as a graphic designer and illustrator before establishing his own industrial design firm, Irv Koons Associates, Inc., in the late 1940s.

During a career which spanned nearly fifty years, Koons earned a reputation as one of the most innovative and influential designers in the packaging industry. He has won awards in nearly every major packaging competition, including being named Packaging Person of the Year by the Packaging Designers Council in 1982, an honor which had been bestowed only three times previously. His clients have included Revlon, Joseph E. Seagram & Sons. Inc., Consolidated Cigar Corporation, Clairol/Bristol-Myers, C. F. Mueller Company, Johnson & Johnson, Proctor & Gamble, Scott Paper Company, and American Can Company, manufacturer of Dixie Cups.

Koons's work demonstrates a special affinity for repositioning familiar products by creating a fresh presentation which resonates with contemporary consumer culture. In his view, the package serves as a perpetual "silent salesman" for the product. According to Koons, reliance upon expensive advertising and promotion is unnecessary for products to be commercially viable in a competitive marketplace. Because most products are similar in quality, packaging provides the consumer with a means of differentiating between competing brands. Koons's extensive use of market research studies enabled him to gain a better understanding of consumers' lifestyles and to construct demographic profiles which proved invaluable in the creation of packaging which appealed to large segments of the buying public. By immediately communicating all of a product's positive attributes, the package presents a unique personality which can motivate consumers to buy a particular brand and continue to use it following their initial purchase.

Koons has worked tirelessly to promote a better understanding of the role of packaging in the successful marketing of commercial products and a greater appreciation for the historical importance of packaging. Koons has lectured and taught extensively and his packaging designs have been featured in leading industrial design publications. He developed a packaging education curriculum for New York University's School of Continuing Education which included intensive professional seminars on packaging design and product marketing.

Koons believes that the industrial design community, which has directed so much of its creative energies to influencing the buying habits of a largely affluent consumer population, has a broader social responsibility to extend this prosperity to those who are less fortunate. Koons has served as a cultural attache to the State Department and directed the first international packaging exhibition which traveled under the auspices of the United States Information Agency. He was also founding director of the International Design Assistance Commission, providing voluntary professional design consulting services to developing nations in cooperation with the United Nations Development Program. Koons designed a fifty-foot stained glass wall depicting Biblical events which serves as the centerpiece for the main conference room for the Federation of Jewish Philanthropies.

From the description of Irv Koons Papers 1946-1996 (bulk 1955-1985). (Hagley Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 79941530

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Papers of Irv Koons, 1934-2004, bulk: 1949-1988 Yeshiva University. Museum
creatorOf Koons, Irvin L., 1922-. Irv Koons Papers 1946-1996 (bulk 1955-1985). Hagley Museum & Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Abbotts Dairies, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith ALPO Petfoods, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Alusuisse. corporateBody
associatedWith American Can Company. corporateBody
associatedWith American Cyanamid Company. corporateBody
associatedWith American Home Products Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith American White Cross Laboratories, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Beecham International Holdings S.A. corporateBody
associatedWith Beech-Nut, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Bet sa-sefere le-musmakhim be-minhal ʻasaḳim ʻal sh. Liʼon Reḳanaṭi. corporateBody
associatedWith Beverage World (Firm). corporateBody
associatedWith Bristol-Myers Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Brown-Forman Distillers Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith Cadbury Schweppes. corporateBody
associatedWith C.F. Mueller Co. corporateBody
associatedWith Chas. F. Cates & Sons, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Chesebrough-Pond's. corporateBody
associatedWith C.H. Knorr GmbH. corporateBody
associatedWith Chun King Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith CIBA-GEIGY Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith Clairol, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Colgate-Palmolive Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Community Newspaper Publishers, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Consolidated Cigar Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith Cosmair, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Coty, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith CPC International. Best Foods Division. corporateBody
associatedWith Dairylea Cooperative Incorporated. corporateBody
associatedWith Fairmont Foods Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York. corporateBody
associatedWith General Foods Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith Gillette Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Gulf & Western Industries. corporateBody
associatedWith Hiram Walker-Gooderham & Worts Limited. corporateBody
associatedWith Hudson Pulp & Paper Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith Hunt Foods Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Ideal Toy Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith Johnson & Johnson. corporateBody
associatedWith Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Koons, Irv person
associatedWith Luden's, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Maryland Cup Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith McCormick & Co. corporateBody
associatedWith Milton Bradley Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Mobil Chemical Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Mobilization for Youth corporateBody
associatedWith Nabisco Brands, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith New York University School of Continuing Education. corporateBody
associatedWith Package Designers Council. corporateBody
associatedWith Packaging Institute, U.S.A. corporateBody
associatedWith Procter & Gamble Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Quality Importers, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Revlon, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Schenley Imports Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Scott Paper Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Sieper Werke GmbH. corporateBody
associatedWith Solo Products Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith Statewide Savings & Loan Association (Jersey City, N.J.) corporateBody
associatedWith Stellenbosch Farmers' Winery. corporateBody
associatedWith Sunshine Biscuits, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Superior's Brand Meats, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Thomas J. Lipton, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Union Carbide Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith Union of American Hebrew Congregations. corporateBody
associatedWith United Nations. corporateBody
associatedWith United States Dept. of Commerce. corporateBody
associatedWith United States Dept. of State. corporateBody
associatedWith Warner-Lambert Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Wasa International. corporateBody
associatedWith W.A. Sheaffer Pen Company. corporateBody
associatedWith West Virginia Pulp and Paper Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Wilson Manufacturing Corporation. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Brylcreem hair preparation
Camay soap
Marketing research
Corporate image
Muriel cigars
Consumers--Attitudes
Product coding
Dixie paper cups
Trade associations
Packaging--Paperboard
Southern Comfort bourbon whiskey
Brand loyalty
Oxydol detergent
Consumerism
Brand name products
Industrial design coordination
Dawn detergent
Packaging--Paper
Gulden's mustard
Knorr sauces
Scotties tissue paper
Graphic arts
Market surveys
Consumers' preferences
Packaging--Plastics
Consumers--Research
Wishbone salad dressing
Luden's cough drops
Trademarks
Crest toothpaste
Trademark infringement
Dash detergent
Hefty paper plates
Point-of-purchase displays
Packaging--Glass
Consumer goods
Hefty paper cups
Consumer satisfaction
Consumer behavior
Numero Uno cologne
Industrial designers
El Producto cigars
Band--Aid bandages
Seagram whiskey
Dutch Masters cigars
H-O prepared cereal
Consumer panels
Jewish charities
Comet cleaning compound
Occupation
Function

Person

Birth 1922-03-14

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