MEET THE JUDGES 2018 - Emily Simpson


Emily Simpson is a leading UK colour expert and the Colour and Design Brand Manager at Dulux UK. Colour is at the heart of her role and she creates colour collections for all Dulux customers from retail independent stores to the large DIY sheds and professional decorator’s merchants.

What role does colour play in your life/work?

As Brand Manager for Dulux Retail, colour is key. As far as I’m concerned it’s what we sell! We don’t sell paint, we sell colour. My role is broad and varied, no week is the same but I do specifically look after the design of our colour ranges. So it’s a dream job for any colour lover really.

In daily life, colour is a ‘secret que’ to tell me something interesting is going on. If a great colour shines through then it’s normally always a lead for a good product or interesting piece of design. Colour helps me weed out the ‘good from the bad’ in seconds…

Highest creative point in the past year?

I have just been lucky enough to spend some time in Hawaii very recently, and picking up on that unique Island ‘Aloha’ way of life and the design aesthetic that seems to run through the building designs there was a real treat. All the stores, hotels, museums have a real ‘outside in’ design. I was starting to feel a bit jaded by that phrase; ‘designing from the outside in’, it just feels a bit over-used and I forgot what it really meant somehow, but everywhere you go in Hawaii it seems they absolutely design their internal spaces to embrace and celebrate the very beautiful natural landscapes outside. There seems to be fewer physical barriers, literally there seems to be a lot less walls and doors – it’s just much more open and feels a very seamless way to enjoy your environment.

Hardest creative lesson learnt when you were starting out?

I’m still learning it!

But I would say how to be totally creative but also earn a living often feels like a tricky compromise but ultimately it’s a good challenge…

What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My commute! Elephant & Castle to Slough is not one for the lazy…

Was there one person who made a difference to your career path when you were starting out? Who was it and what did they do/say?

My A-Level art tutors. I went to a traditional academic Grammar School, which was great in many ways. But it was my A-Level Art Tutors who made me first realise that ‘thinking in a different way’ was actually a really good thing…

Creative goal?

Still working on that really! But one thing I would like is to design my own home from scratch. I have always lived in new and modern buildings, currently in a new build development in London, which I do love because everything just ‘works’. But I would like one day to take on a ‘project’, and redevelop/design my home from scratch myself, everything from the door handles to the floorplans.

Favourite colour – why?

Malachite green. It’s just a very mysterious and rich colour. I don’t think I could ever get bored of it.

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