colour makes people happy… and so says simon march

Karen Haller 01
Karen Haller

Colour Makes People Happy Paint Shop East Dulwich London.

Colour Makes People Happy… Well with a store name like that I just had to check it out.

To be honest I’d come across this store back in 2010 reading an article in the Daily Candy blog, but it was only after reading a couple of articles late last year that I promised myself a (long overdue) visit in the new year when I got back from my trip to Australia. So yesterday I made the trip down to East Dulwich (south London) to meet Simon March, the man behind the colour… and it was well worth the visit.

Looking around the Colour Makes People Happy website I got very excited to see not just the colourful clogs but the thought of purchasing delicious Dutch delicacies, connecting very much with my Dutch heritage. The Dutch food is no longer there, but meeting Simon and listening to his passion for colour more than made up for it. So over a cup of coffee brewed by Simon in his work come living space, he explained his colour ethos…

“Colour is unavoidable, it’s fundamental, it’s everywhere and it’s the colour that sells.” He sees paint is “pure, full of potential”.  And if you want to sell colour Simon believes “paint is the purest way to do this”.

He saw people losing touch with their intuition to colour.  Colour choices have become “so worthy”. Paint is fun, children find it fun and they love choosing colours. Interestingly Simon has noticed the colour most favoured by children is purple.

Even though he named his store Colour Makes People Happy he is fully aware colour is subjective and that colours can bring out any emotion.

Karen Haller and Simon March Colour Makes People Happy Paint Shop East Dulwich.

Colour Makes People Happy | Clearly Simon had me in stitches with his quirky humour.

authentic branding

Simon isn’t trying to be different, he is different. And it works because he is doing this authentically and consistently, from the paint names to the design of his shop/living space to his branding. It is who he is and that’s why it works.

Standing apart from the mainstream just for the sake of doing it can easily come across as contrived, but Simon is so genuine in what he believes in which is why it works.

It may have started as a one man crusade, but he is already making waves in the paint world. And it doesn’t surprise me at all if he has the big paint brands intrigued and watching him as to why this works. But unless they understand the authentic brand personality and values behind the brand they will only ever create a cheap imitation.

The paint world needs more people like him, to shake things up a bit. There is definitely a ground swell for people to get back in touch with what I like to call their colour intuition.

I love his energy and passionate crusade to help people embrace colour and what it means to them not because of what someone else thinks. This can only be a good thing.


simon’s take on colour naming

Looking around the store, given Simon’s ‘colour independence’ I was not at all surprised to see the names he gave to his colours.  He is shaking up the established colour paint world challenging how we relate to colour by giving them totally unexpected names. They are completely bonkers and I love it!

Colour Makes People Happy Paint Shop East Dulwich London - Dog biscuit.

Colour Makes People Happy | Dog biscuit.

Where you might expect to see names that either relate to nature or a mood such as forest green, nutmeg and sea green, Simon has names like ‘prawn candy’, ‘ let’s not speak of this again’ and one that really caught my eye ‘many a man in love with a dimple makes the mistake of marrying the whole girl’. Simon doesn’t want people to get hung up on the name or to influence in any way, but to see the colour for what it is.

Colour Makes People Happy Paint Chart East Dulwich London.

Colour Makes People Happy |  Wonderfully bonkers colour names to get you connected to the colour and not the name.


Colour Makes People Happy Paint Shop East Dulwich London - Smart tony.

Colour Makes People Happy | Smart Tony.


on reflection

Waiting for the train back to London I thought about how does what Simon is doing really make me feel? It puts the fun, the playfulness back into colour. It innately connects us back to our inner child when colour was fun and instinctive and pure. Before we were programmed and influenced by other people’s colour prejudices.

I’m going back with a colour friend of mine to try out their spin painting which looked like great fun, but more on that next time…

If you’d like to check out more about Simon March and his Colour Makes People Happy store, checkout his website

Colour Makes People Happy and so say all of us…

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