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Dulux celebrates its 90th birthday with charity book charting how its innovations have transformed the decorating industry

Published: 22 July 2021 - James Mead

Dulux is celebrating ninety years of driving innovation in the decorating trade with a glossy, coffee table book that charts the evolution of domestic decorating and interior design over the decades.


All proceeds from the sale of Dulux 90 will go directly to three chosen charities - The Outward Bound Trust, Rainy Day Trust and Old English Sheepdog Rescue & Welfare.

The limited edition book recounts how Dulux has championed the trade from its inception through pioneering developments including the first durable alkyd-based paint, as well as the first colour samples, specification books and colour advice services.

It shines a spotlight on the origins of the business - describing how the company transformed technology initially developed for the automotive industry into the first synthetic paint for professional decorators - working from paints which could be sprayed on to cars to create fast-drying, long-lasting decorative paints.

After initial scepticism, around this new product being alkyd based, instead of using the lead formulations common at the time, painters saw that schools, hospitals, homes and other buildings that had been painted using Dulux in the 1930s still looked much better than other buildings, and the reputation of the brand as a partner for the trade was firmly established.

The book features contributions from acclaimed experts across academia and design who each explore the significant trends and colours that came to define the decades from the 1930s to today.

Contributions come from writer and journalist Dominic Bradbury who describes how the bright, fizzing blues of the 1950s embodied a bold, new national confidence, while curator Alexandra Loske reveals how the 1970s was a decade of Cold War and warm colours with oranges ruling the roost; while the nineties chapter was penned by design icon Laurence Llewlyn-Bowen who explored the rise in rock and roll colours towards the end of the century, led by the ‘purple revolution’.

And no history of Dulux would be complete without a chapter on its most cherished ambassador - the Dulux Dog.

Nuno Pena, Marketing Director UK&I, comments: “For the past nine decades Dulux has been committed to driving innovation across the decorating trade.

“When we developed our first synthetic paint for professional decorators in the 1930s, we introduced something completely new to the market. Very early on, we understood the needs of tradespeople, with a paint that helped to drive forward a whole industry of professional decorators, and we’ve continued this commitment to continually developing new products and services that answer the needs of the building trade ever since.

“We are very proud of our heritage that has seen us provide decorators and design professionals with the tools they need to deliver beautiful, durable domestic and commercial buildings, and we look forward to continuing to work in partnership with professionals in the future.

“By donating all proceeds from the sale of the book to charity we are delighted to further help the young and disadvantaged overcome obstacles, provide support to those who have worked in the UK’s home improvement and enhancement industries and ensure the Old English Sheepdog continues to thrive.”

The book is available from the Dulux website now:


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