Free delivery on all orders over £50

Design Insider: The Happy Newspaper Founder Emily Coxhead on Colour and Happiness

Emily Coxhead is a designer, illustrator and happy thing maker. She is the founder of "The Happy News," a quarterly newspaper celebrating the good stuff going on in the world. Emily is continuing to expand all things happy, including a book and a range of colourful greetings cards, from her rainbow-filled office. Emily aims to bring a little bit more sunshine to the world, making a few people smile along the way. We caught up with Emily to discuss her unique, colourful style and to find out how she uses colour to contribute to happiness.

How important is colour in your life?

Super important! It just makes everything a little bit lovelier when there’s colour involved.

I think people sometimes assume everything in my house, life and wardrobe are all the colours of the rainbow (spoiler alert: they’re not!) I just appreciate different colours and the impact they can have on your day and general mood. I don’t always want to be surrounded by colour... I know that if I’m wanting to feel calm I’d probably rather be in a light/not too fussy environment, whereas when I’m working I usually like to be surrounded by a mixture of colours, artwork and little trinkets I own.

How did The Happy News start?

I had the idea in early 2015 because I thought there should just, quite simply, be a platform to share positive news. By summer 2015 I’d set up a Kickstarter campaign and the first issue was printed that December. I hadn’t really thought past the first issue but anyone who had read the first issue wanted the second… and the rest is history as they say!

What is your starting point or inspiration for your colourful design style? We love your use of bright colours!

I never really have a proper plan in mind when I start out designing. Sometimes I’ll collect a load of imagery, old designs or scribbles I’ve done, even photos I’ve taken and will pick out the bits of colour or design I like and go with whatever comes to me.

With my cards for example, I do have a colour palette I stick to for the ‘main’ colours, which then effect the colour palettes I use for my products too, as I like to keep it consistent but still super colourful.

Emily Coxhead

How do you think colour can make our lives better?

I genuinely think it does affect our mood and also reflects on those around you which sounds ridiculous until you’ve experienced it. I went through a tiny stage during and then a bit after university where I often wore black, usually with bright coloured shoes or earrings or something but I don’t know if subconsciously that was my way of blending into the background but still wanting to make a bit of a statement.

As I got my own creativity back after uni and started doing creative work that felt more ‘me’ I (again, subconsciously) started wearing more colour and basically stopped caring about whether I fit in, whether I was wearing ‘too much’ colour or whether pink and green went together. And people comment on it A LOT, people seem to be more likely to compliment a yellow jumper rather than a black t-shirt and I’ve actually noticed people now make a point of saying to me “look I’m wearing colour!”.

I love it. I say don’t be afraid to add a bit of colour into your life.

What colours speak to you? Do you have favourite colour palettes or tones? Any colour trends you love at the moment?

The colour palette I’m currently using for my greeting cards I love:

Emily card palette

I’m also loving pink and green at the minute… when we first bought our house it had a super old pink and green bathroom suite, it was pretty awful but since then I want everything to be pink and green!

Tell us about your own home – colourful or a blank canvas?

We’re actually currently in the process of renovating a house we bought before Christmas! It’s a cute white cottage that was built in the 1700s and used to be a barn. So, currently it’s very much a blank canvas with only stone and patches of brick all over the place but we’re nearly at the plaster stage and I’ve already planned how every room will look… things might change but I’m SO excited to get started properly.

Like I said earlier there will be a mix of bright and calming colours in the different rooms… My office and the dining room will be the most colourful/playful I think, whereas the other rooms will be quite light and airy but still with colourful statement pieces. I already have my eye on an orange sofa, pink bathroom tiles and bluey/green kitchen cabinets!

Where can people see more of your work?

www.thehappynewspaper.com and on Instagram: @emilycoxhead @thehappynewspaper

I’ll be uploading more house updates on my personal account when the time comes!


Request A Colour Card >
Shop The Look
    1. Braze Blue
      Braze Blue

      1829

      Elegant mineral blue inspired by the desire in Arts & Crafts to use natural materials in their raw state. Use with 1829 Light Grey Undercoat.

      Buy Now

    2. Flanders Blue
      Flanders Blue

      1829

      A distinctive blue found in textiles made by skilled Flanders weavers evoking landscape and earthly beauty. Use with 1829 Light Grey Undercoat.

      Buy Now

    3. French Turquoise
      French Turquoise

      1829

      Popular in the Art Deco era, this evocative peacock blue-green is ideal for an elegant living area. Use with 1829 Light Grey Undercoat.

      Buy Now

    4. Fresco Blue
      Fresco Blue

      1829

      A radiant cerulean blue that reflects the heavenly, luminous skies of Italian Renaissance frescos. Use with 1829 Light Grey Undercoat.

      Buy Now

    5. Jarosite
      Jarosite

      1829

      A soft botanical shade of yellow with a creamy intensity. Warm and inviting on window frames and wooden floors. Use with 1829 White Undercoat.

      Buy Now

    6. Lamplighter
      Lamplighter

      1829

      Brilliantly coloured, this dark, noble cadmium yellow with plenty of heat brings life and vibrancy to a room. Use with 1829 Light Grey Undercoat.

      Buy Now

    7. Oriental Red
      Oriental Red

      1829

      A rich porcelain red echoing the translucent glazes of Ming vases. Flamboyant, lovely and intense. Use with 1829 Light Grey Undercoat.

      Buy Now

    8. Rose Pink
      Rose Pink

      1829

      A delightful mousseline pink with the airiness of muslin. Inspired by decorative 18th century textiles. Use with 1829 White Undercoat.

      Buy Now

    9. Saxe Blue
      Saxe Blue

      1829

      Much used in the Elizabethan period, this expressive blue is a good backdrop to skin tones and candlelight. Use with 1829 Light Grey Undercoat.

      Buy Now

    10. Smalt
      Smalt

      1829

      A strong cobalt blue made popular in the Victorian era. For lively, brilliant and ornamental colour. Use with 1829 Light Grey Undercoat.

      Buy Now