Dulux has invited architects, designers, specifiers and students to enter the 2012 Colour Awards.

Marking its 26th year of recognising and celebrating 'the exceptional and inspired use of colour' in architecture and interior design, the awards has previously attracted some of Australasia’s most brilliant design minds, including Carr Design, McBride Charles Ryan, Hassell and the 2011 GrandPrix winner, Elenberg Fraser.

Dulux colour planning and communication manager, Andrea Lucena-Orr said colour is a vital aspect to any project and the 2012 Dulux Colour Awards is all about acknowledging the beautiful minds of the industry by awarding not only the creative application, but also the strategic use of colour.

"Colour is a fundamental piece in the design puzzle, and this year, we’re encouraging professionals and students to push the envelope even further and explore new avenues and expressions of colour,” Lucena-Orr said.

The 2012 Dulux Colour Awards expands from six to eight categories, with the previous Residential Interior and Exterior Awards divided into four new categories: Single Residential Interior, Multi Residential Interior, Single Residential Exterior and Multi Residential Exterior.

These will join the Commercial Exterior, Commercial Interior, Sustainable Interior and Student categories to be judged by a panel of top industry names.

Melbourne-based architecture firm Elenberg Fraser’s use of colour in the A’Beckett Tower saw the firm take out the 2011 Dulux Colour Awards Grand Prix and Residential Exterior categories. Director of Elenberg Fraser and lead of the 2011 Grand Prix winning project, Callum Fraser, supports the Dulux Colour Awards.

Entries are open now until 10 February 2012. Information on the 2012 Dulux Colour Awards and details on how to enter can be found at www.dulux.com.au/colourawards