Cruise & Ferry Interiors 2022

1 4 9 Aged just 56, Andy Yuill is the youngest legend that has featured in Cruise & Ferry Interiors but his experience dates back to the year that Carnival Corporation bought Holland America Line, MSC Cruises purchased its first cruise ship and Celebrity Cruises was founded. “I first joined SMC Design, formerly BPW, in 1989, a year after it formed,” says Yuill. “BPW was based in London formed by a team that had come from McNeece, the first British design company to be involved in the cruise industry, and started the business with a contract to work on Crystal Cruises’ Crystal Harmony and a project for Royal Caribbean International. “We designed the atrium, a bar and the retail outlets on Crystal Harmony. One day, one of BPW's founders Stuart Phillips suddenly decided to make a scale model of the atrium and we had to do an allnighter to build it! From day one at BPW, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I enjoyed the people and the work. But I wasn’t just designing ships in those early days, we did a lot of work for [UK-based luxury department store] Harrods too, which was great fun. “I stayed until 1991, when there was a terrible recession. I went back to Edinburgh to work for six months and then went travelling. I restarted at BPW in 1993, when it was just me and Stuart at the Notting Hill office with two clients.” BPW transitioned to SMC Design in 1994, by which time 28-year-old Yuill was already a significant asset. It wasn’t long before he was considered a natural successor. “My big break with SMC was in 1995 when I got involved with Star Cruises,” says Yuill. “It was a new cruise line, and nobody knew anything about it. What a wonderful client it was – a company full of ideas which perfectly suited a young, enthusiastic and hard-working designer. “I was given creative freedom with SuperStar Leo, which was ideal as Star Cruises wanted to do something different and wasn’t scared to change the existing formula.” SuperStar Leo launched in 1998 and was an instant hit. SuperStar Virgo and SuperStar Libra (which became Norwegian Star on completion) followed soon after, propelling Yuill into the big time and he became a director of the company. “In those days a cruise line would appoint a group of designers, with each taking responsibility for perhaps four or five public spaces,” he says. “A different company would create the signage and yet another would curate the artwork. I used to think it’d be wonderful if, rather than designing 25 per cent, we’d be given 100 per cent. DES IGN LEGEND Andy Yuill Andy Yuill is our reluctant Design Legend, preferring to credit any accolades to his colleagues. Jon Ingleton catches up with him to reminisce and celebrate the career that has enabled him to become the custodian of a design powerhouse Andy Yuill leads SMC Design’s team in creating multiple innovative and impressive spaces onboard ships, such as the atrium onboard Saga Cruises’ Spirit of Discovery (pictured left)