Colour technologists are responsible for developing and producing dyes and pigments. As a colour technologist, you’re involved with the science and technology of colour application and its subsequent performance.
Work can be found in various sectors of the manufacturing industry, where you can produce dyes and pigments for a whole range of products including:
- medical products;
- dye lasers, liquid crystal displays, fraud prevention techniques and ink-jet printers.
You may take on an analytical role, making sure reproduction is accurate, application is even and the colour has durability.
Employers of Colour Technologists
Colour is used in virtually all products, so the range of employers is broad and you can find work in a number of sectors:
- Chemical industry – conducting research into potential innovations in dyestuffs and pigments to develop new materials.
- Manufacturing – working in areas including fibres, textiles, medical products, fashion accessories, paper, leather, paints, inks, cosmetics, foodstuffs, plastics and toiletries.
- Textile industry – where specialist companies are contracted by large-scale manufacturers to take on aspects of development or production.
- Clothing and furnishings retail – advising design teams on colour performance and new colour developments, and liaising with manufacturers about client needs.
- Academic sector – working in specialist departments, researching new colour products and processes to apply colour to complex systems. There are only a small number of positions available in this sector to suitably qualified researchers.
- modifying and/or developing new pigments and dyes
- liaising with suppliers, customers, manufacturers and factory production managers
- providing technical advice to design, dying, marketing and production staff
- devising precise bulk colour reproduction processes
- using specialist computer systems, including CAD software
- evaluating, identifying and selecting products from suppliers
- checking products for suitability and testing for performance under various conditions
- controlling production and quality standards
- ensuring colour fastness, accurate colour reproduction, stability and durability of products
- using colour measuring equipment to ensure colour reliability in dyes and pigments
- keeping up to date with trends and innovations within the profession
There are routes into a colour technology career for both university graduates and school leavers. However, if you’re planning to work in the textile sector it’s also possible to enter via a design-orientated route.
The following subjects in particular, may be useful:
- analytical chemistry;
- applied chemistry;
- applied physics;
- biomedical sciences (for medical applications);
- chemical engineering;
- colour science;
- production/manufacturing engineering;
- textile technology/coloration.
- technical skills to use computerized systems;
- the ability to plan, organize and work in a team, particularly if supervising technicians;
- flexibility to adapt to the needs of customers or business objectives;
- excellent attention to detail when testing and developing dyes and pigments;
- good interpersonal skills for communicating with clients;
- an inquisitive mind to investigate new colours and techniques;
- good colour vision, for shade and colour matching.