For most people, it is necessary to experience several different industries and career paths before finally discovering a field that truly maximizes their potential.
Todd Lee is not most people. He’s known where he’s wanted to be seemingly forever.
“I like color – I’ve been a fan of color and the science of color most of my life,” he told us. “It’s just a bright, fun way to express yourself. I was very interested in the design aspect of fashion garments, and color has been a way for me to be close to that industry without actually having to be a designer. Color was one of those options that was just fascinating, both the science and the fashion stemming from it.”
Although Todd is one of Datacolor’s newest members; clearly, he is no novice to the color industry. With over 20 years of experience, Todd is a valuable addition to our team, and we are excited to see him grow and develop within his new role as product manager!
|Originally From: Smalltown USA (also called Roxboro, North Carolina – population 8,000)
Favorite color: “I don’t know if I can limit it to one. I would probably have to say blue and green.”
Outside of Work: “I like to travel, and I like to cook and entertain at home – those are probably the key things.”
Alma Mater: North Carolina State University
Time with Datacolor: Four Months
Fun fact: “When I was in junior high school, I was drum major in the band for a year. I played the trumpet, but as far as my becoming drum major I really don’t even know how that came about – but it happened.”
From Degree to Datacolor Product Manager – Todd’s Tale
Following his graduation from NC State University, Todd immediately had the opportunity to begin his journey within the world of fashion. During his time with some of the biggest names in the retail world, he also had the chance to work with Datacolor products. These encounters lit a spark of curiosity that would eventually light the flame of interest, and lead to the fire now found in his passion for his role within our company. He told us “I specifically sought out Datacolor because I spent so much time using their products in my previous work. Those devices and software helped me in my production or retail roles at the time. This new opportunity has given me a very interesting perspective from the other side of that coin. Now I get an understanding of what drives the Datacolor thought process behind the products, software, and realization of ideas. It gives me a full circle understanding of the color industry as it relates to retail. On a personal level, what I like about Datacolor are the products and the science behind them.”
While Todd has had extensive experience on the textile side of the color industry, this is his first time donning the cap of product manager within the field. He is enthusiastically mastering this new position, which gives him charge of lab testing equipment and match textiles. He describes his duties as “Ingraining yourself in the fine details of those products, and managing them. Monitoring sales, discerning new sales opportunities, and looking for advancements to the product that can keep its longevity going. In tandem to this, I look for new products that can possibly be introduced in a lab textile environment.”
Todd’s comprehensive experience in prior positions, coupled with his newfound comprehensive knowledge of the Datacolor products and processes, has allowed him a unique outlook on the modern challenges within the color industry. He stressed that today, some of the most common obstacles customers face are the implementation of LED lighting and becoming more sustainable. “LED lighting is creating a new perspective on color and color review. So trying to understand how we are going to continue to digitally read and understand lighting like we did prior to LED lighting, and what that means to the industry as a whole, is certainly a concern. Another big challenge is how to become more environmentally friendly. How do we create dyestuffs that are easier on our natural resources, like water. There is a lot to consider.”
Over the course of many years, Todd has accumulated a close familiarity with – and great admiration for – the science of color. We are looking forward to tackling all forthcoming color challenges with his support!
Todd’s Takeaways for Color Professionals
The best feeling in the world is watching your hard work finally pay off. To reach that outcome faster, Todd had three pieces of advice:
- If you are a new colorist: be open-minded. You are dealing with every aspect of the industry: design, sourcing, allocation. Keep an open mind and understand that while some retailers may not comprehend or fully appreciate the science, you are valuable because you have an impact on every part of our business.
- Understand your ability to review color. This means, knowing your color test scores, understanding the basic science of color, and being familiar with the production process.
- Do your best to stay informed on current trends and new discoveries as they arise.