Jaguar Design Legend Ian Callum Leaves The Company After 20 Years
The legend that is Ian Callum, Jaguar’s Director of Design, is leaving the company after 20 years, to be replaced by Julian Thomson, the Creative Design Director. Ian Callum joined Jaguar in 1999 following the death of Geoff Lawson, and initially continued the company’s retro designs. But by 2006 he was able to set about transforming the range, starting with the XK, and with highlights including the F-Type—Jaguar’s first two-seater sports car since the E-Type—as well as the XE, XF and XJ saloons, the marque’s first SUVs—F-Pace and E-Pace—and the all-electric I-Pace.
“I have had an incredible career at Jaguar,” says Callum. “One of my biggest highlights was creating XF because it represented the beginning of a new era moving Jaguar from tradition to contemporary design – it was a significant turning point in our story. Designing the F-Type was a dream come true for me, and I-Pace was an opportunity to create something hugely innovative that would really challenge the perception of Jaguar – and its success is testament to just how far the brand has come.
“I came into this role with a mission to take Jaguar design back to where it deserved to be. It has taken 20 years, but I believe I have achieved what I set out to do. Given the strength of both our products and the design team I feel that now is the right time to move on, both personally and professionally, and explore other design projects. Designing Jaguar cars was a lifelong dream for me and I’m delighted to remain involved as a consultant for the brand. I have worked closely with Julian Thomson for 18 years – he is a hugely talented designer and absolutely the right person to lead Jaguar design into its next chapter.”
Ian started out at Ford Design Studios, staying there for 12 years and contributing to the RS200, Escort Cosworth and Puma as well as the more run-of-the-mill models. He went on to become chief designer at TWR Design, which is where he famously designed the Aston Martin DB7, Vanquish and DB9, before moving on to Jaguar. In 2005 he was awarded the title of Royal Designer for Industry from the RSA and in 2014 he received the Minerva Medal, the highest accolade bestowed by the Chartered Society of Designers, awarded for a lifetime’s achievement in design.
“The contribution Ian Callum has made to Jaguar’s industry-leading design reputation cannot be over-stated,” says Prof. Dr Ralf Speth, Jaguar Land Rover chief executive officer. “Ian stands for the most forward-thinking, rule-breaking and emotive approach to automotive design. He has created a new Jaguar design language – and his passion for Jaguar has seen the range completely transformed during his 20 years in charge. Both personally, and on behalf of everyone at Jaguar, I would like to thank Ian for all he has done, and I am delighted he has committed to continue to be Jaguar’s brand ambassador as a design consultant.”
Julian Thompson will take over from 1 July, the latest move in a career that began at Ford, before moving to Lotus, where he became head of design, then chief of exteriors at Volkswagen Group’s Concept Design Centre. He moved to Jaguar in 2000, and will now head up the design department.
Images courtesy of Jaguar