British design icon decides it’s time for other projects
Ian Callum, who has been designing with Jaguar since 1999, has decided to resign from the company after 20 years. Having previously worked on the revitalisation of Aston Martin design in the 1990s, he was instrumental in transforming the design language of Jaguar from the overly retrospective to the proudly modern and dynamic, with great success.
As well as bringing Jaguar’s saloons into the 21st century (some more controversially than others), we have seen image-building sports cars like the XK and F-Type as well as the company’s first SUVs, the F-Pace and E-Pace, all overseen by Callum. Meanwhile, the new I-Pace electric vehicle has been winning awards left, right and centre – including our own.
If you want a little more of the backstory on some of his career-highlight projects, then click here to see a series of articles in his own words.
Callum said of his decision to leave:
“I have had an incredible career at Jaguar. 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.”
Jaguar Land Rover CEO, Dr. Ralf Speth, added his own praise for one of Britain’s most celebrated automotive designers:
“The contribution Ian Callum has made to Jaguar’s industry-leading design reputation cannot be over-stated. 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.
“Innovative, beautiful, future-facing and true to our pioneering heritage, Jaguar’s current and award-winning cars are testament to Ian’s dedication – you can see his ‘signature’ in each and every one. In my view, the World Car Design of the Year winning F-TYPE, F-PACE and I-PACE – true game changers – are perhaps his greatest achievements. I believe they will be future icons.
“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.
“I’d also like to congratulate Julian in his new position as Director of Design. Now is Julian’s time to shape his team, and the next generation of Jaguars. I am excited about the future for Jaguar, and Julian continuing the brand’s position as a world-leader in automotive design.”
Jaguar has named Julian Thomson as his successor, effective as of 1st July.
Thomson has been at Jaguar for almost as long as Callum, having previously been at Ford’s Dunton facility before a 12-year stint at Lotus and a Head of Exteriors role at VW Group. At Jaguar, he worked on their transformative Advanced Design concepts of the early 2000s before becoming Head of Design at the company. He says of his promotion:
“I’m honoured to take up the position of Director of Design, Jaguar. It will be a great privilege to lead such a talented team, and continue to build on our success. Automotive design has always been fast moving, but today it is changing at a rate faster than ever before. I’m passionate about ensuring Jaguar Design leads that change, and the cars that will drive our future.”