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Ian Callum, Jaguar Design Director

"It's about beauty of line and purity of form.”

Ian Callum Design Director, Jaguar
From the moment he laid eyes on the Jaguar XJ6 when he was 14, Ian Callum knew he’d found his dream job. Inspired, he sent some sketches to then Chief Engineer Bill Heynes, who encouraged him to follow his heart.

Early on, American cars had a big influence on Callum. “I recognized the design in them, almost the exaggeration of design. They were definitely more expressive, and in my mind, America was extremely glamorous. The ’65 Buick Riviera was my favourite. And it didn’t come from seeing the cars; it came from not being able to see them.”

Callum studied at the Glasgow School of Art before receiving a master’s in vehicle design at the Royal College of Art in London. His talents had already been noted by Ford, and for 12 years he was involved in designing some of the company’s best-loved cars before joining TWR, where he took on high-profile projects for Aston Martin (the DB7, Vanquish and DB9), Ford Puma, Volvo C70 and Nissan R390.

Then, in 1999, Callum got the call he’d been waiting for all his life: the chance to be design director of Jaguar.

His understanding of, and respect for, the brand’s creators is clear in the vehicles he and his team have created. “We know how intently our predecessors pushed the boundaries of design and technology. Jaguar has always been a forward-thinking company, and that philosophy informs the work we do to this day.”

This is clearly demonstrated by Callum’s work on the transformation of the range with award-winning designs.

“Jaguar vehicles are about great proportions, fantastic silhouettes…the optimum expression of metal…I’ve always believed any good design can be drawn in two or three lines.” 

You might think that successfully designing new Jaguar models might be hindered by the weight of heritage and previous successes. Ian isn’t phased: “My point of judgment is always: what would Sir William Lyons think of this? And I honestly think he’d approve, hugely.” 

Not content to rest on his laurels, Ian leads a talented team who are working every day to perfect the Jaguar of the future. Ask him which vehicle he’s most proud of, his answer is simple: “The next one!”
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