After 20 years, celebrated automotive designer Ian Callum will be stepping down from his current post as design director for the Jaguar brand. Julian Thomson, who is currently creative design director, will take over as director of design at Jaguar starting July 1.
In a statement, Callum reflected on his tenure at Jaguar:
“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.”
Callum spent his first 12 years at Ford Design Studios before moving to TWR Design where he went on to pen Aston Martin’s DB7 and the first-generation Vanquish. He eventually moved to Jaguar in 1999 where he was responsible for leading the teams behind many models, including the sultry F-Type sports car and Jaguar’s first all-electric vehicle, the I-Pace. Callum and his staff helped transform the Jaguar lineup through dramatic design language that has graced every sedan, sports car, and crossover since the 2007–2014 XK grand tourer and the first-generation XF sedan, which was produced from the 2008–2015 model years.
Outside of his work for British automakers, Callum penned the Nissan R390, a Le Mans race car that competed in the GT1 class in 1997 and 1998. Of the eight cars produced, there was only one roadgoing version. At Ford, Callum was responsible for the Puma, a two-door, front-drive hatchback sold from 1997–2002, and the RS200, a limited-production mid-engine, all-wheel-drive homologation special developed for Group B rally competition.
After vacating his current position, Callum will continue to work with Jaguar as a design consultant. Throughout his career, Callum has been recognized as a leading figure in automotive design. He received the Royal Designer for Industry title in 2005 from the Royal Society of Arts and the Minerva Medal in 2014 from the Chartered Society of Designer for his lifetime design achievements.