Jaguar’s Director of Design Ian Callum has been honoured with a Royal Designer for Industry (RDI) distinction, the highest accolade a designer can receive in the UK.
The award is given in recognition of designers who have ‘achieved sustained excellence in aesthetic and efficient design for industry’ and is presented by the RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce).
Commenting on the award Ian Callum said: “To gain such recognition from fellow members of the design community is an enormous privilege for me, particularly from a faculty that is not directly involved in the car business. This distinction is a testament to the value of car design and the role that car designers play in the motoring industry.
“Design is a major driving force in the creation of the history of modern motoring and it is an honour for me, and my fellow artists and designers in the industry to have this acknowledged.”
Presenting the diploma at the RSA on Thursday, November 30, Gerry Acher CBE LVO, RSA chairman, said: “As the man responsible for the stunning appearance of the new XK sports car, members of the Faculty of Royal Designers for Industry felt that Ian Callum’s contribution towards the new direction of Jaguar cars should be recognised.”
Ian Callum joined Jaguar in 1999 and helped in launching the X-TYPE Estate, the new XJ saloon, S-TYPE refresh and headed the design team towards the R-Coupe, RD-6, the Advanced Lightweight Coupe and other advanced design concept cars.
His most recent design is the new XK sports car. Design features such as the distinctive oval grille opening, prominent bonnet power-bulge and practicality-enhancing rear Liftback all echo the classic E-type. Details like the sweeping front and rear light shapes and powerful stance have catapulted Jaguar sports car design firmly into the 21st century.
This is not the first time Ian has been recognised by the RSA; in 1975 he received first prize for the Annual RSA college bursary for Industrial Design, and he also received a “commendation” for Furniture Design the following year.
This is the second award for Ian Callum this year. He recently received the Jim Clark Memorial Award, given by the Association of Scottish Motoring Writers (ASMW) to a Scot or Scots who have achieved excellence in the field of motoring.
Since the introduction of the Aston Martin DB7 and now the stunning new Jaguar XK, Ian Callum has been acknowledged as one of the world’s foremost design talents.
Born in Dumfries, Scotland, Ian attended a course in Industrial Design at Glasgow School of Art which was followed by a two-year course in Automobile Design at the Royal College of Art.
His performance at the RCA persuaded Ford to recruit him immediately and from 1978 he spent 12 years working in the company’s design studios in Britain, Japan, the United States, Australia and Germany. He was then appointed Design Manager responsible for the Ghia Design Studio in Turin before he returned to the UK to join TWR in Oxford as Chief Designer in 1990.
During his time with Ford Ian Callum worked on the Ford RS200 mid-engined sports car, the Escort RS Cosworth.
While he was with Ghia in Turin he played a major role in the Via design Concept for a mid-engine sports car utilising a fibre optic lighting system and was responsible for the design and development of the Ghia Zig and Zag compact 2-seater sports car and mini van vehicles.
Since his return to the UK in 1990 Ian Callum has worked on TWR programmes for GM’s Australian subsidiary Holden, together with projects for Aston Martin (DB7 and Vanquish) Ford (Puma) Volvo (C70) Nissan(R390 Le Mans) and Mazda, Range Rover and Rover.
Ian’s involvement with the DB7 was the first in a new generation of Aston Martins followed by the Vanquish and the DB9. His brief for the DB7 was to carry through the design theme of Sir David Brown’s world famous DB series, the last of which was manufactured in 1971, while taking full advantage of modern materials, components and manufacturing techniques.
Since 1999, he has held the position of Design Director at Jaguar, where his most recent design is the successful new XK sports car. Ian is currently working on the continuation of the next generation of Jaguar products.
Ian has also headed the design team towards the R-Coupe, RD-6, the Advanced Lightweight Coupe and other advanced design concept cars.