Ian Callum named UK Designer of the Year

By RELAXNEWS | 28 April 2015

LONDON: The man who has led Jaguar's visual metamorphosis over the past decade is the 2015 recipient of the Designer of the Year award, an honor bestowed on the individual deemed to be the most influential currently operating in UK design.

Presented by The Drum, by the UK's biggest marketing publication, the award is based equally on overall career success, a person's influence within their professional sphere and their output over the last year.

And in scooping the top honor and being named at the head of The Drum's annual "Designerati" list of the 100 most important people in UK design, Callum pushed Burberry's Christopher Bailey into third place and Maggie Hodgetts, head of graphic design at the upmarket Waitrose supermarket chain, into second place.

Stephen Lepitak, editor of The Drum, said "Ian Callum is a visionary of British design. From his roots at Ford in the 1970s, to his craftsmanship on Aston Martin, his influence on car design is legendary. Ian's dedication to innovation, his eye for detail and his strong vision for what Jaguar cars should look like truly represent the best of design in the UK."

Born in Dumfries, Scotland, in 1954, Callum took up his current position at Jaguar in 1999 but his career has seen him design concept cars for Ghia, and production models for Mazda, Volvo and Nissan as well as the aforementioned Ford and Aston Martin since he took his first steps in the industry back in 1979.

Callum has always had a strong love and respect for Jaguar. In 1968, aged just 14, he wrote to the company looking for advice and employment and even sent in a set of concept car drawings.

And while it took a further 31 years to land a job at the firm, since arriving in 1999, he has taken Jaguar away from retro-influenced curves and twin headlamps to a visual signature that is much more purposeful, modern and edgy without crossing the line into full-on aggression or diluting the company's heritage or brand values.

Collecting the award, Callum thanked his design team at Jaguar for making it possible and said "It is an honour to reach the number one position in the Designerati list. For an automotive designer to claim this award is very special indeed -- especially considering the depth and array of talented UK designers across the disciplines of architecture, fashion and graphic design."