An Interview with Ian Callum

Judges Interviews

Ian Callum

Design Director, Jaguar Cars

Judging all the entries for the inaugural Creative Conscience Awards is proving to be a long process. It is also a deeply inspiring one. Not just because of the awesome quality of the entries we’ve received but because we also get to spend quality time with some of the creatives we most admire.

Aside from the judging, we’ve been chatting about what inspires them and why they’ve chosen to become part of this ambitious initiative.

Here’s what leading British car designer, Ian Callum had to say…

What is the single most interesting brief you’ve worked on during your career?

To reinvent Jaguar; an unusual notion that I picked up and made my own. It’s been a fascinating journey. I designed the story and delivered the message in a clear, singular and consistent way. I communicated what I thought the brand should stand for and I applied that to various products, ultimately taking the brand back to where it should have been.

Who has been your biggest influence?

My inspiration comes from a broad landscape but I am particularly inspired by other people, especially my team and their abilities. My job is to channel those abilities into something that makes sense – design turns chaos into order but chaos is often required to simply be creative.

What is the greatest piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

To believe that it can always get better. Also, to think laterally; this is something that I tried to do even before I went to college and I always strived to think outside of the box.

What advice would you give a creative student today?

No matter how well you’ve done, you will eventually look back and realise what you did wasn’t that good. Know that now. No matter how intuitive something may seem, find out more and learn to articulate and communicate your intuition. Break your ideas down into the fundamental elements of how it will work; only then will you bring people with you.

In this culture of fear and cautiousness, what is the future of design?

The power of design has never been greater. We need imagination and courage to make a difference. Today, we have a huge opportunity to make a difference because, finally, we understand the problems and we know how to use design to find the solutions.

What is it about this initiative that has inspired you to get involved?

I’m becoming more and more interested in all aspects of design and I want to know how other creative disciplines are creating an impact across the world. The Creative Conscience Awards is one of those disciplines; the initiative will grow and it will become very important.

How does your creative conscience express itself in your work?

My whole approach to life is focused on getting the elements of things absolutely right. It’s my job to create order out of chaos and to pull everything together into a singular direction and a clear message. At the end of the day, I want to create a story that people understand and to create things that they can really enjoy. That ambition defines everything that I do.

Interview by Kate Burton