Born in 1954, the British car designer worked for Ford, TWR and Aston Martin. In 1999, he was appointed Design Director of Jaguar Cars and then Jaguar Land Rover, a position he held until mid-2019.
In 2019 he founded his own car and product design company, Callum, which bears his name – Callum.
In 1968 (aged 14), he submitted a car design to Jaguar in the hope of getting a job. Callum studied at Lanchester Polytechnic now Coventry University School of Transport Design, Aberdeen Art College and Glasgow School of Art, where he graduated with a degree in Industrial Design. He completed a postgraduate Masters in Vehicle Design at the Royal College of Art in London. He was obsessed with cars and chose to design them as his life career.
His younger brother Moray was the Ford’ s vice president of design until his retirement in 2021.
Ford: As well as working on the Fiesta, Mondeo, he also designed the RS200 and Escort RS Cosworth, the latter of which he is particularly proud of, created with his partner Peter Horbury.
During this period, he was partly responsible for the design of the Aston Martin DB7, which is perhaps his most famous design. He has also designed the Aston Martin Vanquish, the V12 DB7 Vantage and the Aston Martin Project Vantage concept car, as well as being responsible for a number of design programmes for TWR’s other clients including Volvo, Mazda and HSV. In 1995 he received the Jim Clark Memorial Award in recognition of his design work on the DB7. In 1996 he designed the Volvo C70 Coupe and in 1998 the Nissan R390.
At Jaguar: The first production Jaguar to be influenced by him was the 2004 redesign of the S-Type, followed by the 2004 X-Type Estate, for which he oversaw the rear door design.
Ian Callum says: “Jaguars are cool cars and cool cars attract interesting, exciting people. The quality of his work at Jaguar has been recognised by two-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner and fellow Dumfries native Allan McNish.
He revealed that one late night, on a whim, he bought a 1956 Chevy from eBay Motors. “I clicked on the ‘Buy It Now’ button – the seller was in Cleveland,” he said. “He was extremely surprised to see who wanted to buy it and where I wanted it delivered. But he agreed.”
Callum then lavished a lot of love and subtle design and engineering improvements on this cherry-red classic, and perhaps that helped him towards his own business. His private collection includes a ’32 Ford and a ’93 Mini.
The award-winning Aston Martin DB7 and Vanquish V12 models have been in production largely unchanged from the early 1990s until 2018, thanks to their outstanding design. This is an eternity in the world of automotive.
“The Vanquish was perfect for its time, but it could have been better,” he said. “I know because I designed it.”
In early June 2019, Callum announced he was leaving Jaguar, but would remain with the company as a design consultant. “Designing Jaguar cars has been a lifelong dream for me and I’m delighted to continue to be involved with the brand as a consultant,” he said in an interview. Shortly afterwards, he founded an independent car and product design agency in Warwick, simply called Callum, specialising in bespoke and limited edition products.

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