How to get car design job in Jaguar Design: 7 top tips from Ian Callum

Ian Cullam Car Designer

Ian Callum , Director of Design , Jaguar

 

 

 

In this article , Ian Cullam , Director of Design at Jaguar gives young students and professionals interested in car design some important tips to secure a job at jaguar in the design department. These tips are universal and would help any student of car design who is currently in the process of job hunt or preparation of portfolio.


Today a career in car design job is much more competitive than when I first started my automotive career. It’s critical that you stand out from the crowd. Here are my top tips when applying for a job here at Jaguar.

1. A killer portfolio is key

When I first arrived at Jaguar, I received a portfolio once every few months. Now we’re getting at least one a week, from all over the world. Portfolios say a lot; they are the first point of contact. Some of the books I get are beautifully made; they’re like coffee table books, but it’s the content that really counts. I can tell from four or five pages how good somebody is. It should show the thought process, with sketches and quick ideas, right through to a fully rendered car. Remember I don’t need to see your life story in drawings (although I do sometimes get it!).

2. Write a killer cover letter to go with it

Remember that your portfolio is going to land on my desk with lots of others. A cover letter is a must. This needs to be succinct, showing an understanding of Jaguar. Give me an indication of your genuine interest in not just being a designer, but being a Jaguar designer.

Before you go for an interview, you should find out about Jaguar. Find out about the person who will interview you. Who are they? What do they do? What are their interests? This gives you the advantage of knowing how to deal with them, because you deal with people according to their character. We all do.

Ian callum sketch

Ian cullam sketch

3. Demonstrate creative thinking and drawing ability

I am often asked what qualities I look for in a designer. The most important mental skill is to be creative and to be able to think laterally. That’s the first thing I look for in any designer. The main physical skill I’m looking for is your ability to draw. Drawing is how we communicate.

4. Be yourself down to the last detail

First impressions are everything. I’m not necessarily expecting you to turn up in a three-piece-suit or a shirt and tie. People can present themselves in all sorts of different ways. You have to present your character as you really are. Designers look at details. I know a very famous entrepreneur who, when he sees people for the first time, looks at the heels of their shoes. Be aware that people are looking at these details. Don’t take the chance.

5. Be interesting and interested

Be prepared for what you want to say. You’ve got to be clear about what you want out of the job; not just financial benefit but real personal gain. The best candidates are interesting to talk to, and leave me wanting to know more. That’s always fascinating. However, I have interviewed people who just won’t stop talking. It’s nerves a lot of the time. Don’t be nervous, we’re all human. Be concise and listen.

Don’t forget to smile. It’s all about human interaction and a smile says so much about somebody.

6. Be a team player

We need an eclectic mix of people who fit into a team. I don’t have time for overly-confident, single-minded people. I used to be one of those people who could only work on my own, and that’s why I left Ford when I did, to set up my own design studio with “me, myself and I”. But since I have arrived at Jaguar, the most important thing I’ve learnt is to manage teamwork. A car is made up of thousands of parts and no one person can work alone with such a magnitude of work.

I say to my team “leave your ego at the door”. Of course every designer has an ego. Of course every designer wants to get their design up front. I’m quite happy with that. I’m not asking them to forfeit their design for the sake of teamwork. I’m asking them to understand that everybody in the team has something to offer and they must respect that. I don’t mind individuals with an individual character, but remember you are part of a team.

7. Show your love of learning and improving

The most important thing to remember is that your latest work is not necessarily your best and even if you think it at the time, it will get better. That is what makes a good designer.

There’s a lovely quote from Thomas Edison which I utterly believe in: “When you’ve exhausted all of the possibilities, remember this: you haven’t.”

Ian Callum at Jaguar  Launch

 

About Ian Culla

Ian Callum, RDI, Jaguar Director of Design, was born in Dumfries, Scotland. Ian attended a course in Industrial Design at Glasgow School of Art, followed by a 2-year course in Automobile Design at the Royal College of Art.

Ian spent the first 12 years of his career at Ford Design Studios, where he contributed to the creation of the Escort RS Cosworth and the Ghia Via Concept. Later, as Chief Designer of TWR Design, he was responsible for the Aston Martin DB7 and Vanquish.

Ian joined Jaguar in 1999 but continued to manage Aston Martin Design, developing the DB9 as well as directing Jaguar Design where he and his team created, amongst others, the R-Coupe, RD-6 and C-X75 concepts. Heralding an exciting new era for the brand, each car takes the design theme further and continues to reinforce Jaguar as a creator of ‘fast, beautiful cars.’ The first new model was the XK, followed by the XF and XJ. In September 2012 the much-anticipated F-TYPE was launched, Jaguar’s first 2-seater sports car since the iconic E-Type. This was followed later by the Jaguar XE, which Ian designed for a very competitive segment. A bold statement for Jaguar using Ian’s established design philosophy.


If you love cars and are interested in designing them, our Diploma in Car Design course is the perfect choice for you to get started on your journey towards becoming a car designer.

 

INTRODUCING OUR NEW DESIGN FACULTY : ARUN KUMAR

Arun

 

 We are Happy to introduce and welcome our new mentor to Launchpad Academy.

Arun is a passionate creative with varied interest ranging from  Car Design , Design Sketching , Motor Sports, Travel and Adventure  .  He is graduate of MIT Institute of Design and has a post graduate degree in Transportation Design from  Istituto Europeo di Design(IED),  Turin.  Arun had also interned and worked at companies like Mahindra , Elixi apart from running his own Design Studio.

Arun has participated in many international design contests and his work has got wide spread coverage in International media.  He is skilled in freehand sketching, Marker rendering, Photoshop/ALIAS and he also likes to build stuff using Clay,MDF and wood. At Launchpad Arun will be creating content and delivering  online and classroom courses as well as workshops all over the world.  Please keep following our page for more updates on this . Meanwhile some of Arun’s work is displayed below.

P. S : We are launching a new classroom course in Bangalore with Arun, If you are interested, please leave a comment with your contact details or email us on info@launchpadacademy.in

 

sports car arun

 

Sketching Portfolio

Sketching Portfolio

 

Launchpad Academy

Launchpad Academy

 

Apply to the Renault Car Design Internship Program.

6 design talents will be selected to work, for 6 months, in an existing Renault Design Studio. At the end of internship program, Job offers will be made to 1 or 2 participants.

Renault Design always has had a close to Design school students.

RENAULT has been sponsoring projects or doing workshops about Car Design & Design Management and encouraging design talent.

With the Design Academy , Renault had decided to go one step to train young talents, select the best and put them together in one of our foreign Design Studio under the mentorship of their top designers .

There will be several project briefings and meetings and presentation to top management

Renault will give a project, based on which a final offer will be made to the best candidate.

All finalists will get a certificate and the two best ones will receiva permanent real designer job offer.

About the Renault Design Academy

The Design Academy project was organized by Renault Design and developed under the lead of Project Director Patrick Lecharpy (VP Advanced Design and Head of Renault Design India studios) and Project Manager Luciano Bove, (Design Academy Head of Program and Advanced Design Manager).

ELGIBILTY

Design Academy will accept applications from any ex design school student (undergraduate & postgraduate).

However; candidates must have no more than 2 years after their graduation day, candidates have never worked before, candidates who might have had already one or more internships.

Candidates must have a high comprehension & written level of the English language

Candidates must send their CV + Portfolio in PDF light format (no more than 4MB) via the website .

Selected candidates will be contacted by Renault as soon as possible.

Candidates must have a valid Passport

The Design Academy will be held at Renault Design Studio in Chennai India.

apply here http://designacademy.renault.com

This is a wonderful opportunity for Launchpad Students to especially those with a postgraduate degree to work with Renault and we encourage each and every one of our students in the car design program to apply to this.The key skills to focus is car sketching skills.  Please contact if you need any help in applying to the program.

 

 

 

From Studying Engineering to Becoming a Car Designer : The Journey of Muqeet Arsh

Meet Muqeet Arsh, a Mechanical Engineering graduate from AMC College of Engineering, Bangalore, who got admitted into Masters in Transportation & Car Design course at Scuola Politecnica di Design, Italy, after doing his Diploma in Car Design from Launchpad Academy. He is currently pursuing his second year . He kindly agreed to meet couple of our students and talk to us about his experiences.
With two years of work experience at Mahindra under his belt, Muqeet was all set to take the next grand step in his career. His eyes were all set on being an automobile designer.
Having no background with design, he opted to hone his design skills before applying for a master’s degree at a foreign university. That’s when he enrolled himself in Launchpad’s Diploma in Car Design course.

visit to ferrari

visit to ferrari

In a live session with Launchpad Alumni, Muqeet shared his experience on how Launchpad helped him realize his dream. Here are some of his excerpts and learnings from the session.
Joining Launchpad’s Diploma in Car Design Course

“I did my Mechanical Engineering from AMC College. After that I joined Launchpad Academy. This helped me a lot to focus where exactly I wanted to be. They guided me how exactly to apply to colleges and which all colleges are open to apply.”
Learning How to Sketch

Sketching is one of the most essential skills to get into a design course at any prestigious university. Being from an engineering background, Muqeet realized that he had to learn how to sketch freely and own this skill. “I used to sketch but I didn’t know how to get into this field.”. Launchpad’s sketching and design course helped him hone his skills and get admitted to SPD, Italy.

Building a Strong Portfolio
“When I started, my portfolio was really bad. It was basically a word document with all my sketches. You can start with anyhow you want depending on how your skill level is.”
Your portfolio needn’t be anything fancy. Just include a collection of your best work. Focus on free hand sketches and showcase any other creative pursuits you may have such as drawing, painting or even clay modelling.

Why Join a University?

You will get to know what you really want to do. They’ll help you hone your skills right and get to the next level. The industry demands certain skills and traits from the designers, and the university prepares you to gel perfectly with it.
Getting Admitted is Only the Beginning

The SPD admission process consists of an online application process followed by a skype interview, wherein you’re given a live sketching assignment. It’s that simple really, provided you’re already prepared.
The course which Muqeet opted for at SPD is in English. No GRE score or TOEFL certificate was required to qualify for an admission.
About the Course
As with any design course, it’s extremely rigorous and tough. Classes are short, but most of the time is spent completing assignments and projects. You’ll hardly find time for any other activities, except on weekends.
The course is divided into two years. The first year is compulsory for students from non-design background. On completion of the first year, every student gets a 1-year post graduation certificate. Only those who score more than 8.5 GPA in their first year get into the second year to earn their master’s degree.
“Out of 12 students from my class just 4 of us made it to the second year.”
The course fee is roughly INR 20 Lakhs and the living cost is around 1000 Euro a month in Italy.
Learning from Industry Experts
The professors at SPD are all industry experts and come from some of the top design studios and automotive companies in the world. One of the professors is working for Alfa Romeo. Another was one of the designers for Niki Lauda’s Ferrari car. Learning from such experienced professionals was truly an amazing experience for him.

SPD is affiliated with Volkswagen Group, an automobile conglomerate with many companies under their belt. As a result, students get a chance to do projects at leading automobile firms such as Alfa Romeo to Lamborghini.
“My first year we worked with Alfa Romeo and Fiat. My second year as soon as I’ll be joining we’ll start with live projects from Lamborghini, Audi and Ducati.”
Why Italy and not US or Germany?
“As far as design is concerned I think Italy is the best place to learn, because it is known as the design capital of the world. They’re the oldest and one of the most famous designers in the world. They’re very precise, they know what they want and how they want it to be in the future.”
Being the home of iconic car brands like Ferrari and Alfa Romeo, Italy has been very influential in car design. We cannot argue with him here.

Joining Launchpad’s course helped Muqeet grab a seat at one of the most prestigious design universities in the world.
If you love cars and are interested in designing them, our Diploma in Car Design course is the perfect choice for you to get started on your journey towards becoming a car designer.

Here is the video of session.

HOW D. C WENT FROM A COMMERCE GRADUATE TO INDIA’S TOP CAR DESIGNER?

Dilip Chabria

DC’s as Dilip Chabria is known , love for cars started with his fascination for doodling them on every surface at his home. Armed with a commerce degree and with no idea on what to do with his future was when he chanced upon an advertisement that said-“Do you want to be a car designer?” A surprised Dilip Chabria (DC)  realized that his hobby could culminate into a career too. He applied to the Automotive Design Arts Center in California where he majored in transportation design. He cut short his stint with General Motors as a car designer  because of the red tape associated with working in huge corporations. The same Dilip goes on to become the automobile style guru and founder of DC designs whose repertoire includes designing expensive cars, executive jets, helicopters, designing yachts and making India’s first sports car, DC Avanti.

dc-avanti

 

Dilip’s father ran an electronic manufacturing business where he was given a little space and an ultimatum of one month to do whatever he wants to. With a team of 3 on the design venture, he makes an indigenous design of a horn in the shape of a ring for Premier Padmini in the replacement market. Selling each of the piece at 40 rupees apiece when the making charges were only eight rupees meant that his hobby could be successful as a provider of bread and butter. He ended up making more money in the 1 month than his dad made in the whole year. In a wise move, his dad gave him the entire factory.

He designed his Gypsy in 1992 and vowed to give his all for the design because it was being done for him, it had the desired impact, people everywhere thronged to look at his now remodeled car. He sold the car to invest in his business. For a brief period, he had signed an exclusivity deal with Mahindra where he worked on the Armada and other concepts that later led to the creation of Scorpio. A non-conformist that he was, he quit being a part of the deal to concentrate working on any car that he is fascinated with.

Not only does he indulge in designing cars for India’s uber rich, he has the distinction of making the first prototype for the Aston Martin Vanquish that appeared in James Bond’s Die Another Day. His website describes him as someone with the sensibility of an artist and the mind of an engineer.

He believes that the toughest car to customize would be the Porsche 911 as he opines that it is difficult to alter something with a design as perfect as that. Dilip is quite the painter too, a hobby which he indulges in on Sundays. Also known to sculpt, he has a full-fledged studio in his factory where he uses the same materials as in his cars to make sculptures like plastic, acrylic, fiber glass and steel. These are then displayed in his showrooms in Mumbai, Pune and Delhi. In his own words-“Those who can’t afford to customize or buy my car can have a piece of DC design through my art work”.

Dilip’s DYPDC Center for Automotive Research and Studies offers both undergraduate and postgraduate programs in automobile styling which is based in Pune. In fact, before the end of the program, students are supposed to build an automobile to get their degrees.

In a list of glowing achievements that would trump most achievers, he has created India’s first sports car, DC Avanti. Chhabria reckons that this is the first Made-in-India sports car and was created with today’s youngsters in mind. The commercial launch was done from its dealership Aadivenoo Motors in Pune.  Each piece of beauty was priced at 35.93 lakh rupees, available in three standard colors of red, white and silver, in addition to any customized color choice. This is the first time Dilip’s company has ventured into manufacturing segment of the automobile industry. Despite a slowdown in the automobile segment, Dilip’s DC Design would never go out of work because it caters to a niche market where money is nary a matter.

dc go

Not only would DC design 25 foot limousines, but they have also come up with design enhancer kits for small cars such as Tata Nano and other models like Maruti Swift, Toyota Innova and Honda City. The cost for the same would be around 50,000 to 150,000 rupees. These customization kits are shipped to Carnation Auto, a company founder by former MD of Maruti Suzuki

dc go

The services that are offered at DC designs are the following:

  1. Styling: Vehicles, Aviation and CAS.
  2. Show car & Prototype Build.
  3. Customized and Armored Vehicles Builds.
  4. Special Purpose Vehicles Builds.
  5. Bespoke Furniture.

The Dilip Chhabria Design Private Limited is credited with more than 600 designs boasting of an employee strength of 300.

Dilip Chhabria has made his passion grow to a stage where his company is the largest auto accessory manufacturer in the country. Catering to the needs of B2B and B2C firms and individual clients by providing innovative automobile design solutions, DC makes this happen through system integration, automobile styling and knowledge of the craft. The end result is an amalgamation of pure unadulterated automobile lust and genius on display. Dilip’s company has put India on the global map of automobile design. DC’s products bear a striking resemblance to its creator’s work ethics in terms of its design, finish and fulfilling requirements of a client.

Suzuki R3 (interior) Shahrukh_Khan_Caravan_2 Shahrukh_Khan_Caravan DC Gaia