• Oct 28, 2012
For the design-minded among you, Julian Thompson, whose recent hits have included the Land Rover LRX concept and the Jaguar CX-75, gave a talk at the PSFK conference about design values. He begins with the question "How do you get a design story?" and then walks us through Jaguar's to address the issue of making the most of a brand's heritage while keeping things new and fresh.

It's a timely discussion because Thompson is also behind the new Jaguar F-Type which, according to his talk, is the latest in Jaguar's line of "beautiful fast luxury cars with glamour." Thompson doesn't shirk "the sad years of Jaguar," either, called out as being 1968 to 2004, when they "essentially made the same-looking car." Thompson's reasons for the malaise: "not only did we start doing market research, we started asking Americans what they wanted."

You'll find more insights in the video below.

Julian Thomson. Jaguar from Piers Fawkes on Vimeo.



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 17 Comments
      D550
      • 2 Years Ago
      The new XF facelift is THE most gorgeous sedan design in the modern era; as good as it looks in pictures, in the metal it is traffic-stopping from every angle. Parking it next to its competitors is simply ridiculous- the 5-series and E-class look like the boxes the XF arrived in. To play at this level of styling, you need to look beyond the common luxury marques to Maserati or Aston Martin, and conquests from Mercedes and BMW accustomed to Camry/Accord levels of anonymity are stunned by the difference in ownership experience- best not be too shy! That being said, Jaguar really shot itself in the foot with all the teething problems on first year XFs (2009) and XJs (2010), though the subsequent respective MYs sorted almost all the issues; 2010 XF and 2011 XJ owners are a very satisfied lot. But with its indisputably checkered past, Jaguar could ill afford the stumbles, and the significant issues that cropped up in long term magazine tests with the 2009 XF undoubtedly hurt their brand renaissance.
      Steve Clark
      • 2 Years Ago
      Julian Thompson has a great sense of design. If he stays at Jag, I suspect we'll see some VERY desirable cars come forth.
      design eye
      • 2 Years Ago
      I have known Julian for years. He's a great designer and a wonderful person as well!
      artandcolour2010
      • 2 Years Ago
      Wow. I can't believe a designer paid by Jaguar described 1968-2004 as the "sad" years. Jaguar made some very desirable cars in that period. With "friends" like that, well, you know. Is he writing off the classic XJ6? the XJS? All the V12 models? This is VERY troubling. It sounds like they're going to throw out 35 years of Jaguar purity in the hopes of becoming a mainstream maker of pathetically boring and same-same cars. I wouldn't have hired someone that didn't respect the company's past products.
        Matthew Dawson
        • 2 Years Ago
        @artandcolour2010
        You didn't even watch the video, did you? The point was in the pre-68 days, each new Jag was a leap ahead of the previous one. That each new one was truly a clean-sheet design intended to innovate and push the new cars to even greater heights. The XJ was one of the cars he used as an example of what Jag used to do well. The "sad" years are were Jag got a bit too comfortable and quit pushing itself. It became too focused on using and reusing certain bits and pieces (headlamps, grilles, etc.) and thought that was what you were supposed to do when you made a new Jag. That kind of thinking lead to cars like the X-type and S-type. And the old-man's car image the company gained as a result of that thinking. They spent decades focused on the form of a Jag but completely neglected the spirit of it. And he didn't even necessarily say anything bad about the cars during those years, just that there was a lot of misguided thinking. He made some pretty positive remarks about the previous XJ, but pointed out that because the design didn't keep up with the times people didn't notice that so much of the car had changed for the better.
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Matthew Dawson
          [blocked]
        vrmchris
        • 2 Years Ago
        @artandcolour2010
        hello to all. artandcolour210, i have to agree with matt dawson on this one. it is not that 1968 to 2004 is "sad" per se, but rather that jaguar stayed stuck to making variations of the seriesIII for far too long. ford and the late geoff lawson were responsible for that mentality. they were responding to clinics held in america. of course we americans do not want to move forward in styling. we like retro. mr. thomson is correct. jaguar had to change. market research can only take you so far. in my humble opinion, jaguar should not do any market research. they should know who they are. they should know what they are about by now. it took the present day xf and xj while under ford's ownership that jaguar is enjoying the well deserved success of today. rick, jaguar is proud of their heritage. the problem is that ford wanted them to be a mass producer like mercedes, bmw, audi. jaguar was not about that. as far as jaguar using the mondeo awd platform for the x-type, and the dew98 platform for the s-type was not the problem. it was the designs themselves that made jaguar get the reputation of being an old man's car. as far as the evoque goes, in the states here buyers are relatively young. the xf and the xj tend to be in their 50's and 60's in age. it is when they are used that younger buyers go for them. jaguar is succeeding because they realize that they have to move forward in their styling and engineering. and not trying to make a million cars per year. regards, vrmchris
        • 2 Years Ago
        @artandcolour2010
        [blocked]
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      Bader
      • 2 Years Ago
      this is bullshit.. he gets of topic a lot. change to the better, if you cannot make something better, then don't change. the last models before 2008 of jaguars such as the XJ and the S Type where among the most beautiful jags. the new jags lost their soul character and class. they just turned into this futuristic fugly looking vehicle with a bunch of technological **** like the japanese. Im ashamed in TATA. This is a dramatic change at once, don't rush things to the future, make cars for the present taste, and not in 20 years.
      yebogorgor
      • 2 Years Ago
      Man, this is bullshit heavy. Plus he looks like a kiddy fiddler
      re037
      • 2 Years Ago
      if you like the old jaguars then buy the old jaguars. same goes for camaro, mustang, charger, challenger, mini, Z, f150, 911, etc. you think the next generation of car buyers want the same car as their grandfathers???
      Brent Booth
      • 2 Years Ago
      I love how they say "Jagyouwere"
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      imptassoc
      • 2 Years Ago
      If your reliability is suspect, why do you have such poor road service ?
      centerpunch
      • 2 Years Ago
      He also designed the Lotus Elise. There's a great documentary on the development of that car, search youtube for "Lotus Elise - The Inside Story"
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