Moving standing still…Jaguar’s F-TYPE Coupé launch

I was recently invited to the launch of the new F-TYPE Coupé by Jaguar and paused for a moment to think “what would I blog about a car for?” That question did stay with me up until the event but I did go along because I have a fascination to understand what makes people go potty over cars.

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Crowds go potty

I’m certainly a fan of Jaguar’s design team, having attended the launch of Wallpaper* Handmade with Jaguar back in October and found myself pleasantly surprised to learn about areas of design I was unaware of. So this invitation made me wonder how an interiors blogger could rock-up to a car launch and get some fantastic design content to share with fellow sceptics.

One of the first things I did when preparing this post was to see what other bloggers have written, to get a sense of what they felt was the most exciting…and I’m a little disappointed to see that the coverage is run-of-the-mill glossy images and football managers. I never placed Jaguar in the “sexy” box, feeling a little cheap and obvious, but perhaps I’ve missed the point. Either way, my view is more in the detail and character than the ‘boys toys’ camp.

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One of the first points about Jaguar to remember is that it is a British manufacturing brand, a dying breed across all industries, and not just a good thing for the economy but for delivering a distinctive British design idea around the world. Britain was Europe’s leading manufacturer of cars until the late-60s, a time when we were making more cars than the rest of Europe combined. Our designs were markedly different from other European designs largely because British designers were not influenced by other European art or design movements.

One of my favourite quotes from Jaguar, which I have heard a couple of times from their team, is “Jaguar cars should look like they are moving when standing still” and that point was a key turning point for me when looking at their cars. At that point, it’s clear to see the difference between a regular around-town car and a Jaguar, these designs might have the details in order to make us get from A to B but they are also pieces of moving art, no different to the Haute couture designs of the fashion houses. Tweet this quote

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We’ve long since understood the difference between practical everyday clothing to the art that struts down a runway during Fashion Week but cars cannot be afforded the same impractical luxuries, needing to work as a purposeful vehicle as well as excite us to want to get inside it.

Jaguar Land Rover UK Managing Director Jeremy Hicks said: “I am really excited to be officially presenting the new F-TYPE Coupé in the UK for the first time. This sports car is as important to the Jaguar brand as it is spectacular to drive. With the F-TYPE Coupé, our designers and engineers have created the ultimate expression of Jaguar DNA; beautiful design combined with immense dynamic performance.” Tweet this quote

It’s the performance part that does nothing for me, but I do veer towards a need for slow rather than speed but if Jaguar’s DNA is focused on good design then I see why they are becoming a hugely successful British brand once again.

I could wax lyrical for a while longer, but I see my word count tipping me over to essay length, so I want to just leave you with a thought…if we’re interested in the concepts of ‘form follows function’ in everyday industrial design then is there a better example of this than Jaguar designs? Tweet this question

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Obligatory football manager photograph

Daniel

Having worked in design for the past decade, Daniel started ateliertally.com as a discussion of timeless, modernist product design. Trained as a graphic designer, he also has an avid interest in typography. You can follow him on Twitter @ateliertally.

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