Pincipal Colour & Materials Designer

Location: Woking, GB

When our founder Bruce McLaren passed away at the age of 32 he left behind a legacy that has shaped who we are today. We have an unrivalled heritage which has its roots in racing; but McLaren Automotive is now creating a story of its own and we want you to be a part of it.

As part of our Track25 business plan we will launch 18 new models or derivatives of our vehicles and look to expand our retailer network into new markets with an aim of having 100 retailers globally.  

Track 25 and McLaren Automotive’ s growing reputation is testament to our world class employees. To ensure McLaren Automotive continues to be at the forefront of the Automotive market, we are looking for a Principal Designer to join our Colour & Materials team.

Purpose of the role:

As a Principal Colour & Materials Designer, you’ll be leading colour & materials design across all programmes, supporting the Colour & Materials Manager with the day to day management of the team, and reporting progress and issues up to Director level.

You will be researching market sector, lifestyle, design, and social trends for future programmes, and liaising closely with Design teams and function groups to ensure our colour & materials design exceed the high standard expected by our customers.

Principal accountabilities:

  • Direct report to the CMD Manager
  • Communicate and progress critical issues to the Chief Designer, Design Operations Manager & Design Director.
  • Define, submit and manage CMD D&D budget (to deliver G0-G4)
  •  Carry out appraisals as required (specifically junior and senior designers).
  • Work within the wider Design, CAS, Clay & Engineering teams; to present feasible solutions to Function Group representatives and Senior Management for sign-off.
  • Offer input into the creation and update of design standards & process.
  • Input into Design Strategy
  • Present & sell Colour & Materials concepts to senior management and up to Executive level.
  • Assist to Instilling the design statement, pillars & principles to create a strong future design identity.
  • Assist in Instilling the McLaren way of thinking through brainstorming/concept development sessions.
  • Support the CMD Team to deliver new Materials and Finishes for all programs
  • Create C&M programme vision themes and Materials Variant List for all programs
  • Create and deliver the C&M Design research report and Design Intent Report for all programs
  • Submit C&M plan for long lead-time parts for all programs
  • Deliver Target samples and support Design Quality in delivery of Master Samples for all colours & materials
  • Reconcile design intent, quality & manufacturing feasibility with engineering and commercial requirements.

Knowledge, skills & experience:

  • A University Degree in Art and Design or equivalent, with extensive experience as a Colour and Material Designer
  • Delivered Colour & Materials for programs from G0 to G4.
  • Excellent experience leading and coaching a high-performance team working within tight deadlines
  • Possessing a high level of self-motivation, people skills, initiative, flexibility and determination to see a task through to completion
  • Solid OEM experience working in a design department of an Automotive company
  • Highly creative with excellent colour vision, colour harmony and an intuitive understanding of perceived value and craftsmanship
  • Significant knowledge of automotive/industrial colours and materials 
  • Presentation skills to explain and express design intention
  • High Level of competence in using Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator and Microsoft Office
  • Strong project planning/management skills essential

Personal attributes:

  • Must possess a genuine passion for pushing the boundaries in Colour and Materials Design
  • Highly motivated Team player with excellent communication and strong presentation skills
  • Should be well organised and methodical, with excellent attention to detail
  • Working exceptionally well under pressure.

We recognise that we can only achieve our vision with the dedication and collaboration of our world class employees.  It is our aim to become the employer of choice within the global automotive industry.

At McLaren Automotive we are constantly looking to improve. To become the employer of choice we are always looking to develop our employee offerings. We currently offer a range of benefits to employees at all levels of the business including Private Healthcare, Contributory Pension Scheme, Life Assurance and Personal Lease Car Scheme. We also offer a range of discounts with our partner organisations.


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