Thomas Cook sets its design group loose

Thomas Cook’s in-house design team is launching as a standalone consultancy and is in the process of registering a name, Redbrick, based on the red of Thomas Cook’s existing brand.

Head of design Steve Knifton says the team will continue to be a profit-making centre owned by Thomas Cook and denies work for its owner will suffer if it works with other clients. “Thomas Cook will be happy for us to improve its profits,” says Knifton.

He denies the team is launching as a standalone due to a lack of work for Thomas Cook. “Profit is one reason for the venture, but it is not a priority. The work will be good for the design team as it will keep them fresh.”

The team is turning its in-house group into an independent venture to enhance its portfolio, which includes work with Thomas Cook’s youth brand JMC, and exploit the talents of the five-strong design team, says Knifton. He says it aims to increase its graphic design, packaging and point-of-sale expertise.

Knifton says the team has already won “a few” pitches for work with blue-chip clients, but is not prepared to disclose names. It hopes to increase its account management, copywriting and Web design capabilities soon.

“Our immediate plans are to finalise the branding of the team, then launch with a bang in a few months’ time,” adds Knifton.

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