J. Walter Thompson starts a design unit

Looking to expand its offerings and generate revenue from nontraditional sources, J. Walter Thompson is launching thompsondesign, the trade magazine Adweek reports.

The design unit recently opened with three staffers. Longtime JWT client Diamond Trading Co. in London, formerly De Beers, has signed up for corporate branding and consumer ID work, the publication reports.

The unit will handle logo design, corporate ID and packaging. It will have “the spirit of a startup” and service existing JWT accounts and new clients that might be seen as too small for JWT, Marc B. Capra, COO of the agency’s New York office, reportedly said.

Alicia Tremaine, 40, a senior partner at JWT New York, heads up the division as business director. Kristina Backlund, 35, and Philip Kelly, 39, are its creative directors. Tremaine has been with JWT for a decade and previously was director of the print production studio.

The plan is to “solicit smaller clients that would normally be intimidated by such a large agency,” Tremaine reportedly said. That would include companies in industries such as fashion and jewelry.