Client news: 5 by 5 Design celebrates 5th anniversary with financial stability, strong client relationships; “Give back” tops the company’s five tips for success

In spite of the economic climate, 5 by 5 Design celebrates its fifth year in business as leaders in its industry and its community. The company’s strategic marketing communications and creative design services are highly valued by its clients, driving sales in excess of $1 million.

5 by 5 Design’s clients range from Welcyon Fitness After 50, health clubs for aging adults, to 360° a Minnesota State Colleges and Universities System initiative focused on promoting and building the manufacturing industry, from Gopher News Company, a distributor of magazines and books, to The McKnight Foundation, one of the nation’s largest foundations. (Heather West Public Relations, Inc. also is proud to be a client of 5 by 5 Design.)

Owned and founded by Diana Lillicrap and Wendy Ruyle, 5 by 5 Design’s brand is synonymous with “loud and clear.” Traditional communication signals, such as radio messages, were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 for strength and clarity. “Regardless of the channels — broadcast, print or interactive, the markets, the messages, the tools — strong, clear communications continue to resonate with businesses large and small,” says Lillicrap.

Ruyle continues, “We work with large corporations, small- to medium-sized businesses, several start-ups, and non-profits. Our diverse client base gives us the opportunity to apply cross-market thinking to our design, to work with all levels of leadership, and to create financial stability for our company. Most of our work is ongoing and relationship based. In fact, 74% of all of our clients have hired us for more than one project. More than 50% of our clients are multi-year clients.”

“I continue to be impressed with the strategy and creativity offered by 5 by 5 Design. They provide us with large agency thinking at a small agency price,” says Suzy Boerboom, co-owner and chief operating officer, Welcyon Fitness After 50.

Strengthening its relationships with the community, 5 by 5 Design designates more than 5% of its work as pro-bono each year. One of 5 by 5 Design’s pro bono clients, Girl Friday Productions‘ co-founder and artistic director, Kirby Bennett, says, “We knew we needed a website, but 5 by 5 Design helped us to build a total brand image, while still delivering an engaging and easy-to-use online tool.”

In addition to time and services, the company has donated money and materials, including shoes, meals, diapers and books, to dozens of non-profit organizations. “Give back” is the first lesson Ruyle and Lillicrap share with other business leaders as tips for success.

“Giving back to your community is good for you and for the world,” Ruyle elaborates. “Believe in karma. What you put out in the world eventually comes back around. Plus, giving back makes you feel good and you might learn something along the way.”

Along with “1. Give back,” 5 by 5 Design highlights four other lessons from its first five years in business in its blog post.


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