Designer Spotlight: 5 by 5 Design

After working together at a large agency for eight years, Wendy Ruyle and Diana Lillicrap decided to go out on their own to create the kind of design firm they’d always wanted to work for. It’s been six years now, and 5 by 5 Design is going strong, helmed by these two creative women who lead all the firm’s projects.

“We offer creative ideas managed at the level you’d expect from a large agency, but with the approachability and efficiency of a small firm,” Lillicrap says.  “Each of our clients works directly with us. If they like us, they’ll like our company.”

Instead of specializing in a particular industry or medium, 5 by 5 works with clients who are “ready to think strategically and embrace the process of great design,” which has lead them to take on clients from fitness and fashion to music and museums.

Designer Spotlight: 5 by 5 Design

Designer Spotlight: 5 by 5 Design

Designer Spotlight: 5 by 5 Design

Immerse yourself in an environment of creative inspiration with a roster of expert speakers and a couple thousand of your design peers at the HOW Design Conference in San Francisco, June 23-26. a0c10ec5eabd98f3fbcd7b2e6b79ed0a_6937-HDL-EB-300x250

Creating quality work balanced with a high quality of life is very important to the partners who also believe giving back to the community leads to more creative fulfillment.

“One example of this approach has been our part in the creation of the Minnesota Do-Gooders Club (, an organization for designers, developers and marketers who work for or with nonprofit organizations,” Ruyle says. The goal of the club is for creatives to help each other learn how to do more good in the community, as well as to raise the profile  of all communication work done for local nonprofits.

“For us, the perks of a career in design isn’t about a cool office space,” Lillicrap explains. “It’s about trust and respect and life balance. We have a mobile office approach that allows us to easily work with clients both locally and nationally, while balancing our schedules so family, friends, activities and other things that provide us with necessary inspiration and joy are able to be prioritized and valued.”

The Firm
5 by 5 Design, Minneapolis;

Wendy Ruyle and Diana Lillicrap


Notable clients
The McKnight Foundation, University of Florida Alumni Association, Mission Healthcare, Bemidji State University, Arts Midwest, Welcyon Fitness After 50,
Gopher News Company

Read 5 by 5 Design’s 5 Steps to Success.

For more resources about good design business practices,
visit My Design Shop.
Success by Design
From David Sherwin, the man that brought you the best selling Creative Workshop, here comes the business side of being creative! Success by Design is a reference for designers to remind themselves of best practices in the industry. Complex business advice and information is distilled into an easy-to-reference format that’s not meant to be read cover-to-cover, but to answer questions in the moment!