a5 is a design-driven marketing and communications agency that tells client stories in clear, concise, consistent and compelling ways with great content to get results.


Our Work

Problem Gambling Awareness Campaign / Illinois Department of Human Services

Winnetka-Northfield Public Library

Northbrook Park District

Glenview Public Library

The Faraday Institution

Village of Niles

City of Charlevoix, Michigan

Village of Northbrook

Real Woodstock

Chicago Transit Authority

Klein & Hoffman

Johns Hopkins

EverSports & Entertainment Insurance

Downtown Oak Park

Village of Hanover Park, Illinois

Village of Mundelein, Illinois

Howard Street

Brand Identities

Videos & Motion Graphics

a5 stands for healthy, sustainable communities.

At a5, we aim to do great work – for our clients and for the environment. In addition to making a5 a sustainable business, we actively work with clients who want to learn how to be good for business and good for the environment.

Since 2007, we have co-produced (with Seven Generations Ahead) GreenTown: The Future of Community, which connects the public sector with the private sector to develop healthy, sustainable communities. We also work with planners, architects, landscape architects, governmental agencies and non-profits to develop better environmental practices.

While we think the environmental paradigm should be positive, not punitive, awareness, knowledge and understanding is needed to protect people and planet. For our part, we work toward “inspiration, aspiration and perspiration” to create healthy, sustainable communities.

Client Experience

  • AIA Chicago
  • AIGA Chicago
  • Aria Group Architects
  • Christy Webber Landscapes
  • cnu (congress for the new urbanism)
  • downey szafarz architecture
  • elara engineering
  • foster dale architects
  • Hampshire Farms
  • illinois chapter american society of landscape architects
  • inovateus solar
  • Kelso-Burnett
  • Kipnis Architecture + Planning
  • Klein & Hoffman
  • Landmarks Illinois
  • Landscape Architecture Foundation
  • LS Contracting
  • mariani landscape
  • Midwest Groundcovers
  • NatureWorks Landscapes
  • nels johnson tree experts
  • Nevin Hedlund Architects
  • Pizzo & Associates
  • Thatcher Foundations
  • Tom Bassett-Dilley Architects
  • WMA Consulting Engineers
Tourism & Attractions
  • betty brinn children’s museum
  • chicago children’s museum
  • chicago park district
  • downtown tampa
  • field museum
  • Fifth Avenue South (Naples, Florida)
  • Frank Lloyd Wright’s Unity Temple
  • Garfield Park Conservatory Alliance
  • Great Explorations Children’s Museum
  • Holocaust Memorial Foundation of Illinois
  • Illinois Park & Recreation Association
  • Illinois Route 66
  • Krasl Art Center
  • Milwaukee Public Museum
  • Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego
  • Museum of Science and Industry
  • National Museum of the American Sailor
  • Navyseum
  • Visit Oak Park
  • Wonder Works Children’s Museum
  • chicago park district
  • Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce
  • City of Charlevoix, Michigan
  • city of chicago, illinois
  • City of Crest Hill, Illinois
  • City of Crystal Lake, Illinois
  • City of Elgin, Illinois
  • city of flint, michigan
  • City of Freeport, Illinois
  • City of New Buffalo, Michigan
  • City of Watervliet, Michigan
  • City of Woodstock, Illinois
  • Downtown Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio
  • Downtown Oak Park
  • Holland Board of Public Works
  • Howard Street Chicago
  • Lake Bluff Park District
  • Northbrook Park District
  • Pleasant District of Oak Park, Illinois
  • Village of Algonquin, Illinois
  • Village of Barrington, Illinois
  • Village of Grayslake, Illinois
  • Village of Gurnee, Illinois
  • Village of Hampshire, Illinois
  • Village of Hanover Park, Illinois
  • Village of LaGrange, Illinois
  • Village of Lisle, Illinois
  • Village of Mundelein, Illinois
  • Village of New Lenox, Illinois
  • Village of Niles, Illinois
  • Village of Northbrook, Illinois
  • Village of Oak Park, Illinois
  • Village of Olympia Fields, Illinois
  • Village of Richton Park, Illinois
Financial Services
  • 360 blue financial strategies
  • archipelago
  • Dext Capital
  • financial communications society
  • HCP & Company
  • Heartland Payment Systems
  • MF Global
  • NYSE Euronext
  • optionsXpress
  • Tall Tree Investment Management
  • Vestor Capital
  • Wolverine Trading
  • american lung association
  • Beyond Hunger
  • Calumet Collaborative
  • Chicago Survivors
  • cnt (center for neighborhood technology)
  • Delta Institute
  • dystonia medical research foundation
  • Fox Valley Special Recreation Association
  • Fox Valley Sustainability Network
  • Glenview Public Library
  • IFF
  • Illinois Department of Human Services
  • Illinois Department of Natural Resources
  • Kane-DuPage Soil & Water Conservation District
  • Landmarks Illinois
  • MacArthur Foundation
  • Michigan League of Conservation Voters
  • Natural Land Institute
  • Oak Park Homelessness Coalition
  • Oak Park Residence Corporation
  • Rolfe Pancreatic Cancer Foundation
  • Seven Generations Ahead
  • Square One Foundation
  • The Faraday Institution
  • The Plant
  • UI Labs
  • US EPA
  • Wege Foundation
  • Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District
  • World Poultry Foundation
  • World Wildlife Foundation
  • American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment
  • aquinas college
  • Ball State University
  • Barnard College
  • College of Lake County
  • Columbia University
  • Creative Scholars Preschool
  • Florida Southern College
  • Indiana University South Bend
  • Johns Hopkins
  • Merit School of Music
  • St Therese Chinese Catholic School
  • Student Achievement Partners
  • Triton College Foundation
  • chicago transit authority
  • Lake County Transportation Alliance
  • Midwest High Speed Rail Association
  • Pace Suburban Bus
  • Transpo (South Bend Public Transportation Corporation)
  • Johns Hopkins
  • OrthoIndy
  • Surgical Care Affiliates
  • Surgical Hospital of Munster
  • TomoTherapy
Economic Development
  • Access O’Hare West
  • chicago regional growth corp.
  • Lake County Partners
  • Oak Park Economic Development Corporation
  • Rogers Park Business Alliance
  • South Elgin Economic Development
  • Village of Algonquin, Illinois
  • Village of Niles, Illinois
Real Estate Developers
  • Fairmount Properties
  • Janko Group
  • McHenry County Housing Authority
  • Oak Park Apartments
  • Oak Park Residence Corporation
  • Streetscape Development
  • The Community Builders
  • trinitas

about a5

a5 is a Chicago-based brand and digital agency. From branding to outreach and engagement to digital communications, advertising, public relations, social media, video and animation, a5 combines strategy with creativity and account management to generate results for our clients.

Focused on creating healthy, sustainable communities, a5 works with the public and private sectors to engage in conversation, break down barriers, find common ground and work together.

Can’t stop betting nonstop?
a5 and the Way Back Inn, on behalf of Illinois Department of Human Services, are leading a campaign to help people with gambling issues—and those at risk. Asking the question “Are You Really Winning?”, the multi-channel statewide campaign aims to raise awareness of gambling issues and provide help for those who need it. See the Campaign.

City of Big Shoulders? What if we leaned in, lowered a shoulder and made a statement to the world?
a5 principal and co-founder John Harris poses the question in a Crain’s Chicago Business article on branding Chicago, Illinois. Harris says: Chicago makes things happen. Big dreams. Hard work. Opportunities for all. We are a cultural capital. And we are persistent, resilient and relentless in the pursuit of excellence. Read the Article.

Recent Engagements Include:
St. Charles Public Library District

a5 is working with St. Charles Public Library District on a rebrand to roll out in 2024. It is our third library branding effort; we recently rebranded Glenview Public Library District and Winnetka-Northfield Public Library District.

Newport Industries

Newport Industries, parent of electrical contractor Kelso-Burnett, has hired a5 to be its outsourced communications partner. a5 handles internal and external communications, including social media, website, newsletter, advertising and more.

Trinitas Ventures

Working with longtime client Trinitas Ventures, a5 provides outreach, engagement and public relations support for new housing and mixed-use developments in such communities as Auburn, Alabama; Fayetteville, Arkansas; and West Lafayette, Indiana.

Affordable Housing

Affordable housing is key to creating healthy, sustainable communities. The a5 team is honored to brand and develop web sites for Oak Park Residence Corp., Oak Park Housing Authority and McHenry County Housing Authority.