Creative design, marketing communications and print services for non-profit organizations

Our roots

Who we "is"

is five is a small and dynamic creative design and printing firm, focused primarily on supporting the communications and fundraising needs of non-profit organizations in Canada.


Is what?

Our name? Well, yes, your math teacher may wrinkle her brow, but in our world, the synergy created by true collaboration in creative endeavours often unveils, in the words of poet e.e. cummings, the “purely irresistible truth … that two times two is five.”






You wouldn’t be doing what you do if you didn’t believe in the cause. We not only respect that, we believe in you, too. We don’t just take on the work, we embrace the reasons for it. This energizes us, inspires us beyond the conventional.  And when we both are driven by this shared commitment, the collaborative result most often is greater than the combined parts. So, when you bring us into the equation, don’t be surprised to happily discover that, indeed, two times two is five!



is five started in the 1970s as a non-profit environmental organization, founded by the same imaginative folks who introduced the first curbside Blue Box recycling program. Recognizing that environmental awareness was mainly a matter of understanding the implications, we produced educational material to spread the word on recycling and other environmental issues. Because we had our own printing press, other non-profit organizations soon came knocking on our door asking us to design and print their materials. That was the birth of is five communications.



Since then, is five has produced a wide variety of education materials and developed hundreds of communication pieces that have helped raised millions of dollars for non-profit organizations in every sector, including health, social justice, the environment, international development and human rights.


We are proud of our small, community-based origins and of our decades of collaboration with non-profit organizations. We are equally passionate about continuing to contribute today and tomorrow to the success of so many valued charities, both small and large, in Canada.

Tom Scanlan was the founder and Director of is five communications since its humble beginnings back in 1976. He was also Director of the is five foundation and authored or co-authored 8 educational books relating to environmental issues. Prior to his retirement at the end of 2018, Shelly Medeiros worked with Tom for years. Shelly has taken over the role of servicing clients’ needs and communicating on a daily basis.


is five communications                                                                                                                                                                    1170 Birchmount Road, Toronto, ON  M1P 5E3  416.480.2408 ext. 2249