Bold new website for Synaps

By Tom,

March 2016

The team at London based international business advisory firm, Synaps LLP approached us with a challenge; to help them develop a new website that communicates their specialist, complex services in an easy to understand way.
Image of the new website design for Synaps

Our first step was to understand their brand identity—this uncovered further challenges. Firstly, the team were keen to utilise a single typographic style and a colour palette of just two shades of blue. Secondly the company wanted to avoid imagery or illustration and had no graphical assets to utilise. It's a good thing we love challenges!

Image showing the typography used on the new website

During the design phase we researched and tested a whole range of type options. The chosen typeface needed to optimise quality of service, trustworthiness and authority, whilst being adaptable and flexible enough to be used throughout the site. We decided on Minion Pro—a typeface known for its elegance and readability, after all it's what 'The Elements of Typographic Style' (the typographers bible) is set in.

Test pattern designs for the website

Next, we looked at various graphic treatments to help reinforce what the company stands for, whilst helping the design come to life. The company name comes from the word 'Synapse', the name for a structure within the nervous system that allows cells to pass information back and forth. We came up with the idea of a living nervous system using interconnecting dots.

As you can see from one of our early prototypes above, bringing this nervous system to life by using HTML Canvas helps add a touch of interactivity and playfulness to an otherwise serious looking website.

Image of the new website on desktop and mobile
The new website has gained a lot of positive feedback, both on the design and the ease of use.
Natasha Reeves, Associate Partner
The new Synaps homepage

As part of the project we helped the Synaps team understand how to structure their site to make the content more accessible. Heavy, text rich pages have been broken up into chunks to enable quick scanning and the key messages have been highlighted.

Examples of design elements on the new website

Like many of our websites we utilised Craft CMS to control the content on the new site. This was key for the Synaps team as they wanted a system that was easy for non-technical administrators to use, but powerful and flexible enough to adapt to their changing needs. We developed a range of modules such as team profiles, news snippets and key calls to action that admins can drop into the content.

Examples of design elements on the new website

Associate Partner, Natasha Reeves said:

"When we started to look for web designers we met with a number of companies but after the first meeting with Toward it was clear that they were the team to take our project forward. They listened to what we wanted and offered us invaluable help with our style while keeping our views about brand in mind. They understood our business quickly and were enthusiastic about the project.

Their experienced and friendly approach made the project a success and they have always been a phone call away for any queries or assistance we have needed. The new website has gained a lot of positive feedback both on the design and the ease of use. We look forward to working with them in the future."

Tackling a project with so many constraints has been challenging, but a lot of fun. We've managed to create a balance of authority and seriousness with just enough playfulness to make it interesting and engaging. Visit the site at