The Song Shul
The Song Shul
Date: fall 2017
Categories: visual design, web design, identity design, logo design, front-end web development
I am the interactive designer for The Song Shul, a synagogue in Toronto, Canada that opened in 2016. I designed their website and created their logo, and I perform all their web maintenance and craft email newsletters.
From the moment of its inception, The Song Shul wanted to leave behind the staleness that is associated with some synagogues. It emphasized the importance of music, spirituality, fun and creativity in its mission, and engages with a wide audience, including demographics who do not normally attend synagogues as frequently, such as millennials.
As the first designer who was hired to work for The Song Shul, one of my tasks was to help express this brand identity visually. I chose purple as one of the colors, because it is associated with being uncommon, creative, and spiritual. I avoided blue and white, the colors of the Israeli flag, because in the Jewish world, it is default to the point of being cliche. Instead of pure white, I opted for an off-white that complemented the purple well.
Creative director Aliza Spiro and I also used of cartoon imagery throughout the site, in order to make the brand playful and inviting. She stressed that we avoid using too many stock photos of prayer books, Torahs or prayer shawls, afraid that they would look dull and uninspired.
The creative director asked me if I could incorporate a musical instrument into the logo. We ended up using a David’s Harp for the “u” in “Shul.”
I experimented with styles for the logo, creating my own custom font.
It looked too juvenile, like Comic Sans. I made the typeface look more Bauhaus.
I started with a mockup for one page. I used the brand identity guidelines to establish the look and feel for the website, then went on from there to front-end development. Once the client had given their approval, I developed the site using WordPress.
The index page serves both as a welcome page and as a bulletin where upcoming events are announced.
The Song Shul website features descriptions of their Sabbath and holiday services, as well as a calendar for them.
Users can learn about becoming a member, making donations, and The Song Shul’s many programs.
They can also fill out membership forms and make payments, as well as register for classes and programs.
The Song Shul strives to bring Toronto’s Jewish community together, which is evident from their ample programs.
The website is responsive as well.
The Song Shul sends out a weekly newsletter announcing upcoming events and holidays. The newsletter is also responsive. I write the code from scratch using HTML and CSS.