Design for boutique financial services firm Clipway

At the centre of some of our best work is the idea of trying to achieve a complicated brief with a really simple, creative result. To deliver this and not give the impression of the cogs turning (or the mechanism not really working as it should) requires real thought. It’s just such a challenge that was set us in this project: web design for boutique financial services firm Clipway. Our idea was to bring the bare bones of design we were handed to life in such a way that felt true to them and their new firm.

Along the way, we had to do a fair amount of reimagining of our approach to animation and how to achieve what was in the client’s head. This is the story of how we achieved it.

Paper clip

At our first meeting with Clipway in the spring of 2023, their launch was at least six months away. We talked about the new identity they had recently completed, which comprised of a clean piece of customised type. Alongside this, a concept brand graphic had been suggested for inspiration, which was liked across the business. For the launch, an original take on the idea needed to be drawn up, expanded and made into a usable, practical tool: essentially a set of visuals which bring both the website, presentation deck and other PR materials to life.

But first, it was important to take the identity and build an approach to the brand that would work online.

The balance of the established Clipway brand included the use of the typeface Helvetica Neue (never a chore) and a blue and orange palette that had been chosen. But after that, the instructions ended and we had been encouraged to apply creative instinct to build out a strong, holistic corporate brand. We decided to balance the graphic design with headshots of the team and a loose, modern web layout that felt light-touch, then focus firstly on the brand graphics and whether it was possible to apply an interesting twist to the brief.

design for boutique financial services

Film clip

The Clipway brand graphic that had been suggested was a swirl of orange and white particles on a strong blue background. This approach was visually appealing but needed a broader think in terms of how it could be used in many different settings. We also wanted the project to have scope and ambition – and it seemed clear there was a great opportunity to create a set of strong animations for the website. The only challenge was that the graphics created for the presentation deck were intensely complicated.

Our animation work, for financial services web design clients such as Cornerstone, Langham Hall and Bella Figura Music, has tended to be more graphic and functional, backing up the information on the site about the company in question. This new project required something completely other, more akin to swirling clouds to lend lightness and beauty to the page. Working with our animator Carlo, we created one visual we liked and felt inspired by – which happily the Clipway team liked. We then found a technical approach that created endless new iterations of this again and again, meaning there were almost infinite variations on the swirls and shapes the particles made.

The client was thrilled with these – and we felt that the project had really begun to find its feet. In the end, we created around eight different finished animations, as well we finding ways of using parallax programming on static renderings of layers of particles to suggest movement where there was only overlay. Having created a set of motion graphics for the website, we then went back to the beginning and created a set of still images from these for use in PowerPoint to ensure the presentation deck and the new site sat satisfyingly together.

design for boutique financial services

Bulldog clip

With all this work completed, the Clipway website launched its first iteration in October 2023 in concert with a fund launch announcement. Time was of the essence: it was absolutely critical to the success of the project that the launch chimed with a high-profile PR feature in the Financial Times. Let’s just say a very early alarm clock was set for our go-live on that particular day.

But things have just moved forward. It’s really satisfying to see the site expand this week (as was always intended) to include an Insights feature, where Clipway’s quarterly reports will launch, as well as the company’s deals and press releases. We really cherish these sorts of features: detailed company information can be described and shared, then gradually aggregate over time in such a way that burnishes Clipway’s reputation.

Ultimately this really rounds out the site, featuring these impressive, visually stunning animations in such a way that backs up the brand rather than distracting from it. It also achieves something intensely complicated in a way that feels central to the site but doesn’t dominate. It’s confident, smart and distinctive – rather like Clipway themselves.

design for boutique financial services

We specialise in design for boutique financial services firms

Working in the boutique financial services side of the City, modern, distinctive branding is vital. Perhaps you’re building a new team, leaving the big outfits behind to start a new consultancy and need to sort the visual side of things? Why not get in touch to discuss a range of different approaches?

Whether you’re in the UK or work across Europe, we can work on designs from the creative to the corporate, depending on your brief and budget.

Call us on 020 7351 4083 or email us direct.