Pathogens comprise a diverse set of immunostimulatory molecules that activate the innate immune system during infection. The immune system recognizes distinct combinations of pathogenic molecules leading to multiple immune activation events that cooperate to produce enhanced immune responses, known as 'immune synergies'. Effective immune synergies are essential for the clearance of pathogens, thus inspiring novel adjuvant design to improve vaccines. We highlight current vaccine adjuvants and the importance of immune synergies to adjuvant and vaccine design. The focus is on new technologies used to study and apply immune synergies to adjuvant and vaccine development. Finally, we discuss how recent findings can be applied to the future design and characterization of synergistic adjuvants and vaccines.