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Vital Study Skills

Brand Consulting & Asset Development

Vital Study Skills is a valuable resource in university medical programs across the country.

For over 20 years, Vital Study Skills (VSS) has been on college campuses helping transform students into nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals. Their techniques empower students by teaching them the most effective methods of comprehension, retention, and application.

However, with decades of workshops, programs, textbooks, and seminars, VSS was in need of something to help identify its key strengths to prospective new clients.

The idea of a one-pager was tossed around for a bit, but in the discovery process, we determined that there was far too much information to be condensed to just one page. At this juncture of the business, VSS needed to elaborate on its competitive advantage. The field of competition has grown considerably since VSS began its work in 1999.

We came up with a visually rich explainer document that outlined the key factors that make VSS the clear choice for universities looking to add to their overall success and job placement rates. The file format was made to be online, but easy to download and print.

Services Provided

  • Brand Consulting
  • Content Writing
  • Asset Development
The original word count was over 1,000.
Possible infographics were hashed out.
Sections were broken down into pages to spread out the cognitive load.
Facilitator Certification phases needed outlined, but were very wordy. We condensed the copy for a streamlined process.

Copy Editing & Strategy

After compiling all the information that VSS wanted to convey, we began the process of refining and tuning the copy to be consise and effective. To prevent cognitive overload in such a text heavy document, we needed to break the 4 page document down into smaller chunks of information.

By breaking down sections of the original document into pages, we were able to spread out the information in a way that was easy to digest, and pleasing to the eye. Large blocks of rich color, with subtle image backgrounds helped set the tone while keeping the majority of important text on neutral white backgrounds.

In cognitive psychology, a cognitive load is nothing but the number of working memory resources. A Cognitive Overload is, by definition, a situation where one is given too much information at once, or too many simultaneous tasks, resulting in not being able to perform or process the information as it would otherwise happen if the amount was instead sustainable. Source

Brand Refinements

Before diving into this project we needed to take a look at the existing brand. The current colors and typefaces uses were in need of some refinement to allow for better legibility and hierarchy. We took the current sans serif typeface which was limited to just “regular” and “bold” and updated it to Helvetica Neue to have maximum flexibility with sizing, weights, ligatures, and other special characters. Playfair is carried over from the existing brand, but used in a limited capacity as a display type to pair well with the clear, straightforward Helvetica Neue.


The brand analysis and design work resulted in a vastly improved explainer document that was engaging to new readers and helped convey all the important information to people unfamiliar with the Vital Study Skills brand. It is available for download via their website, and has seen significant traffic since being updated.

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