University College London

Personal tutoring materials

Giving student support a personal touch

How do you create a bespoke look and feel for an internal communications campaign while adhering to a university’s strict visual identity guidelines?

This was the challenge we faced when producing a suite of materials for UCL’s personal tutoring programme. Personal tutors are academic staff who help students to navigate their unique UCL journey. While each student’s experience will be different, our client was keen to ensure that everyone is aware that they have equal access to essential academic and personal support.

Existing material promoting these services was inconsistent and disjointed, struggling to stand out in a crowded student environment. The new resources needed to explain the personal tutoring process, manage expectations, facilitate conversations between staff and students, and direct both towards the information and support they need.

We started by developing an engaging, benefit-led tone of voice, asking the question What do you need to succeed? and inviting students to consider the advantages of getting to know their personal tutor.

The A5 handbook provides a step-by-step guide to how personal tutoring works and what to expect, featuring quotes from academic staff and the Students’ Union, FAQs and useful contacts.

We also created Things to talk about, a topic guide broken down by academic year, which offers structured questions to help students get the most out of their regular progress meetings.

It was vital to create a distinctive campaign style that would be instantly identifiable and would translate across a wide range of materials. Crucially, however, it would also need to exist within the confines of the UCL visual identity.

Armed with pens, pencils and brushes, we hand-drew the key typographic elements and created experimental paint-textured backgrounds in black and white with just a hint of an accent colour. This brought an invaluable human touch to UCL’s brisk and authoritative visual language.

The campaign has since been extended to include desktop wallpaper, posters, digital screens and pull-up banners, and we have recently expanded the range to encompass related materials for all UCL’s student support and well-being services.