Question: Design recommendations for postcard research invitation?

gretchengehrke asked on March 12, 2018 16:26
163 | 0 answers | #15924

For the SmART-Form project, we are going to do launch the new formaldehyde detection system as a community case study in southern Georgia. We'll be going door-to-door to invite people to participate in the study. About two weeks before we arrive, we will be mailing postcards to residents in the area, letting them know about the study and that we'll be knocking on their door soon.

If you were to receive this postcard in the main (see the lead image), would you read it? Would you remember it? As compared to having received no word of the study, would receiving this postcard make you more or less likely to participate when we came to your door?

What, if anything, would you change to make the postcard more appealing? It must be only black text (and I'll find a PL logo that doesn't have a white background), include the words "Research Opportunity" prominently, and provide contact info.

Thanks for your feedback!


Maybe use a background color that is associated with air, like the color blue? Also, i get why it's written like this, but the line "when we knock on your door" is rather ominous.

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Maybe something like "We're hoping you will let us test it when we visit your neighborhood" vs "knock on door"?

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@gretchengehrke , are there any other requirements/limitations besides the text being black? Is it limited to 2 color printing, or could another image be used somewhere on here if appropriate? Are there specs from the printer (file type, etc) to consider?

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@bronwen, We can only use black ink on colored paper. Good question about the file type... I think i might need to make it in this company's online postcard drawing software, which basically looks like Paint to me, but I'm not sure. I'll ask our PI about "come to your neighborhood" versus "knock on doors." I think we do want to specifically prepare people for two strangers knocking on their door... I'll ask though.

@liz, We wanted to go with the most eye-catching postcard so we could say, "Do you remember that bright green postcard from a couple of weeks ago." I supposed we could do neon blue too, though then that takes away from the "clear skies" nod. Do you dislike the green?

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@gretchen Gotcha... I don't think "knock on door" necessarily needs to go, but maybe a few more words could make it friendlier. Is it going to be on some kind of colored paper that the printing company has on file? The green on the sample is a little intense, so I might be inclined to dial that (or any color) back a little just to be a little easier on the eyes, but if you're going with stock colors, I'm guessing it will be based on whatever's in stock. If it's black-only can you still print gradients? (as/in shades of grey). Printer company specs might help to understand what design elements are possible. Thanks!

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I agree with @bronwen that an image would help a lot. I would like to see a pic of the test equipment maybe without people. I also think you could shorten the text by just saying "We want Ware County to be the first to test it out and will be visiting you soon" or something like that.

@gretchen I forgot to add that if you make your headline a question, it will invite people to read it 100x more. :)

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