Thursday, May 19, 2011


A director that I worked with at ABC Sports (when I was a writer and researcher), once called me a visual waste-land.

I took no offense. I am a visual waste-land. Words are my thing. Images... not so much. (Of course, because life is like that, my oldest son wants to be an artist - that's the way it goes, I guess.)

As Soap Opera 451: A Time Capsule of Daytime Drama's Greatest Moments winds it's way to publication, I need to pick a cover image.

And, because of the visual waste-land thing, I am turning to you, my readers, for help and advice.

Unlike a traditional publication, since this book will be exclusively electronic (in order to accommodate the video clips), the cover needs to be something that looks good when seen at about the size of a postage stamp.

Here are some possibilities.

Obviously, with a book about television, there is the television motif.


Modern two-tone:
Modern colorfull:

Remote control:

In each of these options, the title would go on the screen, with the subtitle in a line below. For the two versions that have multiple screens, those would be filled with images from soaps.

My concern with the latter is that they would be simply too small to see, and thus pointless.

There is also the "time" concept:

But, I'm not sure where the title would go, here (top? bottom? across?). Plus, hour-glasses are almost exclusive to Days of Our Lives, no?

And then there's this image:

I find it striking and compelling. The verbal connection is "soap." But, I'm afraid that might be too obscure.

What do you think? Which of the photos above would make the best image for a book to celebrate Soap Opera's Greatest Moments?

Please let me know in the Comments below, or via e-mail:


Tyrus said...

While I like the idea of a retro television, i didn't care for the retro options.

Plus, I don't want to perpetuate the concept that soaps are out-dated.

So, I'm going with Modern two tone.

bl said...

The soap picture if you hadn't said what it was, I would have thought it was shaving cream, so at an even smaller size I can see people not realizing what it is.

Do you by any chance have a picture of a television that is modern looking and does not have an antenna? That may be a good idea and inside put the title. At thumbnail size, soap photos may be impossible to see.

Matthew W. Grant said...


You know I think you're great, but those cover choices aren't doing it for me either. I also thought he soap one looked like shaving cream. I agree that those TV's made the project seem like it would be about soaps from the 50's or 60's.

I know there might be a problem with licensing actor photos and show logos, but then again, since you are using video clips, you probably have the license thing under control.

Anyway, I've always liked the way the photos were arranged on the cover of Soap Opera History by Mary Ann Copeland. Perhaps you could use that format alternating pictures of actors featured in the book with logos of the shows.

If you can't use the exact show specific photo or logo, you can go for similar, but generic photos that that represent the shows like an hourglass, a globe, an old book, a lighthouse...soap fans will still get the idea.

I know you're familiar with my book covers (thanks for featuring them here on Soap 451 and on the AWT page). You can check out all six of my current ones at Matthew Grant Online. If you like that style, I can have my cover artist work on something for you. Send me an email and we can discuss more.


C. said...

I wonder... whether putting a relatively recent model tv inside a soap bubble will get the point across better than the ideas you have posted thus far.

Because I have to admit, I don't particularly care for the images that have been presented for a book cover so far.

But maybe that's just me.