Behind the Cover: The Age of Zoom

The making of the March 2021 cover of Oregon Business magazine

Art director Joan McGuire reveals the workings behind the March’s 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon issue

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There is no irony that the idea for the 2021 100 Best Companies to Work For in Oregon magazine cover came out of a Zoom meeting. In this era of working from home, our March 2021 cover is a testament to the value of bouncing ideas off others.

The Oregon Business editorial staff has a standing Monday morning Zoom call during which we talk about stories, photos and illustration assignments, and what’s going to go on the cover. Our March issue always features the 100 Best Companies list, and it can present a creative challenge to illustrate it in new and interesting ways.

As it happened, I already had a cover completed for March. It had been an alternative design from our October 2020 issue featuring the100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon, and had been in the can for months. What was left to decide was what we could use to illustrate the list on the inside pages.

“Why don’t we ask the 100 Best Companies for screenshots of their Zoom meetings?” suggested editor Kim Moore. “We could even do one of ourselves.”

Immediately I began taking screenshots of the meeting. “You’re right!” Click. “That’s a great idea!” Click. “In fact, why don’t we make it the cover?” Click.

OBTeam1smOB editorial staff on its Monday morning Zoom call

And so we filed away the “finished” cover for another day and enlisted the aid of events manager Craig Peebles. He contacted all the companies that had made the list, and the images began rolling in.

While we were not able to make use of every image from the more than 40 companies that responded, between the cover and the inside we made use of most. Thank you to all the companies who contributed to this issue’s cover.

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