20 Years, 20 Covers

Departments - Rear View

Our editorial staff reviews their favorite Top 100 covers from over the past 20 years.

May 6, 2021

Dan Moreland: May 2010

My favorite PCT Top 100 cover has less to do with the graphic design of the cover than the personal memories associated with the May 2010 issue and accompanying awards ceremony. After launching our Top 100 Issue in 2002, we decided to expand our print coverage to include an in-person event, sponsored by our longtime partner Univar (now Veseris). Since GIE Media, parent company of PCT, is based in Cleveland, Ohio, we decided to host the event at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the iconic I.M. Pei building on the shores of Lake Erie. An elegant dinner and festive awards ceremony was held on the main floor of the museum, with attendees getting the run of the place for several hours to check out their favorite artists and rock star memorabilia. The May cover, featuring a vinyl LP (remember them?) and Billboard Hot 100 iconography, created an appropriate connection between the print product and first-time event. What made the awards ceremony so special, however, was my mother Betty, wife Kathleen, and daughter Hallie were able to attend since the inaugural event was being held locally. They all experienced first-hand what I have known for many years: PMPs are gracious, family-oriented people who value personal relationships. My industry colleagues couldn’t have been kinder when interacting with my family that evening. My mother passed away three years later, but I still have a photo of her “rocking out” with my longtime friends in the pest control industry, a fond memory that endures to this day. – D.M.

Jodi Dorsch: May 2018

The “Shattered” cover of the 2018 edition is a favorite for a few reasons. First, we tied the editorial of the Top 100 into current events in the pest management industry. This cover was three years ago, when it seemed impossible that M&A activity could continue much longer. “Has merger & acquisition activity finally hit a breaking point?” we asked in the cover type. Uhhh, nope. The artwork we commissioned an illustrator to design was metallic, which is always an interesting visual element, and showed the actual “Top 100” crashing through the United States. You may not have noticed, but there are little insects on the cover as well. The cover was three-dimensional, which was achieved by how the numerals were facing the reader and expert shading. Additionally, that cover was printed with a “soft coat,” a process we rarely employ. It is a coating that creates a velvety texture and the paper becomes “soft” to the touch and increases the tactile appeal. Soft coating creates a softer look and feel on printed materials than other special printing methods. Sometimes our Top 100 covers tie into our in-person event (see Dan and Brad’s reviews), sometimes they’re just fun illustrations or designs, and sometimes they tie into the messaging of that year’s list/theme. This one was interesting visually and it was topical, which is a winner in my book. – J.D.

Brad Harbison: May 2016

I also chose a Top 100 cover that tied into the city that would host our accompanying Top 100 awards ceremony; in 2016, that city was San Diego. The main reason I am a fan of this cover is because of the way our editorial and graphics team put it together. The discussion began by someone posing the question “What is San Diego known for?” Our (Ohio-based) staff started throwing out answers like “beautiful weather” and “the USS Midway” and “the San Diego Chargers” and “the San Diego Zoo.” And then one of us blurted out, “How about the movie ‘Top Gun?’ What if we did a ‘Top Gun’-themed cover?” PCT Editor-in-Chief Jodi Dorsch enthusiastically responded, “Good call, Maverick,” and I chimed in, “Nice set up, Goose.” Brainstorming the idea was the easy and fun part. Taking it from concept to reality took some elbow grease. Credit goes to PCT Publisher Dan Moreland for coming up with the idea to use aviator glasses and place the word “Top” in one lens and the digits “100” in the other lens. PCT Art Director Andrea Vagas found the stock images and chose the camouflage background, as well as the military-like font and other design elements (e.g., the winged 15th anniversary logo). Dan, Jodi and I came up with the accompanying text. All in all, it was great team effort that made for a memorable cover. — B.H.