Where direct links to a specific publication or project are not available, we'll try to link to the organization's main website and/or closely related pages. Links are current when posted, but are subject to change and revision by the award-winning entrants. For example, the link may take you to the latest issue of a winning entry, but not the exact award-winning issue.
Ford Product Team, Retailer Education & Training, Ford Motor Company, Troy, MI "Frontline is an interesting staff communications and training vehicle (pun intended). It's a magazine that informs, but also teaches, with information organized in liberally illustrated spreads. The heavily captioned photos and short, punchy, 'chunked' copy drive the points home with the fewest words. It's an excellent format for getting across the greatest number of facts and sales aids, with the highest possible retention by the target audience — 'the people who sell Ford products.'"
Louisiana Emergency Preparedness Guide
GOHSEP and SIDES & Associates, Baton Rouge, LA
"What a world we live in. But this is a superb example of the genre — an emergency preparedness guide that is clearly organized, with clear, understandable copy, usefully functional illustrations and photos, and much good advice. The helpful thing about the guide is that you don't have to read it word-for-word to grasp the key points. Everything is nicely 'chunked' with careful attention to legibility, helpful boldfacing of key points in the text, and plenty of subheads. Maps and checklists help ensure that recipients will tend to keep this guide handy, even though they'll hope never to need it."
Capital Acumen Issues 23 & 25
Jean Fitzgerald, Head of U.S. Trust Marketing and Publisher, U.S. Trust, New York, NY
"Clean elegant and very readable layouts make effective use of decks, sidebars, useful (but not overdone) infographics and white space to make the copy easily accessible to readers. Captioned photos and illustrations also make their contributions. The copy itself is well researched, with lively interviews showcasing the very knowledgeable financial staff at U.S. Trust. All together, these issues become a very effective customer communication and retention tool."
It Is What It Is…and The View Is Great
Sherry Harris, Author, and Spark Publications, Charlotte, NC
“A marvelously entertaining and informative book offers beautiful photos, many of which capture the ironies of life in some of the tropics [sign in window: ‘Wanted…Sober Crew]) and a humorous look at what to expect when moving to a tropical island from the ‘mainland’. It is very well written and provides a quite useful guide to making such a move — not least with numerous examples of things to expect (and watch out for) in island life. The episode on applying for a driver’s license was particularly entertaining. In all, a delightful book.”
AARP Smart Driver Participant Guidebook
AARP Driver Safety, Washington, DC
"This superb guide — in book form — is exceptionally well researched, functionally illustrated to strongly reinforce the text, and written in a clear, inviting, interesting style. The fact that its tone is not condescending is a plus. An older audience knows they have at least some 'issues' with driving, and they understand the potential for deteriorating performance as time goes by. But they would like to maintain their mobility, and appreciate constructive, helpful advice on how to do so, and what to guard against. A very effective manual."
Transition Game Plan
Willow Nero, Associate Editor, Blair Drake, Senior Editor, Lynne Woychik, Creative Director/Production Supervisor, Military Officers Association of America, Alexandria, VA
"This excellent guide to transitioning from military to civilian life presents practical advice and step-by-step plans in a visually appealing format with liberal use of sidebars, pull quotes, subheads and nicely 'chunked' copy to make the layout as easy reading as possible. Copywriting is top notch and offers a quick read in each section. Very effective."
Hospital CareCentennial: One Hundred Years
Marikrista Oakden, Publications Manager/Graphic Designer, Dixie Regional Medical Center, Saint George, UT
“Remember when a hospital semi-private room cost $14 per day? These folks do. And they’ve got the records to prove it. The copywriting is interesting and often compelling. This is a well designed book, with an appealing layout, readable typography, and marvelous use of archival photos to frame the hospital’s 100 year history, decade by decade. The leadership bios in the second half of the book turn out to be interesting, well written interviews — not the dry recitations you often see in such books. A nice touch.”
Media Relations: Your Guide to Engaging the Media
Sheree Bond, Media Relations Officer, Ontario Nurses' Association, Ontario, Canada
"Clear, simple, concise, effective. It's an easily read, easily understood and easily acted on booklet. Top drawer."
Arts of Italy
Thomas Uhlein, Associate Professor, William Patterson University, Wayne, NJ
"Yes, it's an easy topic for appealing visuals, which pack this guide. And, yes, college students touring Italy for a college course on art, history and culture (with a bit of cuisine thrown in) is not a new theme. But this guide, in journal form, places the reader there. You travel with them, and get an impressively detailed sense of what they saw … and learned. The copy is lively, interesting and keeps you reading, while the visuals create the atmosphere. Very nicely done."
Health insurance consumer video series Dana Meek, Communications Director, Lindsay Ross-Hazel, Copywriter, Laura Mabry, Communications Manager, Health Alliance Medical Plans, Urbana, IL "Interesting, lively videos use a clear, simple script and excellent infographics to clarify an often confusing topic — health insurance. They're direct, very focused to each subtopic, and very, very effective.
"Using Ben Stein as the narrator is really hard to beat when it comes to informational videos. Superb, rapid-fire, pen-drawn illustrations provide visual reinforcement, while the baseball/investment portfolio analogies make complex financial subject matter extremely clear. Short, sweet and to the point. An excellent example of a successful marketing video."
"This is a potentially very dense topic — how to choose a health insurance plan, costs, benefits, provider choices, etc. Yikes! But here the video employs a very clear narrative, coupled with simple ink marker illustrations to drive points home. It's a long but very informative video, but the frequent recaps reinforce the key elements. It's an exceptionally well done example of the genre."
"A lot of planning went into this educational video — one aimed at getting drivers to recognize — and change — their bad behavior. No easy feat, but this is a thoroughly researched and crisply scripted video, with excellent sequencing and an inviting look and feel that gets viewers involved — key to the enterprise. The content is informative, but avoids the 'kiss of death'; i.e., it does not condescend to the viewer. As drivers, we all know we've done some stupid things that, by rights, should have either gotten us wrapped around a telephone pole, or, at the very least, written up by every traffic cop from here to California. And we know we're lucky to still be in one piece. This video channels that to candidly present real life driving scenarios in a matter of fact, nonjudgmental way. Very, very effective."
American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, New York, NY
"A down to earth 'interview' video, but one that conveys a simple, powerful message. It's matter of fact, but it's also a very warm, interesting, and exceptionally effective video. When you watch it, you want to become a CPA."
National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health and JBS International, Inc., Bethesda, MD
"An enormous undertaking, this near-encyclopedic online report is a must read and and valuable reference for professionals in the field, and also is worth reading by the rest of us. It's hard to think of an element of this disease, or it's research, prevention and treatment, that hasn't been considered and analyzed here. Content is extremely thoroughly researched, and exceptionally well organized and presented. Navigation is intuitive, copywriting is clear and straightforward, and the imbedded videos add depth and understanding. A first rate effort."
American Society for Training and Development, Alexandria, VA
"The first thing you notice about this app is the very well thought out navigation, which works fluidly and easily, whether you're deep in an article or using icons or the top bar or the bottom-of-the-page slider. They've really thought of pretty much everything. And that's before you consider the clean, cutting-edge layout, which presents digestible copy chunks with easy links to sidebars and infographics for more background. Very readable. Very effective. The copy itself is excellent — well researched, well written and well edited. A home run."
Georgia Stelluto, IEEE-USA Publishing Manager, Sharon Richardson, IEEE-USA Coordinator, Communications and Publishing, IEEE-USA, Washington, DC
"Marvelously fluid, intuitive navigation is the calling card of this ePublication. The visuals are attractive (and informative), the copy is crisp, concise, and well researched and written. Topics are timely and targeted precisely to this engineering audience (a group who appreciate precision :-). From H1-B visa programs to immigration to legislative policy, everything is written to appeal to the intended readers. They do it quite well."
Public Relations Team, Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative and G & T Communications, Inc., Manassas, VA
"A very effective, well-scripted, technically interesting video explains this energy producing system rather well. The customer audience can easily grasp it, the visuals are quite clear, and the narrative is warm and engaging. Just what a customer video should be."
Healthyroads Pinterest Site Rachel Frank, Coordinator, Social Media, American Specialty Health, San Diego, CA "This social media site takes full advantage of Pinterest's visual structure and organization, but fills it with its own well organized and very useful content. Graphics (especially infographics) and photos combine to reinforce strong but succinct copy. Excellent example of what a social media site should be."
Healio.com Blogs Healio.com Blog Staff, SLACK Incorporated, Thorofare, NJ "The name itself is a clever play on words, very apt for a blog aimed at medical professionals. The blog homepage is a clean, simple design, with a twist. You see all nine specialties — each with a leading article, including a short blurb, and links to more articles in that specialty. It's a very good way to 'drill down' for more content within each specialty. The articles are concise, well written, interesting, and informative to the targeted professional audience, and, often to a lay audience as well. Quite well done."
"An elegant, simple (and thus very intuitive) site design is a given here, but the true story is the very deep bench of research content, presented in a clear, informative manner. Targeted to a professional audience, it also is quite readable and useful to lay audiences as well."
Elizabeth Newman, Senior Editor, McKnight's Long-Term Care News, Northbrook, IL
"After reading this compellingly written blog post, we realized that we wouldn't be eager to live in either facility, or any like it. But we also realized that, if we did had to, we'd rather be in one of these two than many others. The scenes captured by the writer are so moving that you realize these are extraordinary staff, who would likely not be there if their respective facilities were not exceptional and very well managed. A paradigm of what a blog post should be."
Jeff Thomson, CMA, CAE, President and CEO, IMA (Institute of Management Accountants) and Stern + Associates, Montvale, NJ
“It’s a very focused, very specific topic, but you’re interested in issues facing CFOs and management accountants, then this blog’s for you. The blogger-in-chief, Jeff Thomson, very effectively employs ‘Skyped’ interviews to reach a range of talent in the field, from up-and-comers to old salts. The interviews are well targeted and deftly structured to provide readers with a wealth of well organized, useful information in a well written, lively format. Hard to ask for more from a blog.”
Liz Massey, Managing Editor, Matt Hodson, Digital Media Manager, ASU Alumni Association, Tempe, AZ
"This is what a blog should be, a cleanly designed home page, with article heads and blurbs in the center editorial well (with links to the full articles) an article contents list organized by topic in the left column, and just a few alumni highlights and a quick 'snapshot' of a campus attraction or event. The design frames top drawer copy, which is crisp, lively and interesting. What more could you want?"
The New and Improved Corporate Synergies Website Dina Beck, Digital Marketing Manager, Corporate Synergies Group, Mount Laurel, NJ
"Content for this website is rich, in-depth, and constantly refreshed with new material. Features and shorts are tightly written, well researched and quite interesting. Professionals in this field have a lot of news, information, legislative changes and technical data to keep up with, but the resources of this greatly improved site make that challenges as easy as possible."
IncomeCertainty.com Website Theresa Austin, Prudential Annuities, Shelton, CT "It's a selling site, but one packed with research, research, research. Clearly and persuasively presented, with cogent logic, crisp, easy to grasp copy (to penetrate the dense subject matter) and liberal use of infographics and video clips to drive home the points. An excellent financial site."
Mark Eckman, Director of Employee Benefits, Aimee Comer, Director of Human Resources, Robins & Morton, Birmingham, AL
"Bold, clear graphics, equally clear, easily understandable videos and, again, clear copy and scripts are used to make this a very effective microsite. An excellent example of clarity in health benefit communications."
Nikki Zebert, Writer, Richard Braunsberg, Editorial Manager, Matt Flick, Designer, Vanguard, Malvern, PA
"This is a superb story, told with all the latest interactive bells and whistles. Writing is tight, nicely 'chunked' and interesting. The reader-involving nature of the visuals is state of the art, with plenty to keep your interest, from start to finish. It's an excellent example of what a website page should be — and do."
Belinda Brouder Hayes, Dark Horse Marketing, Pelham, NY
"You wouldn't typically think a cemetery website would be all that interesting, but this one is. It's packed with well designed and well written information and appealing visuals that take full advantage of the cemetery's siting. This is a green cemetery, and they want you to know that their attention to the environment isn't just casual. You can take an online tour of the cemetery and learn about its history, and even its trees. A very effective, informative website."
John Daters, Web Services Coordinator, Tanetta Jordan, Web Developer, Cleveland Metroparks, Cleveland, OH
"Simple squares dominate the home page of this new website, but they're quite effective. One large square on the left holds a rotating choice of lead stories, while the six on the right are the main parts of the site, with 'Plan Your Visit' having pride of place. Sensible. Mouse over them to see a selection of key subpages. (On tablets, the squares become camp-style, hanging wood slats. Tap a slat and it brings up illustrated sub-choices.) A drop down menu bar at the top provides the rest of the detail. A first rate site."
"A clean, simple yet effective design highlights this publication's home page. A contemporary headline schedule works well, typography is very readable, and site visitors are given several ways to access the current issue, with easy links to back issues and related material. Copy is succinct and navigation is first rate. A very well prepared home page."
Jonathan Rollins, Editor-in-Chief, Counseling Today, American Counseling Association, Alexandria, VA
"Clean, crisp visuals 'front' a very thoughtfully organized site, with excellent navigation and a very readable, visually appealing format. Content is tightly written, very topical and quite interesting, even for a lay audience. Overall, a well researched, well written and well presented site."
It's Your Move: 2014 Benefits Enrollment Campaign Equifax, Atlanta, GA
"Faced with massive, uncontrollable healthcare cost increases, Equifax created a comprehensive, well planned communications campaign to inform employees about how and why their health plans were changing. They did it in a constructive, positive way — far from easy in the current climate — with very well designed and written materials. They made the issues clear, and persuaded nearly half of employees to enroll in the new plans, resulting in lower plan costs for the company and employees."
Retirement Income Strategies Campaign Pacific Life, Retirement Solutions Division, Newport Beach, CA
"An exceptionally well thought out, thoroughly detailed strategy for creating reliable retirement income. Visuals, videography and text are excellent and work together to present a clear, actionable plan. A top level financial planning campaign."
Verizon WellConnect Campaign
Amy Maglione, Graphic Design Manager, Communications, Jeanne D'Amato, Production Manager, Communications, Laura J. Cummings, Strategic Communications Consultant, Xerox, Secaucus, NJ
"Bright, bold, dynamic visuals are the attention getters. They pull you in, and keep you 'browsing' thru the concise, nicely 'chunked', liberally illustrated copy. The spreads have almost an 'infographic' feel to them, but the net result is that the materials convey their well thought out points quickly, and consistently — across multiple media. An excellent example of effective employee communications."
TDA's How to Think or Swim T3 Custom / TD Ameritrade, Woodinville, WA "The title's subhead is 'The Art of Trading Stocks & Options, in a Nutshell' and it really is an art. There's some science, but a whole lot of instinct. (Sidebar: If your instincts aren't good, don't try this without supervision. :-) Design and layout are first rate, with interesting, 'edgy' spreads, clear illustrations — functional where they need to be — and a nice blend of 'chunked' copy and white space, for easy readability. Speaking of copy, it's well written, concise, and does a solid job of making the technical understandable, not always an easy task."
National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center, Washington, DC
"Grim topics, but handled here in a positive and constructive way. The Sharing Ideas & Resources booklet impresses — both with its range and depth. From tip lines to first responder training to active threat response, the publication gives a wealth of ideas and excellent advice, in a well written and well illustrated format. The website reinforces the publication, with a wide range of informative videos and content. The combination creates an excellent resource for school safety staff."
International Coach Federation, ICF Marketing Team, Lexington, KY
"This is an impressively planned and thoroughly researched campaign. The marketing strategy shows thoughtful planning and is effectively implemented across a broad range of print, electronic and social media. The Web content and video clips are particularly powerful, especially the stories told by individual credential holders."
Visitor Guide redesign
Brian Barth, Art Director, Benjamin Guterman, Editor, National Archives, Washington, DC
"Really liked the old version, but the new version is even better. The flow is excellent, through four superbly designed spreads, which feature an intuitive sequence of information geared to first-time visitors. Photography, illustration and typography are all top-drawer, as is the well written copy."
Embracing Excellence Steering Committee, St. Joseph's Healthcare System, Paterson, NJ
"This one's a keeper. It doesn't have the feel of an expensive, high-end production, but the design and visuals are attention-getting (and keeping), and the copy is short, sweet and to the point. It's an in-house production, prepared by people who, apparently, have 'walked the walk'. It's presented to staff as a 'Patient Experience Fair', and the idea is to put the staff in the shoes of the patient. From Call Bells, to Cleanliness to Showing Courtesy, the presentation is simply a very impressive punch list of what to do and what to avoid. Very, very well done."
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WINNING IDEAS FROM APEX
See top award-winning APEX entries below.
HOWARD UNIVERSITY ANNUAL REPORT
Howard University Annual Report 2010-2011 --
Howard University, Washington DC ...
"Beautifully done, with appealing visuals and very interesting narrative flow -- not always found in an annual report format, where you're obliged to include a vast range of constituents. Here, the inclusion is deft, and does not interfere with the impact of the report."