The APEX Awards attract many outstanding entries. Of the more than 1,600 entries in APEX 2016, just 86 Grand Award Winners were selected. Judges' comments (and URLs where available) for many of the 86 Grand Award-winning entries are shown here.
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 (or deletion) 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.
Newsletters | Magazines, Journals & Tabloids | Annual Reports | Print Media | Electronic Media | Social Media | Websites | Campaigns, Programs & Plans | Writing | Design & Illustration | Special Publications
CEO Update - September 4, 2015
Anita Sama, Editor-in-Chief
“Year after year, this clean, crisp, black and white newsletter continues to impress, with its tightly written, interesting features, interviews and shorts. Copywriting is first rate, while design is simple, elegant and appealing. It’s an exemplar of what a newsletter for association executives should be.”
Vaughan at Work
City of Vaughan
“This visually attractive newsletter provides a wealth of useful information to town residents. Format has been modified and reduced to an easy to read size and is printed on 100% recycled paper to emphasize the city’s commitment to the environment. The effective use of bulleted information present throughout enables the reader to focus on exactly what the writer seeks to highlight. Definitely a ‘pin on the fridge’ piece!”
Inside Personal Finance - October 2015
Ric Edelman, Chairman and CEO
Edelman Financial Services
“To many, no topic can be more daunting than how to make wise financial decisions. This wonderfully designed and written newsletter uses language that even the novice investor can understand, yet is also valuable to the most sophisticated as well. Several pages of ‘Q & A’ cover issues important to those of all ages and asset levels. Quite simply – a ‘must read’ to assist those making critical financial decisions.”
Lowe’s Creative Ideas Newsletter
Meredith Xcelerated Marketing (MXM)
Des Moines, Iowa
“While the ‘old’ version of this informative newsletter provided highly useful information in a clean, efficient presentation, the ‘new’ version introduces a much more attractive design, with greater variety in color and graphic elements. Images are larger and there are more entry points to other types of content. The new interchangeable modular design also adapts quite well to mobile devices.”
Publix News - October 2015
Publix Super Markets Inc.
"How do you ensure that a corporate newsletter is not just a ‘fluff’ piece? Provide employees with valuable, succinct information in an easy-to-read, graphically appealing product. Focus on the obvious – company news and employee features – but also provide useful information on topics important to the lives of your employees. That’s what happens here, with an added special insert that provides great ideas shared by employees on how to prepare for happier, healthier holidays."
2. MAGAZINES & JOURNALS
Kevin Klauer, DO, EJD, FACEP, Medical Editor-in-Chief
Nancy Calaway, Director, Member Communications and Marketing
Dawn Antoline-Wang Editor
Engineering Inc. - November/December 2015
Andrea Keeney, Director, Staff Editor, Engineering Inc.
Alan D. Crockett, Director, Public Relations and Communications
American Council of Engineering Companies
"A clean, appealing layout packages a lot of copy and nicely captioned photos and illustrations. Despite the use of every square inch, the design works -- as do the very well researched, interesting features. It's a first class effort."
"Well written, nicely focused, appealing features and shorts are deftly presented in visually interesting spreads, with effective use of white space, callouts and blending of archival photos with contemporary design effects."
“Not just informative editorial content packaged in a graphically appealing presentation, this magazine revisits one of the iconic events in American history. The reader is privileged to gain access to exclusive behind-the-scenes access to photographs of surviving artifacts of the Lincoln assassination and ensuing investigation, trials and executions. Truly a one-of-a-kind tribute to Americana.”
The Residential Specialist
Council of Residential Specialists & GLC – A Marketing Communications Agency
“The imaginative and humorous graphics simply serve as a wonderful attraction to superb content. The use of colorful headlines and copy along with useful statistics that appear in effective callouts make this a valuable resource for the CRS community. The focus in this particular issue on the importance of environmentally friendly features effectively addresses a popular topic in residential real estate today.”
Mount Vernon Magazine
Rebecca Aloisi, Vice President for Marketing
Rebekah Hanover Pettit, Graphic Designer
George Washington’s Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon, VA
“The decision to completely redesign a successful publication always comes with fear and risk. Here, through well-planned and well-researched actions, the editors came up with a format and a new direction that not only was appreciated by existing members, but sparked an increase in membership! Complicating this massive redesign was an increase in frequency. A truly Herculean effort!
ISTC Communicator Spring 2015 plus Special Supplement: The Value of Technical Communication
Katherine Judge, Commissioning Editor
Croydon, United Kingdom
“This clean, appealing layout offers attractive spreads, a crisp, legible type schedule, with effective use of callouts, sidebars and captions. Content is equally exceptional, with fully vetted, well written articles on a wide range of professional topics. And the supplement on the value of technical communication is an effective ‘selling tool’ for managements and other key audiences. This magazine is precisely the kind of first rate publication you’d expect from a professional association of scientific and technical communicators.”
New Teacher Advocate
Sally Rushmore, Managing Editor, New Teacher Advocate
Laurie Quay, Publications Assistant
Kathie-Jo Arnoff, Director of Publications
Kappa Delta Pi
"An excellent magazine. It's inviting, well illustrated, and engagingly written -- which makes it very readable, with actionable advice presented with clear, easily understood copy and layout."
Defence Tech Community (Pioneer Magazine November 2015)
Bernard Chia, Editor (Visuals)
Angelina Low, Chief Editor
Kok Wah Chuen, Editor (Publications)
Ministry of Defence, Singapore
“Because of the excellent design, the casual browser might not notice that the writing is exceptionally interesting, lively, and keeps you reading until the end. Copy is succinct, with well chosen callouts and numerous sidebars and short items to vary the pace for readers. A very effective editorial plan is clearly evident.”
Thrive, Fall 2015
Lyn Hill, VP for Communication and External Affairs
New York Methodist Hospital
"Solid, well researched information."
thinkMoney by TDA
Bina Walker, Corporate Communications and Social Strategist
“Content is sharp, crisp, interesting, very well researched. And it’s all about numbers. Financial numbers, stock numbers, investment numbers, retirement numbers. Very hard to make a magazine packed with data and numbers visually appealing. But they’ve pulled it off, with a bold, dynamic layout, interesting, varied spreads, and top drawer typography and illustration. All combine to make this a very readable magazine.”
“The editorial content is impressive, with feature after feature of invitingly written, interesting and very well informed advice on every conceivable medical condition. Each article will leave the reader well researched insights into the condition, along with actionable advice on how to prevent or cope with it. This is one magazine you’ll want to keep.”
3. ANNUAL REPORTS
Idaho Housing’s Data-Driven Annual Report
Marketing and Communications Staff
Idaho Housing and Finance Association
“The purpose of any annual report is to provide data to the reader. Overcoming the hurdle of ‘paralysis by analysis’ is a huge challenge, however, and this report does that through the use of innovative design, smart use of color and a personal touch that reveals how lives had been impacted by the programs highlighted in the content. The accordion format only enhances the readability and efficiency of the design.”
"This lengthy report presents a wide range of statistical data in an informative, readable report, with generous use of graphs and charts to help the reader understand key trends. The research and the presentation of it are both impressive. If you want information in the senior care field, this is a hard publication to beat."
2015 State of Thought Leadership
Diane Montana, AVP, Creative Services
“An exceptionally visual annual report, with superb use of illustration and especially infographics. Combined with concise, nicely ‘chunked’ copy, the report involves the reader by being both appealing and easy to read.”
2014 Stewardship Report
Otter Tail Power Company
Fergus Falls, MN
“Elegant in its simplicity, the crisp, inviting layout deploys a blend of white space, bold photography, functional infographics and restrained but effective use of spot color to provide an appealing backdrop for the editorial content. The copy has a tough job here -- to deliver an invitingly readable discussion of the company and its progress. The copywriters deliver, and manage to weave a mountain of data, statistics and raw numbers into the story, in a way that is easy for readers to understand. A first rate report.”
“Focusing on their mission of transparency in revealing performance measures, financial reporting, and key issues facing the company, this report provides information in a clear, simple, well designed layout. Data is presented in easy-to-read callouts and it is readily apparent that customer service is of utmost importance.”
4. PRINT MEDIA
My iPhone for Seniors
“Superb, thoroughly researched, well organized and well written book tells you and shows you everything you need to know to get the most out of your iPhone. Type is legible, and large, useful for the audience. Content is easy to read, with complex topics clearly presented. Hard to do better.”
ASCD Professional Development Sourcebook
Lindsey Smith, Senior Graphic Designer
Donald Ely, Senior Graphic Designer
Reece Quinones, Art Director
“You would expect that a publication targeted to teachers would be well-organized, well-designed and well-written. This sourcebook is all that and more. Throughout, four central themes are highlighted: ‘Who we Teach,’ ‘What we Teach,’ ‘How we Teach’ and ‘How we Lead.’ Throughout each section, the available products are described clearly and succinctly -- but going beyond the mere list of products, this publication provides information embedded in the contact that can provide help even without the purchase of a product. Thus, this is a sourcebook on several levels.”
Frontline - October/November 2015
Ford Product Team, Retailer Education & Training
Ford Motor Company
"This magazine is really a superb training vehicle precisely aimed at its target audience of sales people at Ford dealers. It's not National Geographic. It won't win any coffee table publication awards. What it does do very effectively is use a very functional mix of captioned photos, concise, often bulleted text, and plenty of callouts, sidebars and charts to give the sales staff fast access to key benefit points for each vehicle and its components. Reading the issue makes you want to buy a Ford — or, at the very least, one of those Multicontour seats!"
The Photographing Tourist
Goulah Design Group, Inc.
“A massive and spectacular tour de force. Stunning photography -- coffee table book-style -- which is at once tutorial and fascinating travel journal through many lands, peoples and continents. If this doesn’t get you down to the passport office, nothing will!”
EDGE Broker Sales Certification Training
Jeff Krantz, President
Clarence Center, NY
“The step-by-step approach employed here, complete with appealing graphics, color and an airy, easy-to-read layout provides trainees with excellent educational material. At the beginning of each section, the summary and objectives are clearly stated, enabling the reader to easily locate desired material. ‘Real-life’ worksheets and exercises are designed to be useful well after the initial training period is over. A model training manual.”
McKnight’s Long-Term Care News 2015 Industry Directory
Elizabeth Newman, Senior Editor
Karmen Maurer, Vice President & Publisher
James M. Berklan, Editor
McKnight’s Long-Term Care News
“Serving the needs of long-term care professionals for over 30 years, this industry ‘Bible’ offers far more than just an alphabetical listing of products. The three-part section of Industry Information is a highly useful resource, followed by comprehensive Supplier listings that are filled with color, well-written copy and ‘fun facts’ that definitely make this annual publication valuable for the whole year.”
Woman’s My Pregnancy Journal
Lynne Wells, Art Director
Dana Michell, Writer
Ciara Martin, Project Manager
Baton Rouge, LA
“Illustrations are beautiful, copy is very well organized, well researched and readable. It’s a first rate, step-by-step guide and journal, all in one.”
5. ELECTRONIC MEDIA
Target Date Funds Widget
"Investing can be an intimidating and complex prospect, but this online tool guides the would-be investor through the process of developing an investment plan. It's clear, efficient, not overly complicated, and effective. Those new to investing would do well to give it a run through -- whether or not they intend to invest at Fidelity."
The Economic Value of College Majors Interactive Tool
Vikki Hartt, Communications Specialist
Hilary Strahota, Associate Director of Strategic Communications
Andrea Porter, Director of Operations
Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce
“Impressive multimedia project really involves the reader. You wind up clicking every element -- from videos to powerpoint presentations to urls. Content is superbly designed, and tightly written to get the key points across. Exceptionally well done.”
Noida, Uttar Pradesh
“It’s a very effective handbook. The clear, simple interactive format asks and answers every conceivable question. The visuals are supportive, and the copy is succinct and to the point, offering very well written and researched answers in an easy-to-navigate, intuitive layout. An impressive approach to offering comprehensive information to job candidates and new hires.”
Staying Sharp Series
Georgia Stelluto, Publications Manager
“Elegant in its simplicity, the two-part series acts as an ‘e-mentor,’ providing simple yet valuable tips on how to keep up with the latest developments in engineering. Covering a wide range of areas so that anyone can easily find an idea suitable for their own purpose, this series offers step-by-step descriptions for staying on the cutting edge of the field. Simple vertical design and excellent selection of typeface make this an easy read.”
Social Security Digital Publication
Diane Montana, AVP, Creative Services
“This wonderfully intuitive app is exceptionally well thought out. It clearly presents a wealth of facts about Social Security in an appealingly illustrated and very READABLE format. It’s a ‘soup to nuts’ look at Social Security, and one of the best explanations we’ve ever seen. Absolutely top drawer.”
Do-It-Yourself Guide: Shoot Amazing Videos for Your Business
“Both a primer for newbies, and filled with innovative ideas for those more experienced, here’s a valuable resource that will help anyone create a video that makes him or her look like an expert. Very well displayed with effective use of color and photos throughout. Every item that needs to be considered is listed here, with multiple choices, and pluses and minuses to each. Have fun … learn … and end up with a great video!”
Wildland Fire Assessment Program Toolkit
Susan Dyer, Art Director
Lori Moon, Program Manager
National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC)
“In depth research, informed, readable content, top level visuals and extensive links and resources, all combining to make this a valuable training program for communities facing the threat of wildfires.”
Northwest Center for Public Health Practice, University of Washington
“If you’re a public health professional, you’ll want to try this superb, thoroughly researched, engaging project planning course. (We especially liked the illustration showing what happens to a PERT chart when things don’t turn out as planned!) The course is clear, well organized, with every possible link or additional resource you could imagine -- all presented in a very easy to understand, intuitive format. Absolutely top drawer. And it’s free!”
The Next Shift National Nurses Week Collection digital magazine/app
Content Marketing Editorial and Design Teams
Nurse.com magazines/OnCourse Learning Group
Hoffman Estates, IL
"A crisp, simple layout with appealing photos and readable type offers invaluable advice from one nurse to another. In the form of personal narratives, these stories are from the heart. They are compellingly written and can't help but make a powerful impact on the reader. An exceptional collection."
“This superb app boasts a visually dynamic, appealing contents page, and takes full advantage of AAA’s top drawer travel photography. Every new page features a striking photo and succinct text, with links and videos for more information. Sliding tabs provide useful tips, and when you tap individual photos, a text description pops up. Very informative (and educational), very entertaining, and very useful for the traveler. A first rate effort.”
"This is an exceptionally clever way to showcase key staffers, their favorite holiday recipe, and a brief personal note. It is exceptionally well done, and you come away with a very positive understanding of their background -- and more than a dozen rather good recipes."
"A very contemporary design offers nicely 'chunked', concisely written mini-features on a wide range of health and wellness topics. They're very readable, and offer excellent advice in a highly functional format."
NASA Armstrong Facebook Site
Anna Kelley, NASA Armstrong Social Media Manager
Logical Innovations/NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center
"There are more than a few Facebook sites out there. This is one of the exceptional ones. Content is rich, with in-depth features, videos and photography -- all combining to tell a persuasive story about the organization and its mission. This is top flight communications."
"Nurses Know" Social Squad
Lauren Snowball, Labour Relations Officer
Ontario Nurses’ Association
Sandia Social Media
Sandia National Laboratories
"A very effective -- and very visually appealing -- presentation on Sandia's social media programs. It's an interesting 'read' which keeps your attention from beginning to end."
“A striking, and appealingly contemporary home page invites the site visitor in with attractive visuals and readable type, combining to showcase the content. Heads and lead-in copy invite further reading, while fluid navigation and crisp, interesting features keep readers involved. A first rate website.”
A Transforming World
Robert Mirales, Director, Content and Delivery, Bank of America
Bank of America and Time Inc.
New York, NY
“Very inviting, cutting edge home page design lets site visitors scroll through ‘chunked’ visuals of varied topics. A very effective way to create a landing page.”
“Bold, primary colors and a clean, contemporary layout catch the eye. The functional, intuitive design keeps the site visitor engaged -- and clicking. Lots of good information, well written, in an easy, well organized format. Hard to ask for more in a website.”
Catholic Health Association of the United States - Centennial Microsite
Matrix Group International
“A ‘tiled’ home page, with every ‘tile’ a different video -- each showcasing a staff member discussing his or her work. A very simple, but very effective technique.”
Vanguard Personal Advisor Services® - Keep track of your goals
Marilyn Lawrence, Writer
Joseph Mercatante, Lead UX Designer
Gerry Gant, UX Designer
“Impressive presentation of how Vanguard tracks your retirement goals, plans, portfolio and strategies. A clear, efficient system, well illustrated and described. You can see how clients would find it very effective.”
8. CAMPAIGNS, PROGRAMS & PLANS
Staffing World 2015 Final Program
Marlene Hendrickson, Director, Publishing and Marketing
Stephanie Kern, Assistant Editor
American Staffing Association
“Exceptionally well organized conference program. Packed with information, ably presented with first rate visuals, infographics and effective typography. Crisp, interesting copywriting closes the deal.”
City of Austin Deferred Compensation Plan Transition Campaign
City of Austin Deferred Compensation Plan
Combined Municipal Campaign 2016
City of Houston
"Good works, well explained with an appealing video and clear, well designed and well written online materials."
Oak Ecosystems Recovery Plan
Lake County Forest Preserves––Public Affairs Division
"A strikingly beautiful layout, with very effective use of photos and illustrations, showcases an inviting report on environmental recovery strategies, written to be easily grasped by a lay audience. Very well done."
“Very clever, very original, very appealing. This one will be read from beginning to end.”
Merrill Edge Save Enough Package
Sue Lacey, Vice President, Merrill Edge Marketing, Global Marketing & Corporate Affairs
Suzanne Rovick, SVP, Merrill Edge Thought Leadership Content Marketing Manager
Meredith Xcelerated Marketing (MXM)
New York, NY
“Impressive, thoroughly researched, clearly written presentation is easy to read and understand -- thanks in no small part to superb, functional graphics and illustrations -- and offers excellent advice to a lay audience on a key financial topic.”
Infographic: How to evaluate your target-date strategy
Katie McGlade, Marketing Manager
"They know their target audience, and they know how to communicate with them. The messeage is clear, succinct, crisply written, and cleverly illustrated, in infographic form, to get the key points across.”
“A Lasting Legacy”
Emily McMackin, Writer
Jamie Roberts, Managing Editor
Denise Doring VanBuren, Editor-in-Chief
American Spirit Magazine
Cognitive Issues with Multiple Sclerosis: Research, Strategies, and Support
Susan Wells Courtney, Senior Writer & Creative Director
“A fascinating look at the law of unintended consequences, as applied to the Affordable Care Act. This in-depth feature takes readers through the many impacts of the law for a specific subset of patients, deftly weaving real examples from interviews, and actions taken to cope with it. It’s a well researched, well written and very informative piece.”
“A calm, matter-of-fact discusssion about a very stressful subject. The copy is obviously thoroughly researched, but it not presented in a dry, technical way. Rather, the copy is clear, and written in an easily grasped, memorable way. It is a useful service for anyone who needs information about this topic.”
10. DESIGN & ILLUSTRATION
2016 MASTERS JOURNAL
Augusta National Golf Club & H.O. Zimman, Inc.
“‘Spectacular’ is the word that keeps running through your mind as you view this superbly designed, illustrated and photographed publication. Each spread is a stunning visual feast -- often with a unique twist or visual surprise, but always carrying through the unifying theme of the issue. It’s simply first class from cover to cover. “
Art & Artists - Shaker Life, Spring 2015
City of Shaker Heights
Shaker Heights, OH
Iowa - State of the State - Infographics
Sean Scantland, Lead Designer
Peachtree Corners, GA
“A superb example of how to employ infographics to tell the story visually. The illustrations are both beautifully striking and functional -- a combination not always easy to achieve. A first rate effort.”
Texas Farm Bureau Insurance, Texas Heritage for Living, Spring 2015 Cover Story, “2015 Storm Guide”
Paul Buckley, President
Catherine Adcock, Director of Content Development
Kyle Phelps, Creative Director
Institute for Quantum Computing Highlights
Institute for Quantum Computing
Waterloo Ontario, ON
Law That Works
Corrine Cooper, Principal
Michael Longstaff, Designer
Professional Presence Communication Consulting
“Superb design, exceptionally clever in its simplicity. Memorable, which is precisely what you want in a firm’s URL and identity materials.”
Julie Fournier, Creative Director
20 Power Facts
Singapore Power Ltd
SilverKris August 2015
Dora Tay, Senior Editor
SPH Magazines Pte Ltd
“The entire issue displays a superb design presence -- in layout, photography, illustration and typography. Against such a setting, it’s difficult for individual design elements and spreads -- such as infographics -- to stand out. But in this case, the infographics are exceptionally striking. They catch readers’ attention and make the text very easy to read and understand, which, of course, is exactly the purpose of high-end design.”
11. ONE-OF-A-KIND PUBICATIONS
One Hundred Years of Law
Brenan Sharp, Deputy Design Director
Allen Pusey, Editor and Publisher
Molly McDonough, Managing Editor
ABA Journal, American Bar Association
Engineering: Go For It (eGFI)
Mark Matthews, Editor
Nicola Nittoli, Creative Director
American Society for Engineering Education
Locally Fresh Local Farmers and Partners Issue
Big Y Marketing Department
Big Y Foods, Inc.
“Charming, personable, very inviting photo spreads, and excellent use of sidebars to feature recipes. Even the weekly sales pages are appealing. This is a classy sales circular. It’s done with verve and style, and you’ll read it almost as a magazine. A top drawer effort.”
“Acts of heroism you wouldn’t believe if you saw them in a movie, powerful, intriguing stories of combat on many fronts, and efforts to win the trust of civilian populations. The feature on female engagement teams is especially striking. The copywriting is uniformly superb, with design and photography to match. This history of the Afghan War is a definite keeper.”
Thomas Uhlein, Associate Professor
Ashly Wirsing, Student Designer
William Paterson University
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APEX News...APEX 2017 Award Winners Announced!
The 29th Annual APEX Awards for Publication Excellence Competition Winners have been announced.
• APEX entrants automatically receive an email receipt upon payment for entries. However, if you need an additional receipt for your entries, just complete the easy online receipt form.
Click to access our WordPressBlog!
The judges comment on the APEX® Awards, as well as writing, editing, publishing and media topics.
WINNING IDEAS FROM APEX
See top award-winning APEX entries below.
SWE, Magazine of the Society of Women Engineers -- Anne Perusek, Society of Women Engineers, Cleveland Heights, OH ...
"This is one print magazine that feels good in the hand. Nice heft, and a very readable, matte paper stock. Cogent, well researched and well written features display a subtlety and depth of coverage you don't always find in association periodicals. Clearly, some competent folks are editing this one. And all that solid content is nicely displayed, from the striking contents page to the very attractive and readable layout. Illustration, photography and type are first class throughout."