APEX 2015 Grand Award Winnerspart one


APEX 2015 APEX 2015 APEX 2015 APEX 2015

The APEX Awards attract many outstanding entries. Of the nearly 1,900 entries in APEX 2015, just 82 Grand Award Winners were selected. In the days ahead, we'll post judges' comments (and URLs where available) for each of the 82 Grand Award-winning entries.

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.

Please check back often. (NOTE! If you can provide a direct URL to your Grand Award listed among the 82 Grand Award winners here, please e-mail it to us. Thank you!)

Newsletters | Magazines, Journals & Tabloids | Annual Reports | Print Media | Electronic Media | Social Media | Websites | Campaigns, Programs & Plans | Writing | Design & Illustration | Special Publications


CEO Update issue, August 22, 2014

Anita Sama, Editor-in-Chief, CEO Update, Washington, DC

"In a technicolor world, there's something clean and crisp and distinctive about a black and white newsletter. That it stands out is a plus. That it costs less to print is merely an incidental bonus, not a primary reason. Layout is attractive, legible and easy reading, with what you might call 'professional' typography, as opposed to the trendy, cutesy variety. Those of us who actually like to read a newsletter are appreciative. Did we mention this is a functional newsletter? Features and shorts are interesting and well written but the editors choose topics to provide practical, useful, actionable insights — as a newsletter should."

Benefits Pulse Summer 2014
City of Houston - HR Communications, Houston, TX
"Bright, striking graphics, bold use of color and whitespace, excellent graphics, effective chunked copy with charts, sidebars, numbered lists – you name it, the editors and designers want you to get through their copy and actually read it. What a clever idea."

Alcoholism & Drug Abuse Weekly
Alison Knopf, Editor, Gary Enos, Contributing Editor, Douglas Devaux, Production Editor, Wiley, Hoboken, NJ
"Copywriting and editing are first rate in this newsletter, whether it's a straight news feature, a comparison of medications, or an analysis of insurance issues. The editorial content is exceptionally well targeted to the needs of its audience of healthcare professionals, but the articles are both interesting and readable even by a lay audience. That's a pretty good combination. The design also contributes to a quick easy read, with clean, simple spreads, legible typography, and effective use of callouts. It's a good example of a professional level newsletter." 
Education Update
Sarah McKibben, Managing Editor, ASCD, Alexandria, VA
"A clean and attractive design, with very appealing illustrations, and state-of-the-art, legible typography, makes a good backdrop to showcase tightly written, well researched content, with just the right amount of sidebars, pull quotes and infographics. Very interesting copy. Very readable newsletter. A significant improvement on what was a quite good previous version."
ASA for You
Stephanie Kern, Assistant Editor, Simone Bielsker, TSC, CSP, Director of Membership, Kelly Verberg, Vice President, Membership and Sections, American Staffing Association, Alexandria, VA
"A bright, lively newsletter with bold spot color and illustrations, an attractive layout with excellent use of sidebars, screens and nicely chunked copy (with useful bulleted and numbered lists for easy reading). It makes for a very appealing and a very readable format – precisely what you want for an informal newsletter."
Stephanie Kern, Assistant Editor, Simone Bielsker, TSC, CSP, Director of Membership, Kelly Verberg, Vice President, Membership and Sections, American Staffing Association, Alexandria, VA
"A bright, lively newsletter with bold spot color and illustrations, an attractive layout with excellent use of sidebars, screens and nicely chunked copy (with useful bulleted and numbered lists for easy reading). It makes for a very appealing and a very readable format – precisely what you want for an informal newsletter."
Hughston Health Alert Newsletter
Dennise Brogdon, Managing Editor, Belinda Klein, Art Director, Carol Binns, Senior Editor, The Hughston Foundation, Inc., Columbus, GA
"The illustrations are, as always, superb, but matched by the copywriting, which is well researched, concise, and interesting. Readers stay to read the feature articles to the end, and come away both better informed and better able to identify and seek treatment for serious health issues. An excellent example of newsletter writing."

Magazines, Journals & Tabloids

The Residential Specialist
Rene Ryan, Senior Director of Strategy, Phil Malkinson, Managing Editor, Scott Oldham, Creative Director, GLC Custom Media, Skokie, IL
"Stunning spreads with exceptionally functional design elements — from infographics to information-packed contents pages to typography and illustration. Everything is top drawer. It's a very readable magazine, which is really the purpose of good design."
CNET Magazine
"A very appealing contents page, stunning spreads, a crisp, lively layout with first rate visuals and typography, and an editorial focus on everything state-of-the-art, make this a very interesting and very readable magazine. And the stories just keep coming, one after the other, each on a topic you really want to learn more about. It's a great combination."
Coleen Stern, Managing Editor, Nursing made Incredibly Easy, Philadelphia, PA
"Caring for, and relating to, a broad range of diverse patients is a complex undertaking, with many layers of understanding, communication and sensitivity. The writers, editors and designers of this issue do a superb job of conveying the nuances and giving well thought out, practical advice on caring for different groups. The feature articles are in-depth but written in an interesting, engaging manner, while the visuals, layout and design do a top notch job of reinforcing the editorial well. A difficult subject made easier."
SilverKris - September 14
Tay Dora, Senior Editor, Jayson Ong, Associate Creative Director, SPH Magazines Pte Ltd, Singapore
"From the evocative and cleverly inviting contents pages to the stunning, attention getting spreads, this issue pleases and surprises the reader with gorgeous photography and illustrations, and readable typography — all taking readers on journey after journey, each more interesting than the last. A tour de force in magazine design."
Dawn Antoline-Wang, Editor, Kevin Klauer, DO, EJD, FACEP, Medical Editor-inChief, Nancy Calaway, Director, Member Communications and Marketing, Wiley, Hoboken, NJ
"This one's a real tour de force, displaying excellent use of whitespace and visuals in a very appealing, avant-garde layout with nicely integrated illustrations, callouts, decks and sidebars — all of which combine to reinforce the top drawer editorial content. Both features and shorts get right to the heart of what interests the target audience of medical professionals — for example, the pros and cons of medical marijuana, coupled with specific examples and observations. It's really an excellent and very readable magazine, and a significant improvement over its predecessor, which was quite good in its own right."
BergerWorld: Celebrating 60 Years
Karen Kramer, Creative Director, Warren Miller, Editor, Brandon Soublet, Editor, Louis Berger, Morristown, NJ
"A very appealing design, starting with the cover montage displaying selected covers from the previous 60 years, and moving on to a look at the organization's history, decade by decade, along with an impressive array of the major individual projects, nicely photographed and succinctly described. The center spreads are an especially nice touch. They could almost form a photo wall in a corporate headquarters lobby. In all, the issue's design strikes just the right tone for for a commemorative issue."
Contact: The Teachers' Digest
Jingting Chen, Editor, Lina Teo, Assistant Project Director, Quek Oon Hong, Creative Director, Tuber Productions Pte Ltd, Singapore
"Copywriting is excellent, with punchy, interesting features and plenty of shorts to grab, and keep, the readers' attention. The articles are reinforced by cutting edge design, which helps make the magazine an easy read, with top drawer spreads, packed with illustrations, photos and world class infographics. In sum, a very enjoyable publication."
Liz Massey, Managing Editor, Robert Cao-Ba, Creative/Art Director,  Tracy Scott, Editor-in-Chief, ASU Alumni Association, Tempe, AZ
"This is a superb magazine. The design, layout, illustrations and photography are all first-rate, but the heart of this publication is in the editorial well. It's packed with in-depth, well researched, well written features – many of which you wouldn't ordinarily think of. The copy is interesting and thought-provoking. Plenty of short items and news updates from alums round out the issue. Exceptionally well done."
Andrea Keeney, Director, Staff Editor, Engineering Inc., Alan D. Crockett, Director, Public Relations and Communications, American Council of Engineering Companies, Washington, DC
"it's a clean and attractive design with appealing spreads and photography, excellent attention to detail in everything from the type schedule to the use of decks, sidebars and pull quotes. And the electronic presentation is easy and intuitive. On the editorial side, crisply written articles display careful analysis and cover a range of complex topics from the technical to the personal. It's a very well-done magazine and a very readable one."
Hallowed Ground - Fall 2014
Mary Koik, Editor, Jeff Griffith, Creative Director, Civil War Trust, Washington, DC
"What's not to like? Content is compelling, riveting. Design is spectacular, with absolutely first rate photos, illustrations and type. It's a magazine on a (preservation) mission, but they persuade with this superb communications vehicle."
Adapt to Change: Leadership Strategies 
Kaylen Tucker, Editor-in-Chief, Meredith Barnett, Public Affairs Associate, Ned Colbert, Communications Assistant, NAESP, Alexandria, VA
"Superbly crafted in both design and content, this magazine is absolutely cutting-edge — from the obvious care taken in the contents page design to the varied and appealing spreads, the well researched, crisply written features, the effective use (but not overuse ) of infographics, and – a nice touch–the executive director's commentary on the last page, and not the first. A well thought out magazine."
Ruffed Grouse Society Magazine
Matt Soberg, Editor, Patrick Iten, Art Direction, Ruffed Grouse Society, Baxter, MN
"Each issue in the series is superbly illustrated, with wonderfully chosen and cropped photos, and appealing spreads. And each issue is packed with exceptionally well-written, interesting and compelling features. Each one is a masterpiece."
Spring 2014 -- "Faith" 
Peter Szatmary, Editor, Phi Kappa Phi Forum. The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, Baton Rouge, LA
"An exceptionally fine magazine. This issue focuses on the theme of faith – always a bit of a risky undertaking, but one which the editors handle quite skillfully. The design is simply breathtaking, with gorgeous spreads, beautiful photography and exceptionally attractive type and layout. The feature articles are in-depth, interesting and thought-provoking. The combination of top quality content and equally top quality design make for a first class publication."

Annual Reports

Teri Olsen, Project Director, Derek Larsen, Media Development, Maiko Taguchi, Project Coordinator, University of Utah Health Care, Salt Lake City, UT
"Straightforward is the key here. No slick glitz and glitter, just the facts, delivered in a clean, attractive and very readable layout. This annual report is 'old school' done right. No avant garde fonts to interfere with comprehension, but a simple layout with plenty of white space, column widths chosen for best readability, and nicely captioned, generously sized photos — all of which combine to reinforce the copy. And there's a lot of copy, but none of it is fluff. The authors have a lot of ground to cover, and they do it with crisp, well written and interesting content. All in all, a job well done."
Runnymede Healthcare Centre Annual Report
Runnymede Healthcare Centre, Toronto, ON
"This is a striking and stunningly designed annual report – from the simple, clean cover design to the beautiful spreads with effective use of spot color, to the well chosen and deftly cropped photos and infographics. All combine to reinforce the editorial content, which is well-organized and nicely chunked, with a multitude of subheads and decks to make reading easy. The use of large, bold, multi-colored banner heads adds a classy touch, while drawing readers into the piece."
Hospice of Marion County 2014 Annual Report
Lila Ivey, Director, Community Outreach, Hospice of Marion County, Ocala, FL
"This compelling annual report features a beautiful, simple design, with clean, appealing layouts, excellent use of photography and infographics, and a very professional explanation of the business and financial aspects of the operation. But what makes this annual report stand out is the elegant way in which stories of hospice patients and staff are woven into the fabric of the report. Simply first rate."

Print Media

2015 F-150 Product Information Book
Michelle Shaffran, Ford Product Training Manager, Ford Motor Company, Troy, Michigan
"The book is an educational tour-de-force. It's superbly well designed, with functional, easy reading spreads filled with useful photos, charts and sidebars — all of which combine to project a theme of quality to the intended audience. By the time you put this publication down, you want to go out and buy an F-150, even if you'd never thought of owning one before."
Chuck Norman, Owner/Principal, S&A Communications, Cary, NC
"Cary does, indeed, have it, once you read this inviting, beautifully designed and illustrated booklet. Copywriting is crisp, concise, and hits the high points quickly. Readers are carried (no pun intended) through to the end, where the caryed.com link encourages them to continue on to Cary's economic development website. A classy marketing effort."
Reaching Retirement Workbook
Michael Steadman, Writer, Greg Spears, Editorial Manager, Vanguard, Wayne, PA
"Making a smooth transition to retirement isn't easy; it's a complex, multi-step process. This workbook does a remarkable job of making the decision process crystal clear, offering readers a well organized and well prepared guide to reviewing their retirement options — from expenses, to income analysis, to making savings last, to tips for getting back on track if your retirement 'train' gets off the rails. A keeper, worth reading cover to cover."
Graybar corporate social responsibility brochure
Graybar Corporate Communications, St. Louis, MO
"This is a nicely done brochure – not too ostentatious, not too long, but a nice succinct look at what the corporation has done to improve the environment, the community and the lives of its employees. The crisp design and layout make the well-written copy very easy-to-read and understand. It's really a first-rate effort."
ABA/AARP Checklist for Family Survivors: A Guide to Practical and Legal Matters When Someone You Love Dies
Sally Hurme, AARP, Washington, DC
"An exceptional book. The graphics aren't fancy, but the content is first rate. Extremely well researched and well organized, each topic is well written, and carefully presented in as inviting a way as such a topic can be. If anything has been overlooked in this thorough book, we can't think what it might be. If you're planning on passing away, do your family a favor and get this book. :-)"

Electronic Media

Zack Cannon, Video & Corporate Content Manager, Patricia Brown, Editorial Director, Nick Panayi, Director, Global Brand & Digital Marketing, CSC, Falls Church, VA
"This top drawer multimedia package employs quality visuals, videography and scripting to make you feel like you're actually there — immersed in presentations and meetings, as if you're a participant. And, while you're doing that, you can easily access extensive supplemental information through links and sidebars. It's a very effective interactive experience."
Retirement HUB — Interest Rates
Jackson, Denver, CO
"A superb presentation — PowerPoint-style — on rising interest rates, and what you can do about them. The visuals do a wonderful job of reinforcing the content. The combination makes this sometimes confusing topic crystal clear. In fact, it's one of the best explanations of how bonds work that we've seen."
Sallie Jimenez, National Editor, Heather Cygan, Vice President of News/Managing Editor, Nurse.com, Hoffman Estates, IL
"These truly are 'real stories by real nurses,' and they are told in a wonderfully compelling and powerful way. You come away from reading these beautifully crafted narratives with a much deeper understanding of the challenges that nurses face and the experiences of their patients."
AAA Living - Jan/Feb 2014 iPad Edition
Chris Ferguson, Art Director, Lucinda Hahn, Editor, Pace Communications and AAA Living
"A clean, simple, efficient layout is the key to this award winner. Navigation is intuitive, fluid and, best of all, it's easy because it's so consistent from page to page. After two or three pages, you know where the content is, and what to expect. Design is very appealing, with attractive pull quotes, illustrations and spectacular photos, many offering 360º viewing, a nice treat. Content is crisp, concise and interesting. A first class ePub."
LG Smart TV Attract Loop
Lou Thurmon, Chief People Officer, Jason Wickersheim, Director of Motion Graphics, Daniel Smith, Senior Motion Graphics Designer, Two West Inc., Kansas City, MO.
"And attract it does. You would think that this far into the 21st century, TV makers would have found a way to make operating their gizmos and assorted attachments intuitive and easy. You would, of course, be wrong. But after watching the LG media, they may just be on to something, with their WebOS (for 'Obviously Simple') system, complete with easy customization and easy-looking 'Magic Remote'. If the product is half as good as the creative team's demo video for LG stores, it's time to buy LG stock."
Julie Mackenzie, Chief Explorer, Travis Taggart, Copywriter, Mark Dunst, Designer, Mindsailing, Minneapolis, MN
"Superbly designed for fluid, intuitive navigation, this web based interactive sales tool is exceptionally well targeted to its intended audience. Visuals reinforce the narrative, copy is succinct and tightly focused, and each 'slide' offers easy to find supplemental material. An excellent example of the interactive art form."
ONA: Report Hazards - Unsafe Workplaces Hurt Patients, Too
Peter Birt, Manager, Communications and Government Relations, Ontario Nurses' Association, Toronto, ON
"A low-key video, but one that is very persuasive, very cogently argued, and, in the end, very effective. What more can you ask for?"

Social Media

James M. Berklan, Editor, Elizabeth Leis Newman, Senior Editor, John O'Connor, Associate Publisher and Editorial Director, McKnight's Long-Term Care News, Northbrook, IL
"These practical case studies are tightly written, interesting, and well chosen. They cover a range of nitty gritty topics, and do not fail to offer useful analysis and advice. A 'must read' for practitioners in the field."
Jeanne Smith, Content Marketing Strategist, Gia Rubbo, Channel Manager - Blog, Chris Phillips, Blog Author, Vanguard, Malvern, PA
"These blog posts are brief, but packed with well researched and well argued insights. The author urges intelligent investing rather than emotional investing — in particular, taking steps that will build an investor's bottom line (such as investing in low cost funds) rather than risk big losses (such as picking individual funds based on optimistic claims that they will outperform the market. It's superbly sensible advice, and anyone taking it will be well served."
Stephen Monroe, Editor, Irving Levin Associates, Inc., Norwalk, CT
"He called it, the prediction turned out to be true and accurate, and the company leveraged that call extensively in it's online and social media, gaining the maximum visibility and credibility for its forecasts. Hard to argue with the effectiveness of correct analysis and smart marketing."
Darrick Hurst, Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, NM
"Impressive organization is the key to this social media program. It's much more than a campaign, it's a coherent, long-term strategy, incorporating virtually every aspect of social media, from Facebook to YouTube to pretty much anything you can think of. Each element of each social media platform is well-designed, well written and carefully focused on the intended target audience. A very effective program."
City of Vaughan, Vaughan, ON
"The city's Archives Office teamed up with a local Catholic high school's 12th grade students to create this striking visual blog, displaying the city's architecture, past to present. Using historic photographs from the archives, students attempted to match the site of their chosen historic image with the present day geographical location. This task involved finding the right angle, standing in the exact location of the original photographer and dealing with the unanticipated lens distortion effects occasionally used in the 1800s by the masters. The result is a marvelous and thought-provoking retrospective."


John von Brachel, Editor-in-Chief & Director, Content and Delivery, Bank of America Merrill Lynch; Time Inc. Content Solutions, a Content Marketing Agency, New York, NY
"An elegant, uncluttered (yet packed with information and links) home page greets site visitors. Navigation is exceptionally well thought out, to the smallest detail. For example, drop down menus include not just titles but pictographs, making it much easier to find what you want, and return to it. Content is extensive, well researched, crisply written, often reinforced with easily-grasped infographics, and obviously well edited. Feature articles are concise, yet thought provoking. The questions asked in some of the articles are excellent. You customize the site as you go along, with simple yes/no clicks and by answering brief questions, again with clicks. Easy! It's a financial site that really works, but it's almost like having a life counselor. Worth a visit."
Infectious Disease News Editorial Staff, Infectious Disease News, Thorofare, NJ
"The home page and related pages provide an exceptionally robust range of both research and perspectives on Ebola treatments. From the practical to the strategic, it's all here, written for the practitioner, but understandable by the layperson. Good information, well organized, well researched and well presented. A first class effort."
Anne Tramer Brownlee, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Kyle Phelps, Design Director, Diane Testa, Director of Production, Omni Hotels & Resorts, Dallas, TX
"A beautifully designed magazine site, with superb photography, a dynamic home page with rotating main stories, and excellent feature articles that capture the reader's attention. Hard to ask for more in a travel magazine website."
T3 Custom and TD Ameritrade, Woodinville, WA
"This is just an exceptionally readable website — in part because of the clean, inviting layout (particularly the home page, with lots of appealing tidbits — catchy heads and intriguing decks, nice use of white space, and the rotating banner at the top, hosting, appropriately, the top stories of the day, and still more headlines below for secondary or older stories), but also the very well written, interesting and, best of all, actionable short features, each a keeper. It's just a very well done site."
Willow Nero, Associate Editor, Molly Wyman, Managing Editor, Blair Drake, Senior Editor, Military Officers Association of America, Alexandria, VA
"If you're a military officer, your website is your Web Base — a nice play on words. And this base has a lot of words. It's packed with massive amounts of useful information and interesting features and shorts — whether you're currently serving, retired but still working, fully retired, or a survivor. Nor are spouses and family neglected. It's a remarkably all-inclusive site, with excellent navigation and top drawer content. Not much else to ask for."
Nicole Coleman, Communication & Media Officer, Claudia Goss, Public Affairs Manager, Peter Castles, Communication & Media Officer, Sacramento Area Sewer District, Sacramento, CA
"An impressive state-of-the-art website from start to finish. Built on a backbone of easy, logical navigation, the visual elements and editorial content followed naturally. From the clever plunger cartoon character to the intuitively retro-style drop down menu tabs, the site is superbly usable. Everything is well done – from infographics to sidebars to the very clear and very functional illustrations, copy and design work well together to make this a very comfortable and easy site for customers to use. And that's the name of the game."
Laurie Adamson, Editorial Coordinator, Association of Corporate Counsel, Washington, DC
"A clean, simple, elegant site. Text is nicely chunked, type and photos work well together, white space is intelligently employed, and copy is well researched, well-written, interesting, and, best of all, succinct."
Monica Rozenfeld, Associate Editor, Kathy Pretz, Editor in Chief, Mike Spector, Multimedia Production Specialist, IEEE, Piscataway, NJ
"This clean, elegantly designed site showcases nicely 'chunked', short copy (for easy reading) in appealing pages with plenty of white space, legible type, and interesting use of photos, both current and archival. Navigation is intuitive, but the key impression of the site is the site creators' commitment to keeping copy succinct — a rare characteristic."

Campaigns, Programs & Plans

Healthy Baby Program
Health Advocate, Inc., Plymouth Meeting, PA
"Clarity is the keyword here, with very simple, very concisely written, and very visually effective pieces to this multimedia campaign. Copy and design elements are nicely chunked for quick, easy comprehension. Simplicity is the watchword (and virtue) in this campaign."
Megan Homer, Freddi Karp, National Institute on Aging, National Institutes of Health and JBS International, Inc., North Bethesda, MD
"This very thoroughly researched presentation employs crisp, clear copy and equally clear illustrations to make for a very readable and very easily grasped guide. Older folks will find it an exceptionally useful guide for talking with their doctors, but so will those of any adult age. A first rate presentation."
PDI VA Redefined Campaign
Prudential Annuities, Shelton, CT
"Excellent copywriting, clearly written to get to the point quickly, and explain complex financial topics in an easily grasped manner. Design and layout elements are all focused on making the content easy to understand. Even the fine print is easy to understand. It's quite a remarkable campaign."
Brigitte Deterding, Communication and Change Management, Towers Watson, Los Angeles, CA
"Open enrollment campaigns tend to have a sameness about them, but not this one. The visuals mimic the look and feel of the old TV Guides, with exceptionally easy, intuitive navigation (half the battle) and just enough clearly written copy to cover the necessary points. It's a very deftly prepared — and a very effective — campaign."
Christiana Nelson, Denver Communications Specialist, Colorado State University, Denver, CO
"An impressive campaign, with superb media outreach, and an exceptionally effective video. The topic is serious and somewhat grim, the discussion points are complex, but the campaign makes the information both interesting and clear. An excellent campaign."
Moira Harrington, Kathleen Schmitt Kline, Education Specialist, Yael Gen, Graphic Designer, Wisconsin Sea Grant, Madison, WI
"Bright. Eye catching. Crisp. Appealing. All adjectives apply to this well thought out campaign, which has the chief virtue of a very clear focus on a single, simple message, employing a wide range of print, electronic and social media to deliver said message. An impressive effort."


“A Proud Pedigree: Tracing the History of Scottish Ancestors and Their Journey to the New World”
Jamie Roberts, Managing Editor, Denise Doring VanBuren, DAR Editor In Chief, Emily McMackin, Author, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution and Hammock, Inc., Nashville, TN
"You don't have to be Scottish to find this in depth, well researched and interestingly written feature article a compelling read. You come away with a sense of the background and history of a people, and, if you happen to have Scottish ancestry, you also get an extensive range of resources with which to trace and learn more about that ancestry. A well told story."
The Advisor Search Handbook
Jackson, Denver, CO
"This two-part series is an interesting read…advice on whether or when to seek out a financial advisor, and, if so, what to look for. Very objective, including a discussion of alternatives to using advisors — rather altruistic for a company with 'skin in the game', but refreshingly candid. The feature articles are well thought out, well written and easily understood (at least by this layperson). A lot of financial copywriting is fluff, but this series is a keeper."
Misty Hadzima, Cathy Costa, Bank of America and Meredith Xcelerated Marketing (MXM), Des Moines, IA
"It's a short series of tips targeted to young people just starting out, but the advice is excellent, and very well presented in a clear, concise format. The checklist takes a range of daunting financial topics and boils them down to a very usable set of steps. Nicely done."
Damaging Diets
Claire Altschuler, Author, Catherine McNamara, Director, Communications, Academy of General Dentistry, Chicago, IL
"A crisp, tightly written and interesting report on a little known health issue. This news article is obviously well researched and is effectively presented in a well-organized news piece with careful attention to subheads, callouts and decks. A solid presentation."
The EPA Requires CO2 Reductions by 2030
Priscilla Knight, Communications Specialist, Northern Virginia Electric Cooperative, Manassas, VA
"This well written feature article makes a cogent counter-case to the EPA's new regulations. The argument for a common sense and broad-based approach to energy supplies is effective, compelling, and offers an interesting read of a technical subject. The article also points to the practical steps NOVEC has taken to boost capacity while reducing pollution levels. A very, very effective presentation."
Karin Charnoff-Katz, American College of Radiology, Reston, VA
"A compelling and powerful narrative does a superb job of putting you in the author's shoes. You experience what she experiences, You feel what she feels. Your takeaway as a doctor is a more acute sense of empathy with patients who are facing serious diagnoses. This is an exceptionally well-written piece."
The Switch from Hell
Art Pine, Writer, Mark Matthews, Editor, American Society for Engineering Education, Washington, DC
"An engineering crisis is powerfully, crisply and clearly explained in easily understood terms. The copy in this well researched piece flows easily, with easily grasped subject matter, and the conclusions are exceptionally well explained. An excellent example of the art of newswriting."

Design & Illustration

Sitting Disease
Alert Health, McKinney, TX
"A little-known topic, but superbly handled in this well-thought-out infographic, which presents the problem and the statistics, but then gives six useful steps to guard against the disease. Top notch illustrations and typography make it easy-to-read and easy to grasp – just wha t infographics should be."
David Radabaugh, Design Director, Anna Fialho Byers, Editor-in-Chief, Brian Smith, Art Director, American Airlines Publishing, Fort Worth, TX
"it's hard to improve on an already top-notch design, but the design team here has managed it with an incrementally polished design and layout, not least with careful attention to optimum use of photography, type and white space. The use of white space in particular is remarkably well handled, since the spreads are so packed with design elements and text. It's a very deft design package."
Angela Krempel, VP of Operations, FX Group International, Tampa, FL
"If ever there was a cover design symbolizing music, the recording industry and its artists, this is it. And what better icon for the Grammy Awards program than a technicolor gramophone?"
2014 Cost change infographic
Otter Tail Power Company, Fergus Falls, MN
"What goes in to utility costs is often a rather opaque topic for the typical homeowner, but this infographic does an exceptional job of showing customers what's in their bill, how their rates compare, and a five-year look ahead at likely rate changes. The infographic is clear, simple and effective."
Amelia Champion, Head, Corporate Affairs, Singapore Power Ltd, Singapore
"This charmingly well done comic strip deftly blends illustrations, photos of actual staffers and cartoon action figures (some of which represent emergency response staff) to tell the story in a very readable and memorable way. Very, very effective."
12 Movies with Pivotal Lessons Featuring Lawyers
Brenan Sharp, Art Director, Stephen Webster, Illustrator, Tim Marrs, Illustrator, ABA Journal, Chicago, IL
"Stunning spreads showcase remarkable illustrations – each a work of art, and each reinforcing the theater theme through visuals and typography, from the wonderful theatre front illustration for the cover, to the first spread depicting the inside of the theater, to the beautiful spreads showcasing each of the 12 movies. It's a very tightly focused and very appealing tour de force."
City of Shaker Heights, OH
"The spreads are simply spectacular. You think you're reading Architectural Digest, they're that good. Each spread is different from the last, But each offers a beautiful view of part of this old home and its contents. The pages are filled, This is not a an exercise in 'white space' design. In some of the spreads, you'd swear you were looking at a wonderfully constructed, accurately detailed dollhouse cutaway. Of course, you're not. You're looking at the inside of a period home. The photography, typography and illustrations blend wonderfully together and provide an incredibly detailed visual journey."
Amazing Grace
Candice Taylor, Production Manager, Military Officers Association of America, Alexandria, VA
"This is a bold, striking layout, utilizing a simple, effective illustration for the lead spread, and continuing the computer punch card theme to the second spread, where archival photos and illustrations add great appeal. But the lead visual — a transformation of a photo of the article's subject, Rear Adm. Grace Hopper, into a posterized illustration — is the tour de force."
Julie Fournier, Manager, Creative & Design, National Association of REALTORS®: REALTOR® Magazine, Chicago, IL
"A powerful photograph is the backdrop for this striking and very effective spread. The type tells the story, punctuating the point with a 'house' paper cutout, all against the slightly out-of-focus houses in the background. You read the copy while straining to make out the details in the background. It invites you to read further. A very clever design."
'One Weekend in Vermont' Spread - Member Connection, Autumn 2014
Jane McGrath, Senior Creative Designer, AAA Western & Central New York, Buffalo, NY
"It's what you expect to see in a travel magazine's spread on a Vermont weekend. The covered bridge at Woodstock. The gorgeous fall foliage. The bounty of the harvest. The Maple leaf enlarged as the icon of the piece. Yet, even though you're thinking "cliché", it's really not. In fact, it's a very effective, very attractive design which draws you into the feature article and puts you in the mood to be receptive to what the author has to say. And that's what good design does. It makes the point without overwhelming or distracting from the editorial copy."
Wisdom Spread
Robert Cao-Ba, Art & Design Director, ASU Alumni Association, Tempe, AZ
"A powerful spread, remarkable in its striking simplicity, with gray tones in the headlines that are matched by similar tones in the photograph. As a result, the only color on the page is the silhouette of the primary subject, the English professor. Very effective. The font choice also reinforces the subject matter, with headline, subhead and decks all displayed in a bulletin-style typewriter font — a deft touch. A clean, simple design that succeeds without splashing around a lot of color."
Making My Way Brochure
Carla Pereira, Communications Manager, Ryan Strang, Communications Assistant, Peel, Mississauga, ON
"A powerful message delivered in a sleek, cleanly designed visual package, offering a color coded structure for easy navigating, and creative use of white space, appealing illustrations and functional pull quotes and sidebars. An excellent example of design that reinforces the content, rather than distracting from it."
SWE Magazine, Winter 2015
JoAnn Dickey, Designer, Society of Women Engineers, Cleveland Heights, OH
"This cover design features a simple, effective visual (not so simple to construct) that perfectly encapsulates the cover's cybersecurity theme. Typography reinforces the topic content with a well chosen teletype–style font. The design really does tell the story."

Special Publications




A note to our loyal customers --

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Results for last year's competition, APEX 2018, can be viewed here.

Best of luck in APEX 2019!

Ken Turtoro
Executive Editor
The APEX Awards
Communications Concepts, Inc.

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Communications Concepts, Inc.
5810 Kingstowne Center Dr.,
Alexandria, VA  22315-5711

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See Frequently Asked Questions about APEX 2019.

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• If you wish to recognize participating staff and vendors for previous APEX winning entries, you can order additional APEX Award certificates.

• Award winners may download the APEX logo to display on their websites and in their publications.

• 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.

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The judges comment on the APEX® Awards, as well as writing, editing, publishing and media topics.


See top award-winning APEX entries below.

Great-West Retirement Services Participant Website Redesign -- Kedra Hood, Great-West, Greenwood Village, CO ... "These folks know their audience -- employees with at least some computer literacy. The website's home page has an iPad/apps look to it -- very effective, very well organized. The site is rich in in-depth content, well illustrated and clearly written -- with extensive 'help' sections to advise on financial planning, portfolio construction, retirement goals, and much more. It's a top-notch site, whose redesign is superb.

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