APEX 2017 Grand Award Winnerspart two

APEX 2017

The APEX Awards attract many outstanding entries. Of the close to 1,400 entries in APEX 2017, just 100 Grand Award Winners were selected. Judges' comments (and URLs where available) for many of the 100 Grand Award-winning entries will soon be 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.

Note: A few of the links will prompt you to allow Flash. We've checked the links using Flash, and they link to the entries listed as of the date checked, but whether you wish to use Flash or not is your choice.

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


Kate Young, Larry Price
American Bankers Association
Washington, DC
“An exceptionally appealing home page kicks off this website, with a checkerboard of nicely chunked copy and visuals to give site visitors a sense of activity and depth of content. The Vimeo introduction is a deft touch, while the overall content is well researched and well written in an interesting, lively style. This is a site for professionals, but while the content is technical, the presentation is crisp and clear. An excellent showing on any level, but particularly so for a tightly staffed shop.”

Miku Kinnear, Monica Moore
Association Management Center
Chicago, IL
“It’s about carpenters and others volunteering to help people affected by events such as Hurricane Katrina. The new site is a major improvement over the old, with a hefty, foundational look and feel to it -- from the bold, solid heads and subheads to the equally bold, simple layouts. Copy is simple, direct and effective. It’s a very readable and a very compelling site -- and one that makes you want to volunteer.”

Association of Corporate Counsel
Washington, DC
“This website blends active commentary, news and opinion with an exhaustive archive of magazines along with access to the current digital edition of the magazine.  In a volatile time for all media companies in their analysis of how to deal with the new digital technology and shift in revenue distribution, the ACC has quite successfully created a website that merges historical content with current and ongoing content while maintaining a vibrant community of writers.”

Investment Taxation Academy
Jackson Marketing Department
Denver, CO
“Starting with the basics, and progressing to ‘key takeaways’ and self-quizzes, this site offers a clear, colorfully presented course on a difficult subject. It is arranged by ‘module’ and covers all aspects of the topic from the basics to advanced investment structures. A well designed resource to keep on hand for both professionals and the ‘hobby’ investor.”

Food Marketing Institute Digital Food Shopper Microsite
Matrix Group International, Inc.
Arlington, VA
“A website that assumes aggressive growth in online grocery spending by 2025, it offers a comprehensive look into the behaviors and expectations of the digitally engaged food shopper. Valuable information on how food marketers and manufacturers should be developing their strategies and managing the organizational changes the will be required to engage those shoppers. Provides a useful 6-point test that allows those companies to rate their business in areas most important to online shoppers. Well worth bookmarking if you're a marketing professional.”

Dr. Marilyn Finnemore
Mind & Media Website
Mind & Media, Inc.
Alexandria, VA
“The ‘About’ tab of this site contains a video that states ‘We combine both strategic consulting and skilled media production to ensure your message connects with your audience ... The result is media that works to achieve your goal.’ The site then provides examples of several videos that proved to do just that for the client. Professional … Comprehensive … thorough … well-edited … no doubt that clients’ goals are achieved.”

Alexandria, VA
“Here’s a redesign that pushed all the right buttons, emphasizing visuals throughout the site, creating white space around items to let the content ‘breathe’ and tagging each article with clear, concise terms to help users find relevant information. Attention was paid to navigation throughout – streamlined down from more than a dozen top tabs to five.  Larger typefaces help readers reduce eye strain and stay on the site as long as needed to find the news most important to them.”

Keedra Carroll
Adobe Plan Changes Microsite
Valley Forge, PA
“Elegant in its simplicity – just four tabs that cover all the basics, available options, important questions to answer, why the changes are being made and how one takes action.  More information is available through clearly visible links, but this site covers all the items that the employee needs to address.”


Suzanne Rovick, Marissa Bryan
Merrill Edge Competing Financial Goals Package
Bank of America and Meredith Xcelerated Marketing (MXM)
Des Moines, IA
“With increasing attention – and concern for – the financial condition of ‘baby boomers’, this package was created to offer investors helpful insights and practical tips to stay on track for retirement while juggling the other financial priorities that compete for a share of their wallet. Through three different media types: video series, articles, and worksheets, clients and prospects receive simple ‘go-to’ guidelines for sorting out the competing priorities of life. Definitely something that everyone facing retirement age would want to reference.”

Community and Publishing Services
Emily's Choice: A Child Protection Story
Legal Services Society, BC & Healthy Aboriginal Network
Vancouver, BC
“This story addresses the heart-wrenching topic of a mother’s addiction and the resulting removal of her child from the home. A multi-faceted presentation – video, pdf file, hard-copy book, a poster to spread the word – that provides incredible ‘life-and-death’ information to any parent unfortunate enough to be in this situation. Options are clearly described and a path to a positive ending is made clear. A priceless resource.”

Kate Squires, Steve Cole, Emily Schaller
KORUS-AQ Campaign
Logical Innovations at NASA Armstrong Flight Research Center
Edwards, CA
“Rarely can public service campaigns be described as ‘creative,’ ‘innovative,’ or just plain ‘fun!’ Here’s an integrated effort that combines Web articles, blogs, a science overview and a Facebook live event, among other items, that led to nearly 2 million impressions across all of the tools employed. The critically important subject of monitoring air pollution from space is fully explained in a fascinating, cooperative project.”

cyberpioneerTV web-series: Then & Now - A Look at Former SAF Camps
Ministry of Defence, Singapore
“Here is a wonderful eight-episode series (with no one episode exceeding 10 minutes) based on the true stories of those who worked or lived at former Singapore Armed Forces camps. The series features introspective looks at places that hold special memories for generations of men and provides ‘inside’ views of the special history of these camps. Each episode features its own unique animation and promises a memorable journey for viewers young and old.”

Denise Reynolds
Akron Children's Hospital Goes All In for Benefits Open Enrollment
Outside the Lines Creative Group, LLC
Euclid, OH
“Beautifully designed and extremely colorful. This campaign is information-rich, with an interactive microsite, benefits enrollment guide, coloring book for employees, and Health Savings Account brochures, posters and postcards. Creativity and imagination flow throughout the program, proving that even what many consider to be ‘boiler-plate’ and ‘straightforward’ information can still be presented in a thoughtful and ‘fun’ way. The result -- the employees fully understand and appreciate everything they need to know about the benefit options.”

RSD Marketing
Thrive with Pacific Life Campaign
Pacific Life Insurance Co.
Newport Beach, CA
“Developed in response to a complex new regulation from the Department of Labor, this campaign consists of a thorough, step-by-step process for educating financial professionals about the ramifications of the change and tools to adapt to the ‘new world.’ Included were key facts for understanding the rule, a video that oriented financial professionals to the intent of the campaign, and a brochure regarding IRA Rollovers in addition to checklists and blog-like articles. Vitally important information providing sound financial guidance in a time of great flux.”

Julie Dowdie, Holly-Ann Campbell, Natalie Quan
Hospital Accreditation 2016
The Scarborough Hospital
Scarborough, ON
“You would think that improving upon a 98.6% compliance rate with high standards of quality, safety and efficiency is something that’s an impossible goal. This hospital not only embraced that goal, but developed a multi-faceted communications plan to engage staff, physicians, and volunteers in the accreditation process. They created a ‘shopping’ theme with the tagline ‘Your Health Care Supercentre’ and included newsletters, a ‘catalogue,’ banners, videos, contests and prizes, including gift cards. The result was a 99.4% compliance rate. Well done!


Victoria Houghton
Answers in Practice
American Academy of Dermatology
Schaumburg, IL
“Key to the ongoing success of any magazine is a regular feature that will always provide the reader with an important ‘takeaway.’  ‘Answers in practice’ provides just that benefit in a very effective, easy-to-read Q & A format. The most significant asset of this department is its usefulness with regard to issues that face all practitioners in their day-to-day practice.  Office staff training … dress codes … best practices for medical records … every month a new source of valuable information. Well done!”
American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
Aliso Viejo, CA
“A thoughtful, thorough and well-written discussion of the challenges faced by pediatric nurses who care for children with life-threatening illnesses. An impressive analysis with a lot of useful advice for practitioners. Top drawer.”

Donald Tepper, Chris Hayhurst
Managing Patients Who Are Transgender
American Physical Therapy Association
Alexandria, VA
“Tackling controversial topics is always risky, but sometimes there is a benefit to taking the risk. This is an informative, well-written and well-researched piece. The article includes significant data points (i.e., 700,000 people in the U.S. who identify as transgender), eight resources for additional information, key terminology definitions and suggestions for treatment room procedures. Most importantly, the writer presents valuable advice for healthcare practitioners that will need to explore the many different problems and issues that can arise when treating patients who are transgender.”

Courtney Peter, Jamie Roberts, Denise Doring VanBuren
Long May She Wave: The Story of Annin Flagmakers
Hammock Inc.
Nashville, TN
“A compelling and fascinating story traces the history of the company from the Civil War to Iwo Jima to the postwar era, which saw the company create the now famous POW-MIA flag. The feature article has a lively, interesting style, and leaves the reader wanting to know more.”

Lila Ivey, David Companion
The Last Ballot
Ocala, FL
“A compelling end of life story about an Army Ranger, wonderfully told, with a deftly interwoven message encouraging citizens to exercise their hard-won freedom to vote in free elections.”

Janet Skidmore
Talking Science for Non-Scientists: Three Articles from the Covance Scientific Council Series
Janet Skidmore Communications LLC
Dresher, PA
“This series explores three health-related topics, describing new technology advances that address vitally important topics – subcellular bodies that are only visible under an electron microscope and can be the key to such common diseases as cancer, arthritis and Alzheimer’s Disease … ‘companion diagnostics’ that allow doctors to identify patients susceptible to negative side effects… and the complexity of dealing with rare diseases and the lack of attention given to them. We feel certain that anyone taking the time to read this series will see its relevance to their own life situation.”

Heather Cygan, Cathryn Domrose, Sallie Jimenez
The Healer's Journey - Parts 1 & 2
OnCourse Learning
Hoffman Estates, IL
“The ultimate nightmare -- a mass shooting. All of the attention, justifiably, is paid to the victims and their loved ones -- but what about the healthcare professionals who are responsible for dealing with the injured? This series provides an important and emotional description of the issues facing those charged with that responsibility -- not just the implementation of emergency drills but the ‘real-life’ aspects of such a tragedy that are impossible to prepare for -- anxiety, insomnia, anger, even PTSD. A must-read for all those who have been through such an ordeal -- or those who could face one any day. Bravo for this excellent series.”

Brady Kay
Living The American Dream
Idaho Falls, ID
“It’s a pontoon boat story, but it’s really about a lot more. It’s a powerful, compelling narrative about one combat vet’s fierce determination to overcome all obstacles -- with the help of family, friends and a lot of good people -- to lead a full and productive life. Truly motivated, top drawer writing.”

Mollie Rappe
Blowing Bubbles to Catch CO2 
Sandia National Laboratories
Albuquerque, NM
“A captivating article and describes the development of a powerful, cost-saving method to reduce CO2 emissions from coal- and gas-fired electricity plants. The writer takes the reader through the thought process that originated in the lab, describes the experimental process and reveals the current state of the technology, providing several links to related topics and a five-minute YouTube video that enables even the regular consumer to appreciate the importance of this technology.”

Mark Tarallo
News and Trends: The Lessons of Flint
Security Management Magazine, published by ASIS International
Alexandria, VA
“This is a case study that should be read and absorbed by anyone who makes decisions that affect a large number of people, as it is addresses the complexities of crisis and emergency management. It looks at the all-too frequent situations of ignored warning signals, inaccurate assessments and the impact of financial considerations leading to bad decisions. No doubt, a detailed and well-crafted recap that should make all involved with any form of crisis and emergency management -- and every citizen -- take note.”

Cardiology Today Staff
Cardiology Today - Coverage of the 2016 American College of Cardiology Annual Scientific Session
SLACK Incorporated
Thorofare, NJ
“A one-stop news source that provides clear and compelling articles on the most important presentations at the conference, along with interviews with key opinion leaders who offer their perspectives on the findings. Readers experience the true definition of ‘news reporting’ with a substantial amount of information on groundbreaking research, all in one place.”

Tom Bartol, Cynthia Laufenberg, Tarun Kunwar
Nurse Practitioner - Recreating Healthcare: The Next Generation
Wolters Kluwer
Philadelphia, PA
“An insightful, well-written advocacy piece, backed with relevant statistics, that embodies a classic Einstein quote: ‘If at first, the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it.” This piece clearly and passionately explains how it will take a concerted effort from many people working together to address the well-publicized and much debated topic.”


Robert Priest, Grace Lee
AARP Bulletin: 2016 Redesign
AARP Bulletin
Washington, DC
“The original AARP Bulletin’s design was top notch, but the redesign is simply extraordinary -- from the bold cover and intriguing contents page to the very inviting spreads, each with a unique look while still keeping the overall look and feel of the issue. The bold heads, short copy and plentiful callouts and infographics make this magapaper an easy and inviting ‘read’ -- especially helpful in today’s ‘time-challenged’ environment.”

Brenan Sharp, Tim Marrs, Stephen Webster
Did Litigation Kill the Beatles? March 2016 ABA Journal
American Bar Association Journal
Chicago, IL
“The use of archival photos, color and texture create striking visual effects, and deftly evoke the ‘look and feel’ of the times. Typography is clean and readable -- while at the same time acting as an integral element of the spreads. That’s not easy to do, but here, it’s done very well. Add to that the clever idea of offering two cover designs and letting readers vote their choice, and you have a winning combination.”

Seeking China, AAA Living Magazine - July/August 2016
The Auto Club Group - AAA
Greensboro, NC
“This cover presents a striking view of China’s Great Wall. The photo's composition gives an intriguing perspective, ranging from lush green foliage to mist as if shrouding the Wall’s secrets. The lighting is warm overall, with the slightly backlit mountains giving a softened contrast which adds to the beauty of the landscape. The cover has a sense of majesty along with a restrained sense of excitement.”

Succession Planning Guide
Jackson Marketing Department
Denver, CO
“With a distinctive look and a unique ‘old-time European’ tavern motif, this presentation engages the reader throughout. Screen-by-screen the typefaces and overall design take a staid topic and weave a four-part program that shows how imagination and creativity can always enhance value and interest level.”

Kenneth Dotson, Kathleen Jordan
Lincoln Central Logo Suite
Lincoln Central Association
Chicago, IL
“This is one hardworking logo. In standard form, it’s very appealing, the heart shape showcasing the city skyline, path through the park, and the ‘Heart of the Neighborhood’ slogan. But the logo also does double duty for special events, with superb visuals modifying the logo’s content but not its shape, and clever headlines and slogans replacing those of the main logo. So, for example, LINCOLN CENTRAL becomes SUNDAY SUMMER SIPPER, while The Heart of the Neighborhood becomes A Taste of Our Neighborhood. In this case, variety truly is the spice of life.”

Rod Mackenzie, Winnie Leung, Ginny Gay
Priority for Singapore Airlines PPS Club
Publicitas Content Pte Ltd
“They strive for the unexpected in their cover designs, and they succeed.  The covers are striking, dynamic, and very effective in getting and keeping the busy premium air traveler’s attention. The ‘Gold Country’ cover, in particular, makes clever use of a fish-eye design to create a visual portal that invites you in. It makes you want to turn the page to see what the story is all about. A first class effort.”

Julie Fournier
Set Your Career In Motion
REALTOR® Magazine
Chicago, IL
“Here is an imaginative, well designed presentation with a fun concept of a ‘suitcase with stamps’ supporting a ‘travel guide’ of sorts. The ‘journey’ covers topics most important to readers: sales and marketing, technology, legal and ethical issues and professional development. Stock imagery and a color palate are used to distinguish sections to create a cohesive, reader-friendly package. Very artistic, but still all about the content -- habits for success ... social media tools and advice ...all presented clearly and colorfully.”

Elizabeth Pohland, Dr. Sam Dragga, James Cameron
Technical Communication 2016 Covers
Society for Technical Communication
Fairfax, VA
“In each quarterly issue, this business magazine employs highly creative and innovative covers that most assuredly accomplish the main goals of a cover – to intrigue readers enough to get them into the magazine. Rather than use the standard “face shot” of an industry stalwart, the designers sought to excite the reader about the content inside the issue. A marvelous accomplishment.”

JoAnn Dickey
SWE Magazine
Society of Women Engineers
Cleveland Heights, OH
“It’s always an informative -- but risky -- move when a magazine decides to survey its readers. Here, the editors listened to their readers and learned how engaged they are with the publication, and acted on the responses. The result? New fonts, an increased focus on visual elements, and additional white space to make the magazine an easier read. They also added an ‘eyebrow’ at the top of each editorial page for ease of ‘thumbing through,’ and new sections.  Upcoming is a new app that will enable the reader to view the content on any tablet or phone device. Great Job!”

The Electricity Times
SP Group
“A colorful and well-designed series of comics that communicate key messages, and focus on important topics such as energy efficiency, gas safety, network reliability and sustainability initiatives. There’s no question that the reader will absorb this information much more easily and enjoyably than if it were presented in a more common text format.”


Scott A. Davis, Todd Albertson, Michael Wichita
The New Retirement
AARP The Magazine
Washington, DC
“A comprehensive range of top drawer advice, well researched, engagingly written, and presented in an appealing, well-illustrated layout. Spreads are attractive, with generous white space, readable typography, and well-chosen photos. The feature articles make you think -- a good thing -- and it will be the rare reader who comes away from this 94-page report without at least one valuable nugget of retirement advice.”
Lynn, MA
“True, it’s a magazine, but it’s also an embodiment of an institution -- the Masters Tournament at Augusta National -- and, as such, it’s a unique, one-of-a-kind publication. Everything is top level work. Content is compellingly readable, statistics are easily understood, and the hole-by-hole tour makes you feel like you’re there. Caddies offer anecdotes, you’re treated to superb feature articles (the history, the players, the course), and the unbelievably lush photography and illustrations combine to make the reading and viewing experience a golfer’s dream -- or an invitation to take up the sport. It just doesn’t get any better.”

Bats Magazine
Skokie, IL
“Not the mag for you if bats freak you out, but if you’re an aficionado, then welcome home. We like the way these folks aren’t hiding in some dark cave chittering to each other. They’re right out there dispelling myths and building support for conservation. Design and layout are appealing, typography is cutting edge, photos are exceptional (including the in-your-face cover shot of a common vampire bat bounding along toward you), and we enjoyed the nice graphic touches of this Halloween issue. A lot of good content delivered in a crisp, lively, entertaining and informative way.”

Chelsea Johnson,
Claire Saxton
Frankly Speaking About
Cancer: Clinical Trials
Cancer Support Community
Washington, DC
“A superb publication. It presents the real experiences of patients, their families and medical staff in their own words, but in a photo narrative format. The result is a very clear understanding of what clinical trials are and exactly how they work. Copywriting is clear, succinct and very real, while the photos are carefully chosen and cropped to tell their own story. A unique look at this difficult but important issue.”
Chennai, Tamil Nadu
“What a book! What stories! What a powerful thirst for an education, and to advance in life -- as shown in example after example in this book. Beautifully written and wonderfully photographed vignettes show what volunteer teachers -- many of them Cognizant employees -- and their students will do to reach their goals. And what companies can do to bring nighttime light to rural villages. And the list goes on. Truly a wonderful outreach program, ably portrayed in this excellent coffee table book.”

Joyce See
Mount Alvernia Hospital
Mother&Child Guidebook -
To Maternity and Beyond
Mount Alvernia Hospital
“Here’s a fabulous, comprehensive, easy-to-read 160 page guide to everything you ever wanted to know about pregnancy, childbirth and early childhood. There’s a week-by-week guide to what’s happening throughout the pregnancy to both mother and child … informative sections on labor and delivery, nutrition and breastfeeding … and valuable pieces of advice and hints on much discussed, but rarely resolved topics like ‘how do you know why your baby is crying?’ Wonderfully organized and a great resource to have ‘at the ready’ for any parent.”

National Healthcare Group
“With the increasing emphasis on healthcare issues throughout the world, this bi-monthly magazine enriches the reader’s knowledge through content geared to nutrition, exercise and active aging. Published by the National Healthcare Group of Singapore, the magazine was recently revamped and features a handier size, snappier articles, and greater use of visuals and infographics. As opposed to a ‘dry’ association medium, it’s a full-fledged health and lifestyle publication with a lively consumer-magazine style layout. It's a keeper.”

Alessia Kirkland, Stewart
Wills, Rebecca Robinson
OSA Centennial
Booklet Series
Washington, DC
“Excellent four-part series highlighting the past, present and future of the society as it celebrates its 100th anniversary. What makes this particular endeavor more interesting is how the events in the society related not only to technological development, but also to U.S. history. Highlighted are Nobel Prize winners, honorary members since 1984 and their contributions, the application of optics and photonics into technologies in sometimes unexpected areas and a spotlight on the students and young professionals of today who will spearhead the accomplishments of the future. Well-conceived, well-written, well-illustrated.”

Hilton Head Island:
The Official Vacation
Planner 2017
Greensboro, NC
“This beautifully illustrated 156-page guide manages to provide an enticing photo on virtually every page, making readers wish they were on vacation right then and there! The stunning photography and choose-your-adventure writing style make this magazine a must-read for all Island visitors. If you’re considering a stay on Hilton Head, this guide will most likely move the pendulum toward a definite ‘yes’ decision.”

Dr. EE Kiam Chua
Rainforest in a City
Simply Green & National
Parks Board Publication
“There may be another 188-page magazine where every single page contains photo after photo of striking and eye-catching scenes, but we’d be hard pressed to find it! This beautifully produced publication literally takes a microscope into the forest, providing fascinating information on majestic trees, flowers with awe-inspiring beauty, and an incredible display of animal and insect life. No matter where you open this magazine, the beauty in its pages will make it hard to put back down!”


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

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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.

Arthritis Today Track & React -- Arthritis Today, Arthritis Foundation, Atlanta, GA ... "A very smart campaign to help people track their daily activities and use that information to see how activities impact their arthritis. A very effective and helpful online program."

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