APEX 2017 Grand Award Winnerspart one

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


Bill O'Brien
The Long Distance Hiker
Meriden, CT
This is quite a remarkable newsletter. It radiates enthusiasm for the subject matter -- long distance hiking -- and is packed with lengthy, in-depth feature articles, superb illustrations (including some very functional maps) and very appealing photography. Layout is simple, clean and functional, with very readable typography. After reading the issue, you want to put on a pair of hiking boots.

Gail Goolgasian, Kathy Raborn, Brian Lydon
Bank of America Merrill Lynch
Pennington, NJ
“The 2016 full-scale redesign featured a streamlined, mobile-responsive experience across devices, unique pop-up infographics on the four main areas of the home page and a bold design with simplified content and engagement. The improvements transformed the site into an information hub for subscribers to access other content on the Merrill Lynch network. The results confirmed an expanded user base with improved engagement per visit.”

Anita Sama
CEO Update - March 4, 2016
CEO Update
Washington, DC
This is one superb newsletter -- full of carefully chosen, thoroughly researched and crisply written news, features and shorts. Despite the need to pack a lot of copy into a limited number of pages, the layout manages to be clean, contemporary and very readable, with legible typography and an attractive use of photos and illustrations. There's no room for white space, but that layout luxury is not missed. CEO Update's nameplate promises to be 'the source for association news and executive careers' and delivers on that promise with an editorial focus precisely targeted to the field. It's a first-rate newsletter and a 'must read' for association executives and CEOs.

Ric Edelman
Inside Personal Finance - December 2016
Edelman Financial Services
Fairfax, VA
"A clean, simple, lively design showcases a lot of high quality, usable financial information. Tightly written features with nicely 'chunked' copy and plenty of sidebars convey lots of actionable advice on a wide range of topics -- including the latest financial news. A first-rate publication, well worth a subscription."


Mark Matthews, Nicola Nittoli
Prism Magazine - January 2016
American Society for Engineering Education
Washington, DC
This magazine for engineering professionals features an elegant, contemporary form, with crisp, clean spreads and appealing visuals and typography -- all of which set the stage for some very well written, thought-provoking feature articles and shorts. The package is much more than the sum of its parts. A first class effort.

Children and Libraries: The Journal of the Association for Library Service to Children
Association for Library Service to Children/American Library Association
Chicago, IL
“Who knew there was such a thing as a ‘wordless’ book? But there is, and, apparently, they’re an excellent aid for visual storytelling -- and not just for children. The visuals in this journal are excellent, but the copy shines, with superb, well researched and very well presented features, each a resource in itself for librarians working with children. A valuable resource for professionals in the field.”

Mary Koik, Jeff Griffith, Jim Campi
Hallowed Ground - Summer 2016
Washington, DC
"A superb magazine, Hallowed Ground offers and exceptional overview of the Civil War Trust's unique efforts to preserve the history of America's battlefields. Copywriting is crisp, with interesting features and quick-reading shorts, while the photos and photo spreads are simply stunning. It is a publication rich in both content and visuals."

Rebekah Hanover Pettit, Rebecca Aloisi
Mount Vernon Magazine - Spring 2016
George Washington's Mount Vernon
Mount Vernon, VA
"It's a rare magazine which makes its entire focus the life and character of on person -- even if it becomes '...the singular story of the father of our country', George Washington. The magazine is beautifully designed, with striking spreads, top-drawer photography, both current and archival, and typography that blends both a classic and a contemporary look. The content offers exceptional, well-researched features, not least a fascinating look at how Washington defused a potential officers' coup, and a conversation with noted author Rick Atkinson on the parallels between our revolutionary and current history. A first-rate effort."

Kathleen Osborne and the Communication Staff
Hathaway Brown School
Shaker Heights, OH
"With a political convention coming to town, in a historic Presidential election year, this issue offers an in-depth look at how Hathaway Brown students and faculty members used the election campaigns to more fully understand the American political process. Copywriting was classy -- evenhanded, objective and interesting. Hathaway Brown was the only secondary school in the country to secure media credentials to cover the Republican National Convention and related events. The features did a first rate job of capturing the students' excitement at participating in the news coverage, while also doing a first rate job of involving readers in the process. Very clever use of a current topic to create an issue theme."

Kathy Pretz, Monica Rozenfeld, Amanda Davis
Special Issue: The State of Engineering Education
Piscataway, NJ
"A clean, attractive, professional layout begins with a striking cover design and follows through with interesting, readable spreads. Copywriting is first rate, as readers are treated to well researched and written, thought-provoking features on leading edge topics in the field. A top-level effort."

Jordan Maddex, Samantha Finken
SOAR Magazine
Omaha, NE
“This luxury lifestyle publication is, remarkably, produced in-house by a team of two, responsible for editorial direction, creation of all content and creative design. The book is oversized, highly visual and produced with a high-gloss cover to attract attention and play alongside other national luxury lifestyle publications. Debuted as a 44-page magazine, recent issues are now exceeding 130 pages. Stories from the magazine are repurposed on the company blog, building numerous pages of unique content for SEO optimization. Well done!”

Bill Winter, Alix Hackett, Brian Messenger
Perkins School for the Blind
Watertown, MA
“Featuring a number of articles describing the achievements of the visually impaired in a wide-ranging array of activities from sports to education to community involvement, this magazine provides an inspiring look at how determination can overcome physical difficulty. The featured story on a bold new social change campaign -- #BlindNewWorld – is a must read.”
SAGE Publishing
Thousand Oaks, CA
“Here’s a vitally important and extremely relevant presentation of why the public’s access to information is coming under threat as well as how journalists are experiencing an increasing number of threats. Dealing with such serious worldwide issues as covering war zones, protecting sources in an era of mass surveillance, life as a reporter in Syria and how journalists are dealing with accusations that they threaten national security, the Index on Censorship’s 250th issue tackles these professionally and thoroughly.”

E. Thomas Hall
Leesburg, VA
“Launched in 2016, and comprised of five staff members who do all the writing and design, this digital publication can be easily read on all devices and includes more interactive elements. This is an organization of students and teachers who are committed to helping students become world-class workers and leaders, and the digital publication is vibrant, modern and now the face of the organization.”

The Johnnie Walker House Edit / Volume 05 
SPH Magazines Pte Ltd
“This incredibly designed custom-published magazine presents a theme entitled Black and White. It proceeds to present a layered approach to each of the articles to give them a depth that is both introspective and informative. Unique articles on Norway’s extreme climate: 24-hour sunlight to 24-hour darkness … the renaissance of print (yes!) … the eternal appeal of black outfits… and surreal monochromatic underwater photography captivate the reader.”

SilverKris - October 2016
SPH Magazines Pte Ltd
“The words are colorful and elegant. Every page of this magazine – even the ads – scream out vivacity with striking photos and illustrations. Even the yellow ‘hilighted’ copy appears appropriately and is attention-getting, but not too overwhelming. This is a magazine you will want to page through time and time again.” 

INSIDE 2016/2017
ThinkFarm Pte Ltd
“Here’s an alarming array (over 100 articles!) of healthcare, wellness, living, travel and legal advice. Topics range from how to deal with home emergencies and making your home safe for elderly loved ones to the healthiest varieties of rice and features on DIY vacations. This magazine promises to take you through two years with useful, relevant and engaging content. Read a little at a time or pore over it from cover to cover on a rainy day!”

Dr. Simon Helfgott, Keri Losavio, Liliana Estep
The Rheumatologist - March 2016
Hoboken, NJ
“While numerous medical publications are informative and provide new insights into patient care, this one does so with appealing graphics and simple but effective editorial. This issue covered several topics pertinent to rheumatologists and rheumatology professionals, providing valuable guidance in practice management, concise reporting of practical clinical reviews, discussions of current research and legislative actions and updates in academic rheumatology. An essential read for medical professionals in this field.”


Amy Green
CAHEC & Hyper Frontier
Raleigh, NC
"You might not think that ...'a nonprofit regional tax credit equity syndicator located in…', well, anywhere, could create such an interesting, electronic annual report. But these folks know their business and they've conveyed it very, very well. This e-report has tremendous eye appeal, and tight, pared-down copy. Illustrations are nicely done, with attractive use of spot color pastels. The cover itself is interactive, with multiple data chunks competing for your attention. Mouse over each square and you're invited to learn more. Click and you meet a family and learn their story. Or watch an infographic 'fill in' the data. Annual reports can be dull affairs, but this one takes advantage of the electronic medium to deliver a very attention getting experience."

Marie Gettel-Gilmartin, Melissa Mora, Matt Anderson
CH2M Sustainability and Corporate Citizenship Report and Communications
Portland, OR
"This company sets its goals high -- water scarcity, climate resiliency, and sustainability. For itself and for its clients. They then set public targets, met or exceeded those targets, and explained their results in this excellent report with clear, persuasive text and ample use of visuals, callouts, and headlines to drive the points home. A top-notch effort."

Theo Fells, Crystal Herrmann, Howard Smith
International Monetary Fund
Washington, DC
"This visually appealing and very readable annual report takes full advantage of the electronic medium with liberal use of short videos, .pdf downloads, in seven languages, of course, and concise, nicely 'chunked' copy in layouts with generous white space and functional use of spot color. The annual report is quite extensive, but the navigation presents it a bit at a time, encouraging the reader to continue on. A lot of good information, clearly and invitingly presented.

Stephen Monroe
Irving Levin Associates
Norwalk, CT
“This report could easily be nicknamed the bible of the Senior Care industry. The most frequently referenced report on senior housing and care acquisition statistics available, it is the only report with details on all the publicly announced acquisitions during the year. However, what makes this report unique and award-winning is that it includes statistics on the private and confidential acquisitions along with confidential details on the public deals not available anywhere else. Comprehensive information is presented on the Nursing Facility Market, the Assisted and Independent Living Market and the Home Health Care and Hospice Market, just to name a few.”
Runnymede Healthcare Centre
Toronto, ON
“One of the most unique and cutting edge annual reports you’ll ever see. Created as a slide presentation with innovative motion-enhanced slides, this is one annual report that is far from a boring list of graphs, charts, tables and head shots. Achievements, goals and informative easy-to-read segments that detail community involvement and corporate sponsorships provide a full picture of the Runnymede’s performance far beyond the numbers.”


Marni Jameson
Washington, DC
"A powerful and compelling narrative, not just about the 'stuff' in your (and your parents') houses, but also the people in them. A very perceptive look at what to keep, what to let go, and why all this stuff is so important to us. Some chapters (How to Know When an Aging Parent Needs a New Home' and 'How to Know When It's Time' are worth the price of the book just by themselves." A very well written and very readable guide."

Breast Cancer Clear & Simple
Atlanta, GA
"A very readable, uncluttered layout frames the thoroughly researched and systematically presented content. It's a tough subject, but one which this book deals with in a most effective manner."

Jennifer Calligan
Welcome Book
Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital
Chicago, IL
“Face it. Nobody looks forward to a hospital stay. The best that one can hope for is a successful outcome and a minimum of administrative confusion during the stay. That’s why this Welcome Book should be a requirement for every hospital. Floor maps … amenities … key phone numbers … online resources … visitor information …. all presented clearly and expertly. There’s no question that this book takes a stressful situation and eases it just a bit.”

Jennifer Sailer
Live, Work, Connect Brochure 
Evoke Idea Group
St. Charles, IL
"Clean, simple, elegant. The design is crisp and very appealing. Spot color choices are excellent, the layout is uncluttered, and photos reinforce the copy's themes. A powerful message -- 'We're more than just a paper company...' -- clearly delivered.

Ford Product Team/Retailer Education & Training
Frontline - June/July 2016
Dearborn, MI
"Sales people are busy folks. They want to spend their time selling -- not reading product bulletins and sales tips. Enter Frontline. This is one fun-to-read magazine. It's also a very attractively designed, easy reading vehicle cleverly designed to reach its intended target -- the aforementioned Ford sales staff. It's hard not to be fully informed about the wide range of Ford's vehicles, options, and technologies after a read-through of this issue. Which is precisely the point -- and precisely the result."

Member Booklet - Taking Care of Your Future. Now.
Toronto, ON
"An exemplar of employee benefits communication. Pension information is presented in an exceptionally clear, concise, readable format and reinforced with functional illustrations that reinforce the content. Copy is carefully edited to present the information in the clearest, simplest possible manner. It would be hard to imagine that any employee would not have a complete grasp of his or her pension after reading and viewing this booklet. Simply outstanding."

Clinton Coleman
Morgan State University 2017 Calendar
Baltimore, MD
"The calendar is a time-honored if prosaic device, but one employed here to showcase not just a university, but the achievements of a civil right leader and a movement. Beautifully presented archival photography, with well researched, in-depth captions, take readers on a unique tour of history. The stories are compelling, the visuals dynamic, and the result is a first-rate presentation."

Katrina Holt, Beth Lowe, Ruth Barzel
National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center
Washington, DC
“Here is a thorough, easy-to use series addressing dental care for both children and adults that is a must-see for all families. Almost every topic related to dental care is addressed, with valuable information on every page and colorful photos and illustrations that help make this a pleasant read. This is a perfect ‘freebie’ series of handouts (in English and Spanish) for pregnant women and parents of infants and young children.”
New York State Department of Civil Service/NYSHIP
Albany, NY
“Those looking ahead to retirement want all the information available in plain and simple language. The New York State Department of Civil Service had provided employees just that in a clear ‘Q & A’ format that lessens the mystery and confusion often surrounding this challenging topic. The 5-page section on Medicare alone makes this a keeper.”

Charlotte Stiverson
Oncology Nursing Society
Pittsburgh, PA
“This is a heartwarming story about how a mother helps her daughter understand and cope with her mother’s cancer using the setting of a nature walk. It is a truly valuable book that takes this extremely difficult topic and enables the mother to personalize the process of dealing with cancer to her daughter. Should be required reading for any family going through this ordeal.”

BMW MC 2017 Enrollment Planner for Active Employees
The Segal Group
New York, NY
“Simple, concise, to-the-point and informative, this guide clearly presents all the options available to employees in a brightly illustrated format. Filled with FAQs and step-by-step bulleted lists, this is a valuable resource to hold on to well after benefit choices are made.”


Ben Rome, Sue Marchese, 
Simeon Cogswell, Contractor
AIHA IH Professional Pathways Profiles
Falls Church, VA
"Very eye catching, very appealing, and very much 'tuned in' to its target audience. It's not easy to make a technical profession like industrial hygiene look interesting or exciting, but they've managed it here. From the headline -- Protecting Worker Health -- to the focus on case studies portraying interns and early/mid/senior career professionals, the copy is informative, with reinforcement from the very well illustrated, and oh so multicultural, scenes. It's an exceptionally well-done electronic booklet."

Robert Pace
Allen Wayne
Warrenton, VA
“Very effective infographics make detailed information easily and quickly understood. A very well thought out prospectus. Typically, a prospectus advertising exhibit booth space is a somewhat dry document, but this one actually is interesting, and a quick read — which is precisely what you’d want in your marketing effort.”

Stefani Roth, Julie Huggins
Alexandria, VA
“Videos, articles, reproducibles -- they’re all here, in an easily accessible online format. Add themed ‘topic packs’ each month, and you have a truly comprehensive resource. Each topic pack is packed with a rich array of media, all offering practical strategies and ideas for classroom use. An absolutely first-rate online reference library for teachers.”

David Owen
Active Shooter Denied
Cobb County School District, Office of Communications
Marietta, GA
“A grim topic, but an extremely well researched, well scripted and clearly presented training video.  If the worst happens, you'll know what to do.  First rate.”

Lisa Tossey, Christopher Petrone, Rosa Leon-Zayas
Project VIDEO: Virtual, Interactive Dark Energy Outreach
Delaware Sea Grant/University of Delaware
Lewes, DE
“Created to offer evergreen, widely sharable science content on deep biosphere topics using videos, social media, and virtual reality, this program can be embedded on web pages, used in presentations and classroom lessons and shared via social media. It uses innovative “15 Second Science” videos supported by related “Dive Deeper” videos for viewers interested in further investigation of the topics. Adding to the uniqueness of the program is the virtual tour that provides full 360-degree views of different areas on the research ship.”

Anirban Das
EI Design Pvt. Ltd.
Bangalore, India
“Very clever, very funny and very engaging training program, combining short videos and clear, true-to-life illustrations. We especially liked the ‘Okay Accounts’ name given to the hapless -- and we hope, fictitious -- data company in the video. After rolling through ‘Okay Accounts’, ‘Data Dave’ gives you a tour of ‘SafeBase LLP, a secure outfit. Short and sweet, an excellent e-training package.”

Jeffrey Caplan, Trevor Rasmusson
Sentinel City® Community Health Simulation 
Healthcare Learning Innovations
Aurora, CO
“Impressive interactive simulation software immerses you in an online experience. You choose an avatar, and you become that avatar. It’s an excellent learning method. The interactive approach is a great way to allow students to explore the city’s environment, with all its health characteristics and issues. It’s a first-rate training program.”

Georgia C. Stelluto, Harry T. Roman, Hillary Coggeshall
Washington, DC
“A slim booklet with just a small number of tips for young (and by definition, new) engineers -- but each of them a nugget of practical, actionable advice -- hard won the old fashioned way, through work experience. A quick, easy and essential read for the engineer just starting his or her career.”
LearnVibe, LLC
Bethesda, MD
“This one-of-a-kind, 14-minute training module gives information that would normally take hours to review and comprehend. The module effectively deals with eight topics related to delegating effectively and adds tabs for resources and objectives that can serve as quick reminders of the main points presented. Shows how small ‘common sense’ steps can enable a firm to run much more efficiently and effectively.”

Melanie Medina, Ben Carpenter, Michael Carter
madison/miles media
Arlington, TX
“Sub-titled ‘A simple guide to patients and caregivers’, this multimedia presentation offers printed activity sheets in .pdf format, audio versions of pages, videos and animations with the click of an icon and quizzes to discover what you have learned throughout the guide. Symptoms, good eating habits, treatment options, the emotional effects of coronary disease and preventing future heart attacks are just some of the topics addressed in this incredibly well-organized and simple resource. You’ll want to keep it close at hand.”

Robert Mirales, Davina Gazo, Pamela Faatz
Your Children and Money
Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, a Bank of America Corporation
Pennington, NJ
“This lively and informal webcast identifies and focuses on the big questions -- how to instill financial responsibility in your children, how to have healthy family conversations about money, and how to help children plan for their financial futures. It also deals with a range of practical topics, from allowances to debit cards to loaning your kids the money for their first car. Over 3,200 viewers registered to watch the webcast, which continues to be available on demand.”

Theresa Austin, John Renz, Pamela Holland-Moritz
Prudential Group Insurance
Roseland, NJ
“This four-minute video tells the heartwarming story of how a company rallied to the aid of an employee after a tragic accident. Starting with the accident itself and progressing through the recovery, accommodations, impact on the family and successful return to work, this story explains the value of a Return to Work (RTW) program and how it can return a motivated employee to productivity. One valuable leave-behind from this video is the importance of having disability insurance.”

SA Marketing Team
Sheltering Arms Physical Rehabilitation Centers
Mechanicsville, VA
“An eight-minute long excellently produced and edited video that addresses all aspects of physical rehabilitation, treating the patient as a whole as opposed to treating the condition. The goal of the video is to empower the patient mentally which is as important as dealing with the physical condition, and this video more than achieves that goal.”
Texa$aver 401(k) / 457 Program
Austin, TX
“Clear, simple, easy to grasp concepts. This exceptionally well scripted and illustrated multimedia program effectively motivates neophyte investors to start or increase contributions to their retirement programs. Very much on target. Absolutely top notch.”

Sara Sonntag
Vienna, VA
“It’s a simple idea, really. A monthly e-newsletter that’s well designed, with excellent, easy navigation and just a few short, punchy, interesting articles -- all giving useful tips in a very readable format. Tips -- like how to make a homemade trail mix -- are sprinkled throughout. Likely to be read, which is exactly what you want with a newsletter.”

Design Squad Global Club Guide
WGBH Educational Foundation
Boston, MA
“Used in 11 countries, this 149-page guide is produced by a club that connects children ages 10-13 in informal education programs around the world. Kids explore engineering through fun-packed, high-energy, hands-on activities -- and they partner with a club from a different country! Just as important, children acquire the ability to communicate and collaborate with people from different backgrounds and cultures. Wonderfully written and illustrated.”


Joan Cheverie, D.Teddy Diggs
Louisville, CO
“This superb blog series offers an excellent range of practical ways to do everything from keeping a meeting focused to ‘meshing’ with a new supervisor. Writing is first rate and each post is succinct, well thought out and interesting.”

Elizabeth Newman, Emily Mongan, James M. Berklan
Daily Editors' Notes
McKnight's Long-Term Care News
Northbrook, IL
“Three powerful topics comprise this series of blog posts from the editors of McKnight’s Long-Term News: Issues facing transgender people as they seek nursing home admission; the huge cost increases in long-term care; and the sensitive topics of dealing with residents that ‘bully’ staff. Each blog contains links to additional articles and sites on each topic. An outstanding series.”

Maureen Kennedy, Patricia Bath, Jacob Molyneux
Wolters Kluwer/American Journal of Nursing
New York, NY
“An incredibly horrifying yet beautifully told end-of-life story. The author does an extraordinary job of showing the reader what it would be like to be that terminal patient. An absolutely stunning post.”

APEX 2017 Grand Award listings and comments are continued 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.

Please check back often. (NOTE! If you can provide a direct URL to your Grand Award listed among the 100 Grand Award winners either here in Part One or in Part Two, please e-mail it to us. Thank you!)







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Best of luck in APEX 2020!

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.

“Here is a perfect example of the benefits gained from listening to customers. When research indicated that association members felt overwhelmed by the number of eNewsletters they received, the decision was made to send one redesigned eNewsleter per week. The result was a graphically attractive, significantly improved, customized product. Another amazing element contributing to the presentation of a Grand Award, was that of recognizing that too many ads were competing with the content. Thus, the association restricted the number of ads to allow both the ads and the content to shine. All these wise decisions resulted in an open rate far in excess of industry norms.”

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