The APEX Awards attract many outstanding entries. Of the nearly 4,500 entries in APEX 2008, just 120 Grand Award Winners were selected. In the days ahead, we'll post judges' comments (and URLs for winning entries) for each of the 120 Grand Award-winning entries.
Where direct links to a specific publication or project are not available, we'll link to the organization's main Web site and/or closely related pages. Links are current when posted, but are subject to change and revision by the award-winning entrants. For example, the link may take you to the latest issue of a winning entry, but not the exact award-winning issue.
Please check back often. (NOTE! If you can provide a direct URL to your Grand Award listed here, please e-mail it to us. Thank you!)
IMAGINATION, Chicago, IL
"A very interesting, appealing online newsletter, with timely videos, blogs and exceptionally useful features." The Exchange: News from FYSB and the Youth Services Field
National Clearinghouse on Families & Youth, Family and Youth Services Bureau, DHHS, JBS International, Inc., North Bethesda, MD
"The writing is compelling and puts you there. When you read the lead on street outreach programs, you feel like you're out there on the street with the young people. Very powerful, very effective writing."
Natural Gas & Electricity
Isabelle Cohen-DeAngelis, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ and Robert E. Willett, Financial Communications Company, Houston, TX
"The copywriting is straight-forward, clear, concise, well organized and -- for fairly dry, technical subject matter -- quite interesting. Such an outcome does not just happen. It is always the result of good planning, informed writing, and meticulous editing, as we see here."
Debra Stratton, Stratton Publishing & Marketing, Inc., Alexandria, VA
"Interesting, thought-provoking, cutting edge content in a bright, appealing, readable layout, with lots of tips, links and leads to more information."
HOPE Health Letter HOPE Health, Kalamazoo, MI
"Appealingly illustrated, this lively, interesting, well-written newsletter gets readers' attention with short, punchy articles. Very effective."
Steven Clark, The Walt Disney Company, Burbank, CA
"Superb illustrations in lush, varied spreads. A world-class design, as you would expect from Disney."
Paint Horse Journal AdVisor E-Newsletter
Laura Jesberg, American Paint Horse Association, Forth Worth, TX
"Warm and inviting, this online newsletter offers crisp, well-written news briefs in an appealing layout with attractive photos and legible type. Nicely done!"
Wild Neighbors News
Jennifer Boyer, The Humane Society of the United States, Gaithersburg, MD
"Interesting, involving, well-written features presented in appealing, varied photo spreads. The visuals and the copy combine to create an exceptional read."
Magazines & Journals World Trade
Michael T. Powell, BNP Media, Troy, MI
"Striking cover, clean contents page, bold Web contents page, well executed typography, dynamic, varied spreads, effective use of sidebars -- all combine to create an inviting setting for the editorial, exactly as it should be."
On Investing Charles Schwab and Custom Solutions from SmartMoney, New York, NY
"Packed with well-researched, well-written and usable articles -- all of which make complex financial topics straightforward, this magazine showcases it all in an attractive, interesting layout with top-notch type, photo illustrations and particularly effective infographics."
Hammock Publishing, Nashville, TN
"Elegant typography, beautiful illustrations and top-drawer photos punctuate spread after striking spread -- showcasing interesting, superbly written features. A pleasure to read."
TABLE Holiday Issue
Christina French, John McWilliams, MCM Communications, Pittsburgh, PA
"Gorgeous, mouth-watering design and a very clean, elegant layout work well to showcase interesting (and by no means cliched) writing."
Debbie Eaton-Vaughn, McMurry Inc., Phoenix, AZ
"The writing is world-class, with thought-provoking, in-depth, interesting features, while the spreads are crisp and elegant, with legible typography and functional charts, graphs and captions. All of which come together to make a world-class publication."
One Crescent Way
Nick Wright, MacDUFF Group, Atlanta, GA
"First-rate photography, type, spreads and features. A top-level effort (and the previous version was pretty good in its own right)."
McKnight's Long-Term Care News
McKnight's Long-Term Care News, Northfield, IL
"A dense but lively layout packed with quick-reading, substantive features and briefs. Top-notch."
Pierre Lavallee, Neograf Design, Terrebonne, QC
"Beautiful spreads, stunning illustrations, bold, elegant typography and a superior design sense make this a first-class magazine design."
On Point: The Journal of Army History
Randy Yasenchak, Army Historical Foundation, Arlington, VA
"Inviting, readable spreads, superb selection and presentation of archival photos and artwork, and intriguing, well researched and written features make for an enjoyable read."
Brian Griffin, Delnor Hospital, Geneva, IL
"Very appealing, top-level design with interesting, varied spreads, superb photography and wonderfully told case histories."
The Professional Skier
Wendy Schrupp, Professional Ski Instructors of America, Lakewood, CO
"This is a well thought out, written and designed magazine -- from the striking cover, to the very appealing but intelligently captioned photo spreads, to the content-rich features. A keeper."
Annual Reports Entergy's 2006 Online Annual Report
Bryan Bennett, Entergy Corporation, New Orleans, LA
"Wonderfully framed, persuasive and passionate copy does an exceptional job of articulating the organization's business and civic aspirations -- in an imaginatively designed online report."
Touching Philanthropy: 2007 Philanthropy Journal
Dr. Constantine Papadakis, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA
"This beautifully crafted annual report does a wonderful job humanizing faculty and alumni in a compellingly readable report."
Sacramento Municipal Utility District - 2006 Annual Report
Ann Cony and Bob Burns, Sacramento Municipal Utility District, Sacramento, CA
"An excellent, attractive design combines with well-written, motivating copy to not only describe the utility's accomplishments for the year, but also to advocate and explain the utility's energy and environmental strategies for the future."
Five Words - Five AcresAnnual Report 2007
Cathy Clement, Five Acres, Altadena, CA
"Effective use of key themes around which to organize content. Very thoughtful. Very effective. A clean design, with an apt use of white space. Less is more in this distinctive annual report."
President's Annual Report
Carol Pilla, New Jersey's Science & Technology University, Newark, NJ
"A striking design -- with appealing, first-rate illustrations and an attractive matte paper selection -- provides the background for well-written features, with each spread encompassing a theme, whether it's technology to support the troops or rebuild New Orleans."
Shaping a Vision for Tomorrow
Jill M. Ercolino, Pennsylvania State Association of Township Supervisors, Enola, PA
"A clean, simple, elegant design -- with attractive spreads, photos and callouts -- frames the succinct, well-written copy. Nicely done. An exceptional annual report."
Ramapo Magazine - Annual Report Edition 2007
Mary Cicitta, Ramapo College of New Jersey, Mahwah, NJ
"Vastly improved, this new 'magazine-style' annual report is beautifully photographed, illustrated and written, but, more important, shows evidence of careful crafting to achieve specific goals -- e.g., using the annual report vehicle to make a persuasive (and well-positioned -- on the inside front cover) pitch for legacy giving. Alumni-oriented annual reports can be deadly dull, but this one sparkles."
Schwab PCRA Welcome Kit
Jill Mahnane, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., San Francisco, CA
"This crisp, inviting design employs white space to aid clarity, while the copy is concise, readable and well-organized with bulleted lists and effective use of subheads. A very nicely done welcome kit."
UnitedHealthcare Definity HSA Activation Guide
Jennifer Seelman, UnitedHealthcare, Edina, MN
"An impressively planned and structured guide which is carefully designed -- with clear writing and an exceptionally functional layout -- to make very complex topics easily understandable."
Own Your Career - Verizon Wireless NAS Recruitment Communications, Cleveland OH
"A cleverly crafted, imaginative phone 'pouch,' out of which pop several cellphone-looking flyers, each with a catchy, tongue-in-cheek head and persuasive benefits copy inside."
Year in Review American Specialty Health, San Diego, CA
"Beautifully done brochure features gorgeous spreads and themed illustrations and crisp, readable, concise copy. An outstanding effort."
Technology Navigator/Lexus 6th Edition
Thomas Liehr, Liehr Marketing & Communications, Rolling Hills Estates, CA
"An impressive, pocketable guide -- in handy spiral-bound format -- tackles the wide array of technology features, clearly illustrating them and succinctly describing them. A formidably useful reference for both sales staff and customers."
Pella Architectural Design Manual
Technical Publications Group, Pella Corporation, Pella, IA
"Crisp, clean, functional -- and very attractive -- design makes this set of books exceptionally easy to use, aided by top-drawer technical writing which offers both clarity and ease of understanding to professional and lay audiences."
ACR Membership Brochure Series
Lynn King, Leslie Miller, Anne Mitchell, The American College of Radiology, Reston, VA
"A particularly well designed and written membership marketing series, this set of four square-format booklets employs well-chosen photos, crisp typography and focused, well-written copy to make the case for membership."
Hitting the Military History Trail
Richard K. Kolb, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Kansas City, MO
"A top-drawer guidebook. Beautifully designed and thoroughly researched. An interesting read, and one you'll want to keep with you as you tour the country."
Defining Opportunity: 2007-08 Annual Gift Campaign
Bruce Swart, The John Marshall Law School, Chicago, IL
"Concisely written (rare in a gift campaign), this fundraising booklet uses powerful, dynamic spreads and succinct, effective copy to get the case across to potential donors."
NCEA 2007 Baltimore Convention materials National Catholic Educational Association, Washington, DC
"Something for everyone here -- from hospitality guides to exhibitor service manuals to a packed but nicely executed final program, these NCEA staffers thought of everything. Each publication is clearly organized and well-written."
Terry Simzer, Upper Canada District School Board, Brockville, ON
"A thoroughly researched strategic plan, an innovative, interestingly designed and written handbook, and posters to reinforce the goals and visualize the plan -- all work well together to create an outcome greater than the sum of its parts."
Your Benefit Programming
Lori Block and Mark Mathson, Buck Consultants, San Francisco, CA
"What a pleasure to view. Just pop it in, and the self-running CD takes care of the rest. A very clever, inviting magazine format lets you 'flip' pages, just like a printed magazine. Fast paced, clear writing, nice visuals, and the electronic format doesn't get in the way. This is how interactive communication should be done."
Partnering in Your Community
Public Relations, Otter Tail Power Company, Fergus Falls, MN
"An engaging, persuasive look at a systematic and well thought out campaign to contribute to the betterment of the community. Nicely done."
2009 Lincoln MKS Product Launch DVD
Kristen Smolen, Retailer Education & Training - Lincoln Mercury, Dearborn, MI
"Exciting, interesting DVD introduction is precisely targeted to their key audience -- dealership managers and sales staff. A marvelous product launch. This one's an exemplar."
It's Easy to Join Your Plan
Participant Education - R&D, The Vanguard Group, Inc., Valley Forge, PA
"An excellent, clear and easily understandable outline of a complicated topic. Crisp writing and well-executed visuals make this multimedia presentation a very effective teaching tool."
Designing Precast Parking Garages
Marketing Department, High Concrete Group LLC, Denver, PA
"A complex engineering topic, presented with excellent visuals and exceptional clarity. The result is a presentation understandable by an audience of construction professionals but also key decision makers without an engineering or construction background."
Toyota Navigation System plus Hybrid Technology & Bluetooth Cell Phone Pairing
Timothy Clave, Major Media, Inc., Solana Beach, CA
"Very clear, easy to follow presentation offers crisp copy and interesting visuals. Technical concepts are clearly explained to a lay audience, while the sales information effectively handles the marketing end."
Sports Medicine in the Pediatric Office
American Academy of Pediatrics, Elk Grove Village, IL
"Impressive, clear, effective communications. Complex data precisely aimed to a specific audience. First rate print and video."
Tina Hay, The Penn Stater, University Park, PA
"Fascinating stories, beautifully written and photographed. The blog does a superb job of capturing your attention and not letting you go until you scroll down to the very end."
Student Teacher Resources CD
Deborah Henry and Dr. Donna Patterson, Clarion University of Pennsylvania, Clarion, PA
"Well written, well organized and complete, this resource CD for student teachers is an exceptional and invaluable aid."
Mark Michaud, Ariad Custom Communications, Toronto, ON
"A bold layout pulls you into this Web site's home page. The design is inviting, navigation works well, and copy is top drawer. What more can you ask for?"
John Kidon, Davis & Company, Glen Rock, NJ
"Top notch -- in content, visuals and navigation. A significant advance over the earlier site, itself quite good."
Linda J. Smith, MHCC, West Conshohocken, PA
"A superb, high value site -- very well designed, packed with vital information and precisely targeted to its intended audience."
Matthew Brown, Nevada Magazine, Carson City, NV
"From a good site to a superb site, the organization is elegant and easy with fast opening pages loaded with beautiful photography, clean type and interesting stories."
CAWOOD, Eugene, OR
"This cleanly designed site offers superb, intuitive navigation, through -- aptly enough for an orthopedic site -- the human body. Click on the knee and you're learning how the knee works, the impact of injuries, and how to prevent or cope with them. Elbows, shoulders, hips, feet. It's all there. Not your standard medical Web site."
Paul V. Arnold, Reliable Plant magazine, Fort Atkinson, WI
"Massive data, in an exceptionally well organized site. Crisp, informed writing, with numerous in-depth features posted daily, makes this an effective, frequently visited site."
Carole Sustak, AAA, Heathrow, FL
"Comprehensive, well organized, well written and illustrated, this employee site does a compelling job of taking the brand to the next level, persuading staff to internalize the strategy, and providing a clear path to all the tools needed."
Communications & Creative Services, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO
"Cutting edge navigation, fast, interesting copy, photos and video... an exceptional home page and extensive, well organized, quick reading information as you drill down through each page."
Bill Spencer, Naval Media Center, Anacostia Annex, Washington, DC
"Packed with well-written, interesting information, this site is fast, easy to navigate and appealingly designed. The videos are world-class, and simply spectacular."
Gabrielle Schang, The Children's Health Fund, New York, NY
"A superbly crafted graphic interface makes this an extremely easy site to use. It's enjoyable, fun to use, and makes charitable giving an entertaining and involving experience. An outstanding example of an advocacy/fundraising site."
Corporate Communications, SECO Energy, Sumterville, FL
"Inviting home page, fast, clear navigation, interesting and helpful features, straight talk on energy supplies, and high quality photos (expandable high resolution, a nice touch) all combine to make this a very effective utility company site. Nicely done."
Us Against Athero AstraZeneca Brand Corporate Affairs, Edelman, New York, NY
"Carefully researched, with problems -- and solutions -- identified, and most important, an effective communications campaign created to inform, educate and motivate the public. Exceptionally well done."
Capitalizing on Change BlackRock, Inc., Plainsboro, NJ
"A coherent, well organized campaign lays out -- clearly -- the current financial climate, the case for investing, and the logic behind BlackRock's investment portfolios. Tight writing, informative design and very well prepared infographics make this not just a marketing tool but also an investor education vehicle."
PotashCorp Annual Enrollment 2008 - A Guide to Your Benefits
Shelly Fowler, Clearwater Writing Inc., Chandler, AZ
"A clean, simple, elegantly designed and crisply written guide excels in clarity and conciseness. A model of employee benefits communication."
NASCAR Returns to ESPN ESPN Communications, ESPN, Celebration, FL
"A carefully planned, meticulously implemented campaign -- particularly well organized for such a massive undertaking. They know their target audiences, they know what to tell them, and how to tell them. Exceptional market penetration."
MS2 Embrace Diversity Campaign
MS2 Employee Communications Team, Lockheed Martin, Moorestown, NJ
"Very carefully thought-out campaign and deftly presented material. So many diversity campaigns are clumsy and ham-fisted, but this one strikes all the right grace notes."
Living Well Eating Smart - With Kids
Marilyn Barnett, MARS Advertising, Southfield, MI
"Cleverly focused booklet series targets parents with key concerns about their kids eating well, and works in coupons for related supermarket foods. Skillfully done!"
Finding a New Home for a Treatment Facility
Marilyn Milne, Public Relations Services LLC, Eugene, OR
"Wow. An impressive example of how a public information campaign should be run."
New Movers Program Loyola University Health System, Maywood, IL
"Impressive, high quality publications in this very well thought out campaign to attract area newcomers to the Loyola Health System. Very effectively done."
Opening of Prentice Woman's Hospital
Bonita Brodt, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago, IL
"An extraordinarily well-planned and well-organized campaign features an exceptional range of superbly designed and clearly written materials -- all focused on announcing, explaining (and helping all key audiences with) the opening of a new hospital."
Barbara Evans, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center, Winston-Salem, NC
"Superb visuals, interesting handouts and effective print materials round out this vitally important campaign to prevent the spread of disease. Well done!"
Overview of MyChildren's
Documentation Team, Children's Hospital Boston, Boston, MA
"Very well designed, easy to use interactive online secure access whether you're a hospital patient or family member. Everything from billing to messaging to health records to appointments is here. This is the future. Very intelligent."
CRM Magazine, New York, NY
"Well-researched nuggets -- presented in concise, easy reading briefs -- ensure that readers take away (and remember) key information which is, after all, the idea."
Inspiration The Green Sheet, Inc., Rohnert Park, CA
"These columns offer what the department heading says -- inspiration. Warm, inviting and down-to-earth writing couches the theme for each column, as the author effectively applies the themes and observations of everyday living to methods for dealing with business issues in the industry. Done with finesse."
Three Perfect Days: Rome
Tom Mueller, Hemispheres Magazine,Pace Communications, Greensboro, NC
"I want to say the writing is creamy smooth. It just flows. While the subject matter lends appeal, the author uses the full range of imagery to describe not just the sights, but the experience. You almost don't have to go there but, of course, having read it, you want to... which is, of course, the whole point."
Berger World - Energy: Serving the World's Needs...
Warren Miller and Karen Kramer, The Louis Berger Group, Inc., Morristown, NJ
"Persuasively written, each article is a substantive look at key energy sources, from wind power to hydro to oil sands. The reader comes away with an informed sense of the complex realities involved in finding, developing and bringing these energy sources to the consumer."
Forget Everything You Know About Ticks
Marie Rosenthal and Jennifer Barlow, Veterinary Learning Systems, Yardley, PA
"Thoroughly researched and powerfully presented, this feature is an interesting, informative and compelling read."
M.H. Perry, KentLakes, East Aurora NY
"A wonderfully written, exceptionally interesting and insightful look at the role of the elected official's spouse at the local level. An extremely astute 'behind the scenes' view of how the political process works."
Keep Your Daughter Safe: 139 Ways Young Women can Prevent Sexual Assault
Richard Hart, Verum Publishing, Foster City, CA
"Written in plain, simple language, this very readable compact book gets right to the heart of what's important with practical advice for parents and their daughters."
Compensation 2008 Trade Show Executive Magazine, Carlsbad, CA
"An informed, and informative, roundup. Tightly written, and an exceptionally interesting read."
Transforming the Health Care System: A National Imperative (presented by William D. Novelli)
Boe Workman, AARP, Washington, DC
"A persuasive, reasoned and passionate argument based on solid research, a mastery of the facts and a well crafted, tightly written presentation -- one that offers solutions, not platitudes."
Calling All Rheumatologists
Arthritis Today, Arthritis Foundation, Atlanta, GA
"A well-researched and compellingly written feature personalizes the problem, defines the causes and suggests solutions -- while keeping reader interest high from start to finish."
Ellen N. Woods (writer) and Kissairis Munoz (assistant editor), Military Officers Association of America, Alexandria, VA
"A powerful, well researched story, superbly written to hold readers to the very end."
When Your Parents Become Patients
Margo A. Smith, M.D., Washington Hospital Center, Washington, DC
"A story that could only be written by someone who has gone through the experience. A compassionate, moving and powerfully written look at how one family deals with dementia."
Variable Annuity Product Kit
Diane Montana and Andrea Parker, Jackson National Life Insurance Company, Denver, CO
"Superb visuals, graphics, charts and presentation of data make the job of copywriting -- to persuade the client -- that much easier."
Super Bowl XLII Program National Football League & H.O. Zimman, Inc., Lynn, MA
"Gorgeous, fluid photo spreads with interesting, functional, readable captions. The photos themselves are world class, superbly chosen and cropped, with marvelous bokeh. Sports photography just doesn't get any better."
Jennifer Warren, Spafax Canada, Montreal, QC
"The old version was excellent; the new, superb. A striking contents page, dynamic, interesting and varied heads -- each totally different yet recognizable as part of the whole -- and appealing photos and illustrations, all work together to keep readers interested...and reading."
SilverKris English (January 2008) - Safari Savvy
Audrey Perera, SPH Magazines Pte Ltd, Singapore
"Spread after gorgeous spread, in color or black and white, it doesn't matter, as you're transported on a virtual safari through Africa's big game country."
NBT Bank 2008 Calendar
Marketing Division, NBT Bank, Norwich, NY
"Clever adirondack chair theme. Spectacular artistic vision. A wonderfully implemented calendar -- much more cutting edge than you'd normally expect from a bank!"
Tacoma Public Utilities 2008 Conservation Calendar
Chris Gleason and Laurel Lynn Willoughby, Tacoma Public Utilities, Tacoma, WA
"Very clever calendar -- nicely illustrated, but the deftly chosen, humorous 'conservation' captions make the point very effectively, with a light touch."
Bridges 2007 Calendar
Jan Hilton, American Society of Civil Engineers, Reston, VA
"Strikingly beautiful photos and interesting caption 'stories' make this both a functional calendar and an effective educational vehicle."
Trusteeship The Magazine Group, Washington, DC
"A striking, dynamic design with bold, varied spreads, an inviting contents page, well-executed illustrations and effective use of callouts, sidebars and screens -- all showcased on a well-chosen, very legible matte paper stock."
Stephen Smith, Costco Wholesale, Issaquah, WA
"'Eco-logic' and 'enviro-mentality' are newly coined terms Costco uses, in this corporate environment position paper, to help explain company efforts to shrink its ecological footprint and reduce its environmental impact. It's a well-written and illustrated piece which does an effective job of communicating those efforts to employees."
Little Pink Book, October 2007
Marcie Lynn Avram, Rodale Custom Publishing, New York, NY
"A powerfully motivating message showcased in beautiful spreads with exceptional photography, illustrations and design."
My Ford - Special Issue
Charlene Benson, Time Inc. Content Solutions, New York, NY
"Targeted to owners, this compact magazine offers just the right mix of visuals and succinct text. The spreads are beautifully executed, with superb photography and type."
Laura-Jo Boynton, Timberlake Cabinetry, Winchester, VA
"Gorgeous spreads, spectacular photography and interesting copy make this unique publication a real standout."
Humana Active Outlook Magazine Wax Custom Communications, Miami, FL
"A superb, beautifully designed, movingly written special issue on the 'married more than 50 years' crowd. An absolute tour de force."
'Loco Cacti' Ariocarpus, Astrophytum & Friends!
Brett Nation, Nation Design LLC, Alexandria, VA
"Spectacular photography and spreads in a beautifully designed, spiral-bound book."
Engineering: Go For It!
Bob Black, American Society for Engineering Education, Washington, DC
"Beautiful design, lively, varied spreads, exceptionally well done infographics and superbly written features make this a very effective guide for students thinking about majoring in engineering."
Cathi Douglas and Howard Chang, Cal State Fullerton, Fullerton, CA
"This 50th anniversary book is not your garden variety university retrospective. Instead, it is a stirring, visual tour de force with exceptional photo spreads highlighting superbly written profiles of student and faculty achievement. It's coffee table material."
Nature Tracks - Activity and Coloring Book
Jen Brumfield, Cleveland Metroparks, Cleveland, OH
"What a clever, effective way to acquaint kids with the animals and plants in their habitat. Beautifully illustrated with well-written captions carefully targeted to a young audience. Informative for grown-ups, too!"
Alaska Park Science: Scientific Studies on Climate Change in Alaska's National Parks Alaska Park Science Team, National Park Service Alaska Region and the Alaska Natural History Association, Anchorage, AK
"Beautifully designed with crisp typography, well captioned photos and illustrations, the narrative of this appealing, wide format booklet is interesting, compelling, and superbly weaves together a broad range of climate topics."
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The judges comment on the APEX® Awards, as well as writing, editing, publishing and media topics.
WINNING IDEAS FROM APEX
See top award-winning APEX entries below.
Hallowed Ground -- Summer 2011 -- Mary Koik, Civil War Trust, Washington, DC ...
"Beautiful photo spreads, striking typography, a layout jam packed (in a good way) with photo sidebars, usefully long captions and well drawn illustrations -- the design is equally matched by well written, interesting narratives which easily hold the reader's attention."