AWS Wine Journal Earns APEX Award

Apr 5, 2022

If you haven’t noticed, the AWS Wine Journal, our organization’s quarterly glossy magazine, is informative and attractive — and getting better.

The AWS Wine Journal was recently recognized as the Most Improved Publication by APEX, the Award for Publication Excellence.

AWS Wine Journal Award-Winning Design

The Most Improved Publication honor recognizes excellence in graphic design, editorial content, and the success in achieving overall communications effectiveness and excellence. This sort of recognition doesn’t come about by accident.

AWS Branding

Having spent a career in media and publishing, I’ve always valued the Journal as a core benefit of AWS membership, one closely tied to our mission.  One of the first tasks was tackled by the marketing committee, which included past president Kristin Kraft, Michael Wangbickler of Balzac Communication (our current vice president), and our logo designer and current Journal designer, Briana Fedorka. The goal: create a style guide that would govern the look and feel of our print and on-line communications in terms of color, typeface, and presentation.

By adopting and applying branding principals, all AWS material, from the website, letterhead and brochures, would be consistent.  The style guide became important to the redesign of the AWS Wine Journal with Briana on board as designer.  Jim Rink and I worked on editorial standards for copy and photography as well as editorial scope. We added the Perspectives feature, an opinion piece exploring an angle of wine or the wine business, which joins features from the Journal’s stable of outstanding contributors.  To be sure, Jim and Briana handled the implementation and deserve the bulk of the credit.

See the Difference

The results of the AWS Wine Journal refresh were so pronounced, we entered the magazine into APEX, and their judges agreed. If you missed the AWS Wine Journal transformation, remember that members have access to a complete library of many years of AWS Wine Journals available by logging onto your AWS profile. Members may also set their AWS Wine Journal delivery preference – hard copy or electronic — in their profiles.

This is not the first APEX award the AWS Wine Journal has earned. In 2014, the publication received a design award. This most recent honor, for Most Improved Publication, recognizes the total package from design to editorial content, the total effectiveness in communicating and informing.

These are difficult times for all. But know that the organization is hard at work, looking to improve and even transform, to better serve our members.


— David Falchek


APEX Award for Most Improved Publication