Behind the Scenes: Designing the APEX Awards

APEX Award logo

The WSBA Annual Awards date back to at least 1957, when the Award of Merit was presented to Arnold R. Beezer and Benjamin Grosscup. Nearly 60 years later, we figured it was time for an update. We’ll take you behind the scenes for a look at how we developed the APEX Awards.

A new name
The first step was choosing a new name. “Annual Awards” was a fairly generic description that didn’t say much about what the awards are for, who they’re given to, or what it means to the legal community. We wanted a name that people would remember — and associate with excellence.

Over several brainstorming sessions, a few basic ideas emerged: the concept of peak performance, achieving a summit, being at the pinnacle of professionalism and practice. Not coincidentally, mountains are an iconic feature of Washington’s landscape and the Pacific Northwest, where most of our members are. Even the shape of our award reminded us of a mountaintop.

From there, we refined the idea into APEX, which stands for Acknowledging Professional Excellence. Next step: creating a logo to match.

APEX design process on white boardDesigning the logo
Working with the mountain/peak theme, our graphic designer Todd Timmcke created several logo mockups. The communications team offered suggestions and chose favorites. We also asked our colleagues for their feedback and got helpful input.

In the end, the final design was the one that not only evokes the physical shape of the award, but captures the sense of accomplishment and reaching the top. We think it’s unique, modern, and will stand the test of time. Over the next few months, you’ll see the new logo in NWLawyer, here on the blog, and at

What hasn’t changed
Each year, our awards are presented to people in the legal community who have made noteworthy achievements in public service, government service, professionalism, pro bono work, diversity and other areas. Both lawyers and members of the public are eligible to make nominations and receive awards.

The deadline is April 15, so you still have time to nominate a colleague for an APEX Award.

We hope to see you at the APEX Awards on Sept. 29!

2 thoughts on “Behind the Scenes: Designing the APEX Awards

  1. Pingback: Congratulations to our 2016 APEX Awards Winners! | NWSidebar

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