Meet Liz Danzico, NPR's First-Ever Creative Director & All-Around Go-Getter



Liz-Danzico1Photo: Courtesy of SVA.
The title of creative director has been a fashion industry buzz term for a while now. What with Anna Wintour filling out Condé Nast's masthead, Nicola Formichetti assuming the position under Diesel, and Rebekka Bay over at Gap, it's a role that's as popular as it is enigmatic. NPR is hopping on the CD bandwagon, too, and snagged one of the coolest ladies out there: Liz Danzico.

Though she's no household name, her influence can be found in homes and lives across the globe. She's gone from The New York Times and This American Life to creator of the MFA Interaction Design program at the School of Visual Arts — a.k.a. she's molded the minds that design the objects we interact with on a daily basis. And, beginning this year, she's NPR's first-ever creative director. (Somewhere a glass ceiling is cracking.)

Danzico recently sat down with Fast.Co to discuss her definition of creative director and what it all means for talk radio. As NPR and the rest of the media world continue to adjust to the digital way of life, Danzico's task is to visualize the primarily aural media platform. "Everyone knows what public radio sounds like," she told Fast.Co. "If you switched the dial they would be able to identify what NPR sounds like and they would also have a number of words that they say when they hit NPR." The question is, what does the brand itself look like outside of the red, black, and blue logo? Is it something tangible? And, if so, how does it feel? "I certainly have ideas, but I think a lot more listening is required," she says.

The entire interview is overflowing with day-to-day musings and bits of advice to carry into our own lives as we continue to refine and evolve in the New Year. One thing that particularly stands out is her view on multitasking: Though not all of us are stellar when it comes to balancing various tasks, allowing each individual thing inform the other makes for a surprisingly lush end result on all fronts. It's about keeping the larger goal in our periphery while staying focused on what's immediately before us. And, as for NPR's future, well, we're listening, Liz. (Fast.Co)