Celebrating Public Media


WBEZ–Chicago's NPR

Making the history of radio waves beautiful.

Growing up in Chicagoland, there are few stations still around from the last few decades. One of those stations that most of us grew up with was the local NPR station, WBEZ. Known around the country for This American Life and Wait Wait…. Don’t Tell Me!, WBEZ called upon us to help celebrate their rich history of journalism in an anniversary site.

The history of WBEZ wasn’t just their shows though. It was the impact they have had on Chicago and on the broader conversation in journalism.

To highlight the importance that WBEZ has played, we hand-selected a series of pivotal radio moments layered in beautiful typographically-driven pull quotes, found historical photos and videos that added more to the story, and lastly worked with the WBEZ staff to editorially build out the importance of these moments as they looked back.

The site that launched was a donation drive vehicle, a time capsule into the archives, and a true work of art.

What's the backstory of National Public Radio?

Glad you asked. Back in the 20’s when radio was making some real waves, the FCC set aside the lower end of the FM band for educational purposes. For some time, public radio was very localized until the early 60’s with the National Educational Radio Network, largely funded by the Ford Foundation. Then in the early 70s, following the writ of congress, LBJ got to work and established the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which produced PBS and NPR.  Can you imagine a world without Mr. Rogers or Car Talk? We can’t either.