New template for the Fine Arts Team

I’ve had a lot of fun learning how I can use tools in web development in my line of work. While this class has been challenging, I have definitely learned things that I will continue to use in my career That being said, I would like to design a special template for the Fine Arts section of The Washington Post.

Currently I work with the Classical Music and Dance critics, who often produce opinion pieces called ‘critic’s notebook.’ This long running feature is a really neat way to see the arts from their perspective, but not a lot of treatment is given to the pieces, or the Fine Arts team in general.

Since there’s such a gap between its print and digital existence I would like to step in and bridge the gap. Buy making a template that shows a critics notebook in a fun and engaging way we can begin to set our team apart from the rest of the Features section.

While this is an untested idea, I think it would be really cool to make the web page look like a notebook, and perhaps so some special touches to make the photos and illustrations more pronounced on the page. This way, when the reader is on the page, they’ll know its a different and more special piece, apart from their traditional reviews. I’ll probably integrate this into my personal website, that I’ll use an updated WordPress template on, as a place to showcase it.


My goals for this project are twofold.

  • First, I would like to create a personal website that showcases what I’ve learned in this class
  • Second, I want to create a digital “look” for the Fine Arts Team


My audience for the Critic’s Notebook template will be the people who often read The Post’s entertainment blog. We have a very strong following, especially in the classical music and dance world, so creating a cohesive design will only help bolster that following. It will also help set apart a Critic’s Notebook from a general review, so it will help people who aren’t familiar with this type of coverage to know they’re looking at something both different and special.

The audience for classical music skews a little older, so most still have a print edition. More often, however many reviews are only published online. The Fine Arts team has spoken about making an effort to showcase strong design skills for our very engaged base, but that hasn’t come to fruition yet. By creating a custom template for the Critic’s Notebook-style reviews, I hope to show that an audience who doesn’t necessarily get their news online can be coaxed there if something is presented in a new and interesting way. I also doubt that many of them will ever look at something on mobile, so the focus of this template is for a desktop.

How I’ll achieve my goals 

  • I’ll start with my personal website by making a landing page with a few of my in-depth assignments from graduate school
  • I’ll have an about page that explains how I got to the Post
  • I’ll use a page to showcase the final project template
  • Create a website that shows my work as a grad school student and media professional
  • I’ll create a funny 404 page, because that’s become a space where people can be creative.

Theme: Twenty Seventeen

Track: Mostly front-end design, with some back-end modifications if necessary.

Planned modifications: 

  • Changed fonts and colors on the Twenty Seventeen theme
  • An area to show some of my video journalism work
  • a stylized page to show a new-and-improved Critic’s Notebook template
  • A 404 page that’s lighthearted and funny
  • A cohesive design that shows a funny and serious side



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