Town Common Media

Town Common Media is a local newspaper based in Rowley, Ma. This website redesign brings a fresh, updated, and coherent digital version of the newspaper. TCM is a print-based newspaper that through this website design brings fresh local newsweekly digitally to its readers.


  • Improve overall site architecture and navigation to enable easier browsing and a more frictionless experience.
  • Reorganize and expand current news for enhanced search and browseability of content.
  • Design an eye-catching website where locals can advertise their small businesses.
  • Establish SEO foundations for future growth and leverage organic search traffic.
  • Implement a fully responsive solution backed by WordPress CMS.

My role

As a freelance designer, I worked at TCM as their advertising designer. I was asked to help with website design in January 2021. I was in a team of two, me and a developer IT person. We worked hours tirelessly to publish the website by the end of March 2021. I was doing the design of the newspaper, the ads design, helping with the development of the site and after publishing, I kept the website up to date until September 2021.

Phase 1


Town Common Media (TCM) is one of the oldest local newspapers in the town Rowley. Brings together so many stories, focusing on the positivity and upbringings of the local events. It is a weekly newspaper, printed for all the towns in North Shore and In Coastal New Hampshire.

The challenge was to carry the newspaper look throughout the website, adding features that make it easy for the readers to interact.
I conducted research in other newspapers, locally like the town of Newburyport and Lynn newspaper and nationally like the Globe, the Washington Post, etc.
Based on the target audience, we designed pages that have organized content, separated into paragraphs or in frames. The newspaper hired a new photographer specifically for the site to take pictures for all the articles. We tried incorporating as much imagery and videos as possible.

The menu bar information architecture is purposefully shown throughout the bar. The goal of this site is to make it easy for the readers to find articles they like to read. Although it looks crowded, the menu bar has been tested to have a positive impact and cause less confusion for the readers.

Homepage design

Phase 2

Style Concepts

TCM has branding guidelines that I needed to follow for this website design. I and my team were focusing on creating a responsible, visually attractive, user-centered website. 

The Homepage features a banner at the top where an ad is going to take place. Purposely the first thing you see as this will be the most expensive ad. The articles are clearly split from one another, where the most important news is featured in the middle with the biggest image and largest font. To the right are paid advertising and to the left are secondary articles. 

Community News page design, expanded version

TCM is a newspaper that brings together communities. The articles talk about local people, businesses, events. Everything is well organized and structured for the readers wherever they are. This website redesign went from being a pdf based website to a total digital newspaper design. The number of viewers raised significantly from the first month to the fourth month. The traffic is organic since the social media of the newspaper is not active. There are also, new subscribers to their newsletter.

Thank you for building such a beautiful news website. It is clean, easy to read, and navigate. You are making such a difference for our little community news outlet.

Stewart Lytle
Author at TCM

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