Don’t judge a book by its cover, it’s what’s inside that counts—like typesetting, layout and all the other aspects of book design. In the publishing industry everyone focuses on a book’s content, but its technical design also has a great impact on the experience, just from behind the scenes. We take it for granted that a book is easy to navigate or even legible, but it’s all due to the concerted efforts of the book layout designer.

Looking for a book cover designer? Here are our recommendations ->

There are a lot of considerations to book publishing aside from actually writing a book. You not only need to think about typesetting and page spread, but also need to understand how different formats (physical paper vs pdf ebook vs responsive ebook) may impact the book’s layout and readability. If you want your book to be successful, you need to hire a freelance designer who understands each of these areas. So to save you some time, we list the top freelance book layout designers available now.

The 10 best freelance book designers to hire in 2018

Top Level
5.0
( 13 )
  • Book cover
  • Logo design
  • Other book or magazine
  • Product label
  • Other design
  • Magazine cover
  • Typesetting
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Other Graphic Design
  • Other business or advertising
  • Typesetting with imagery
  • T-shirt
  • Print or packaging design
  • Product packaging
  • Business card
  • Brochure
Top Level
5.0
( 54 )
  • Menu
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Product label
  • Signage
  • Product packaging
  • Poster
  • Other design
  • Other business or advertising
  • Brochure
  • Typesetting with imagery
  • Other book or magazine
  • Infographic
  • Business card
Top Level
5.0
( 65 )
  • Book cover
  • Other design
  • Typesetting
  • Other book or magazine
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Other art or illustration
  • Typesetting with imagery
  • Product label
  • Logo design
  • Other packaging or label
  • Product packaging
  • T-shirt
  • Poster
  • Magazine cover
  • Logo & hosted website
Top Level
5.0
( 43 )
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Brochure
  • Other business or advertising
  • Typesetting with imagery
  • Signage
  • Poster
  • Banner ad
  • Logo design
  • Other design
  • Menu
  • Infographic
  • Other book or magazine
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Other web or app design
  • Magazine cover
  • Card or invitation
  • Book cover
Top Level
5.0
( 47 )
  • Book cover
  • Magazine cover
  • Poster
  • Typesetting
  • Typesetting with imagery
  • Other business or advertising
  • Other book or magazine
Top Level
5.0
( 155 )
  • Other design
  • Other book or magazine
  • Banner ad
  • Brochure
  • Other web or app design
  • Other business or advertising
  • Stationery
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Icon or button
  • Typesetting with imagery
  • Signage
  • Product label
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Typesetting
  • Poster
  • PowerPoint template
  • Landing page design
  • Infographic
  • Social media page
  • Logo design
  • Web page design
  • Print or packaging design
  • Other Graphic Design
  • Other art or illustration
  • Email
  • Brand guide
  • Book cover
Top Level
5.0
( 36 )
  • Book cover
  • Banner ad
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Print or packaging design
  • Other business or advertising
  • Other Graphic Design
  • Other design
  • Signage
  • Other book or magazine
  • Brochure
  • Social media page
  • Other web or app design
  • Flash banner
  • Logo design
  • Icon or button
  • Email
  • Web page design
  • Typesetting with imagery
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Magazine cover
  • Landing page design
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Facebook cover
Top Level
5.0
( 113 )
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Email
  • Product packaging
  • Other business or advertising
  • Brochure
  • Logo design
  • Other design
  • Business card
  • Banner ad
  • Product label
  • Menu
  • Poster
  • Other web or app design
  • Other packaging or label
  • Other art or illustration
  • Typesetting
  • Infographic
  • Card or invitation
  • Other book or magazine
  • Signage
  • PowerPoint template
  • Book cover
  • Web page design
  • Typesetting with imagery
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Logo & business card
  • Icon or button
  • Sticker
  • Social media page
  • Merchandise
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Brand guide
Top Level
4.9
( 21 )
  • Book cover
  • Typesetting
  • Other book or magazine
  • Signage
  • Banner ad
  • Typesetting with imagery
  • PowerPoint template
  • Landing page design
Top Level
5.0
( 183 )
  • Logo design
  • Banner ad
  • T-shirt
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Other business or advertising
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Icon or button
  • Logo & business card
  • Brochure
  • Other design
  • Character or mascot
  • Logo & social media pack
  • Signage
  • Product label
  • PowerPoint template
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Other web or app design
  • Other art or illustration
  • Infographic
  • Typesetting
  • Stationery
  • Poster
  • Other packaging or label
  • Facebook cover
  • Clothing or apparel
  • Business card
  • Web page design
  • Typesetting with imagery
  • Sticker
  • Product packaging
  • Other book or magazine
  • Merchandise
  • Landing page design
  • Car, truck or van wrap
  • Brand guide

How did we choose these as the top book layout designers?

At 99designs, we work with designers of every field and skill level. We’ve devised a reliable system of evaluating and ranking our designers, according to three criteria:

1. Quality

book design
by Marcy_McGuire

First, we sort freelance designers into Top, Mid and Entry Levels so our clients know their caliber of skill from the beginning. Our in-house team of design experts review the work of each and every designer, paying close attention to their understanding of design principles, capacity for conceptual thought and technical proficiency.

2. Experience in book layout design

Next, we track a freelance designer’s performance with book design. If a certain designer frequently works on book design projects, and gets great reviews, we notice.

3. Professionalism

Last, we consider how well a designer interacts with clients. We emphasize professionalism here, so we pay attention to how well a designer satisfies client’s requests, communicates and meets deadlines.

What to think about when hiring a book designer or typesetter

Book layout design is a specific discipline that draws on a knowledge of up-to-date standards. Because it deals so much with sizes and proportions, there’s a lot of technical expertise to consider that’s not always apparent to outsiders. That’s why we came up with a quick list of areas to keep an eye out for when you hire a book designer or typesetter:

book design
by YaseenArt
  • Typography. How does the designer deal with fonts, text sizes, line spacing and other typographic choices? The thing about typography is that when it’s done well, you don’t notice it at all.
  • Images. Book designers oversee all the visuals in a book, including the cover, which they sometimes even design themselves.
  • Typesetting and layout. There’s a lot of technical aspects to consider, such as margin space, trim size and common mistakes like “widows” and “orphans.” Brush up on these trade skills by reading this quick article on book layout design.
  • Reader experience. How does reading the book feel? Are you distracted by anything, or are you free to get caught up in the content? Does the feeling match the theme of the book?

For each designer that catches your eye, browse their previous work and pay attention to the categories above. A lot of choosing whom to hire depends on how closely their style matches yours.

Are you ready to hire a top-notch freelance book designer?

If you’re serious about publishing, you need to be serious about hiring a designer. Skills like typesetting and book layout design aren’t things you can pick up over a long weekend—they’re career disciplines and they directly impact your book’s success. Don’t settle for any quick-and-easy solutions; browse the portfolios above to make sure you hire only the best.

Want to browse through a whole library of book designers?
If none of the book layout designers above caught your eye, you can conduct your own search of our database by your own criteria.