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
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  • Typesetting with imagery
  • Brochure
  • Other book or magazine
  • Infographic
  • Business card
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5.0
( 35 )
  • 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
( 141 )
  • Other design
  • Other book or magazine
  • Banner ad
  • Brochure
  • Other web or app design
  • Stationery
  • Other business or advertising
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Icon or button
  • Typesetting with imagery
  • Signage
  • Product label
  • Typesetting
  • Poster
  • PowerPoint template
  • Landing page design
  • Infographic
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Logo design
  • Web page design
  • Social media page
  • Print or packaging design
  • Other Graphic Design
  • Other art or illustration
  • Email
  • Brand guide
  • Book cover
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5.0
( 169 )
  • Logo design
  • Banner ad
  • T-shirt
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Other business or advertising
  • Icon or button
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Logo & business card
  • Other design
  • Character or mascot
  • Brochure
  • Logo & social media pack
  • Signage
  • Product label
  • PowerPoint template
  • Infographic
  • Typesetting
  • Stationery
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Other web or app design
  • Other packaging or label
  • Other art or illustration
  • Facebook cover
  • Clothing or apparel
  • Web page design
  • Typesetting with imagery
  • Poster
  • Other book or magazine
  • Merchandise
  • Landing page design
  • Car, truck or van wrap
  • Business card
  • Brand guide
Top Level
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( 99 )
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Email
  • Brochure
  • Other business or advertising
  • Product packaging
  • Other design
  • Logo design
  • Business card
  • Banner ad
  • Product label
  • Menu
  • Poster
  • Other web or app design
  • Other packaging or label
  • Other art or illustration
  • Infographic
  • Card or invitation
  • Typesetting
  • Signage
  • PowerPoint template
  • Typesetting with imagery
  • Other clothing or merchandise
  • Other book or magazine
  • Logo & business card
  • Icon or button
  • Book cover
  • Web page design
  • Sticker
  • Social media page
  • Merchandise
  • Brand guide
Top Level
5.0
( 92 )
  • Book cover
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Other book or magazine
  • Other design
  • Typesetting
  • Poster
  • Banner ad
  • WordPress theme design
  • Other packaging or label
  • Brochure
  • Web page design
  • Typesetting with imagery
  • Product label
  • Card or invitation
Top Level
4.9
( 16 )
  • Book cover
  • Typesetting
  • Other book or magazine
  • Signage
  • Banner ad
  • Typesetting with imagery
  • PowerPoint template
Top Level
5.0
( 120 )
  • Stationery
  • Other business or advertising
  • PowerPoint template
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Web page design
  • Brochure
  • Other design
  • Product packaging
  • Other Graphic Design
  • Banner ad
  • Logo design
  • Business card
  • Landing page design
  • Print or packaging design
  • Logo & business card
  • Infographic
  • Card or invitation
  • T-shirt
  • Product label
  • Other web or app design
  • Brand guide
  • Typesetting
  • Email
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • WordPress theme design
  • Typesetting with imagery
  • Signage
  • Poster
  • Merchandise
Top Level
5.0
( 263 )
  • Brochure
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Other design
  • Print or packaging design
  • Infographic
  • Other business or advertising
  • Signage
  • PowerPoint template
  • Logo design
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Poster
  • App design
  • Banner ad
  • Product label
  • Stationery
  • Other web or app design
  • Book cover
  • Email
  • Web page design
  • Business card
  • Typesetting with imagery
  • Other Graphic Design
  • Other book or magazine
  • Brand guide
  • Product packaging
  • Logo & business card
  • Flash banner
  • Sticker
  • Other packaging or label
  • Other art or illustration
  • Card or invitation
Top Level
5.0
( 82 )
  • Logo design
  • Logo & brand identity pack
  • Signage
  • Logo & business card
  • Product label
  • Other business or advertising
  • Postcard, flyer or print
  • Brochure
  • Book cover
  • Banner ad
  • Brand guide
  • Product packaging
  • Poster
  • Illustration or graphics
  • Stationery
  • Logo & social media pack
  • Other packaging or label
  • Other book or magazine
  • Other design
  • Other art or illustration
  • Facebook cover
  • Business card
  • Typesetting
  • Sticker
  • PowerPoint template
  • Clothing or apparel

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.