Don’t judge a book by its cover, it’s what’s inside that counts—like typesetting, book layout and all the other aspects of book design. In the publishing industry everyone focuses on a book’s content, but the work of book designers has a huge 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 2020

  1. 1
    • Infographic
    • Book cover
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Other book or magazine
    • Typesetting
    • PowerPoint template
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Brochure
    • Poster
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Logo design
    • Other business or advertising
    • Magazine cover
    • Logo & business card
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Signage
    • Product label
    • Other web or app design
    • Business card
  2. 2
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 95 )
    • Menu
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Signage
    • Product label
    • Other business or advertising
    • Brochure
    • Other book or magazine
    • Product packaging
    • Poster
    • Other design
    • Typesetting
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Other packaging or label
    • Infographic
    • Facebook cover
    • Business card
    • Sticker
  3. 3
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 69 )
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Brochure
    • Other business or advertising
    • Signage
    • Banner ad
    • Poster
    • Logo design
    • Other design
    • Other book or magazine
    • Menu
    • Infographic
    • Book cover
    • Typesetting
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Other web or app design
    • Magazine cover
    • Card or invitation
    • Business card
  4. 4
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 187 )
    • Other business or advertising
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Stationery
    • Brochure
    • Other design
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Other book or magazine
    • Logo design
    • Email
    • PowerPoint template
    • Poster
    • Business card
    • Signage
    • Product label
    • Landing page design
    • Infographic
    • Card or invitation
    • Other web or app design
    • Merchandise
    • Menu
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Brand guide
    • Banner ad
  5. 5
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 31 )
    • Book cover
    • Logo design
    • Other book or magazine
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Typesetting
    • Product label
    • Other design
    • Magazine cover
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Other Graphic Design
    • Other business or advertising
    • T-shirt
    • Print or packaging design
    • Product packaging
    • Business card
    • Brochure
  6. 6
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 349 )
    • Other book or magazine
    • Other business or advertising
    • Other web or app design
    • Banner ad
    • Other design
    • Brochure
    • Stationery
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • PowerPoint template
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Other art or illustration
    • Infographic
    • Icon or button
    • Poster
    • Typesetting
    • Signage
    • Product label
    • Book cover
    • Social media page
    • Logo design
    • Landing page design
    • Brand guide
    • Business card
    • Web page design
    • Print or packaging design
    • Other Graphic Design
    • Email
  7. 7
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 85 )
    • Book cover
    • Typesetting
    • Magazine cover
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Poster
    • Other book or magazine
    • Other business or advertising
    • Facebook cover
    • Brochure
    • Product label
    • Product packaging
    • Logo & brand identity pack
  8. 8
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 51 )
    • Book cover
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Other design
    • Other book or magazine
    • Typesetting
    • Logo design
    • Product packaging
    • Poster
    • App design
    • Facebook cover
    • Business card
    • Banner ad
  9. 9
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 164 )
    • T-shirt
    • Logo design
    • Illustration or graphics
    • Clothing or apparel
    • Merchandise
    • Other clothing or merchandise
    • Poster
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Other packaging or label
    • Other design
    • Other art or illustration
    • Web page design
    • Book cover
    • Typesetting
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Stationery
    • Card or invitation
  10. 10
    Top Level
    5.0
    ( 25 )
    • Book cover
    • Logo design
    • Typesetting with imagery
    • Logo & brand identity pack
    • Typesetting
    • Logo & social media pack
    • Postcard, flyer or print
    • Other design
    • Other clothing or merchandise
    • Other book or magazine
    • Other art or illustration

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 layout 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 book 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.