Children’s Book Designers: What They Do And Why You Need Them

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Children's Book Designers

Did you know? An inadequately designed children’s book will reduce the overall sales potential of the book, regardless of how good the story and characters are created.

After completing your children’s book writing and editing, take a few minutes to go over the reading material with your children. 

What Do Children’s Book Designers Do?

The responsibility of a children’s book designer is to ensure that the text and illustrations work together to tell the appropriate story most effectively. Collaboration with an illustrator may be necessary to achieve this goal.

Their assistance can be valuable when working with simple picture books that occasionally include pop-ups or additional elements such as letters and envelopes.

Once a text has been created and the appropriate illustrator has been identified, the publisher, sales, and rights departments have all agreed, the next thing to push are tasks of your selected designer/s which are the following steps:

1. Research To Connect

References Search

  • Generally, designers need an inspiration pocket from the internet like Pinterest. Even children’s book designers need to use relevant design elements to make it catchy for the kids to view and read. 
  • Check the local library or bookstore for new children’s books, especially those that have won awards—their knowledge of contemporary children’s book editorial, cover, and art trends increases.

 Building Connection 

    • Need to reach today’s youth? Children’s books were very different 20 years ago. Now kids have so much more! They can also comprehend more complex art and themes.
    • Yet, the classics seem to work with every new generation of tykes. Adults can enjoy your children’s picture books too.
    • Designers analyze and determine the age range of your young target audience and create a cover design that will appeal to them specifically.
    • It is essential that the book title is original and exciting and stands out from the rest of the crowd.
    • You, as a writer, should avoid writing a book that is too avant-garde because your audience will be perplexed as to what to make of it and will most likely not buy it.

2. Story-board and Images

Thumbnail Sketches

      • Breakdown must be used to ensure that the story flows smoothly and practical pagination – i.e., those exciting page-turns! 
      • Double-page spreads, single-page spreads, and vignettes are among the layouts the designers use.

Character sketches 

  • Character sketches are critical for the illustrator right from the beginning of the project.
  • The design of children’s books is heavily reliant on images, which are typical illustrations. 
  • There are many different types of drawings. The trick is to find an illustrator or artist whose emotional tone corresponds to that of your story.

3. Drafts for Layout, Colors, Typefaces

    • An uninteresting children’s picture book layout is nearly sure to result in the absence of an appropriate storyboarding plan (text on one side, image on the other side).
    • Designers consider using images that span two pages and text placed above, below, around, or between the images to create a hierarchy in their layouts for variety and interest.
    • To create a more interesting effect, it is possible to break up lines of text and place them over a full-page illustration. Simply ensuring that the reader is placed over a mostly uniformly dark or light background is sufficient to ensure that it is easily legible is all that is required.
    • The actual size drawings are used to position the text after the illustrator has approved the thumbnails. Whether a book requires a unique finish (such as foil, glitter, or flocking) is determined.
    • Colors and typefaces should be selected to convey the narrative’s mood.
    • Don’t try to make the wheel turn by pushing or pulling on it. For your children’s book to stand out from the crowd, make sure the cover is designed the same manner as other children’s books. 

4. Book Cover

    • Have you asked why a book cover is most essential part of the book? Because it is the first thing that will catch the attention of both children and parents when they open it.
    • When the roughs are finished, the book cover is something that designers begin to think about.
    • Ensure that the image on your front cover provides readers with a sneak peek at the story inside and piques their curiosity.
    • Usually, several rounds of approval from all parties involved are required at this point. That is standard practice.

5. Finishing Touch

    • It’s then that the action picks up! It’s like opening presents at Christmas when you get artwork in the mail or via digital delivery. When the designer is finished with the design, the designer will  make color proofs to ensure the colors will print correctly.
    • Final files are sent to production for printing. 
    • Once all artwork is submitted, aligned with text, and approved, it is now time to wait to receive the finished book.

Why You Need A Designer

Suppose you’ve put a lot of effort into writing a fantastic manuscript for your picture book project. 

You have likely had your manuscript critiqued by critique groups, an editor, and beta readers not related to you. 

Still, you need to know one thing: why do you need to invest in a professional book designer and illustrator?

1. Book Cover Design is everything.

    • Although there’s a saying, “Don’t judge a book by its cover!” The truth is, having a good book cover helps sell books.
    • Your book’s cover is the first thing potential customers will see. They will judge the quality of your writing based on this first impression. Is this a reasonable response? No. However, it’s a fact, a pattern behavior observed with readers and consumers.
    • If your book doesn’t look professional or stand out on a bookstore shelf or on the website of an online seller, it can be worrisome. 
    • Your book will not sell even if you spend all of the advertising money in the world. Without an enticing cover, potential customers will not consider buying your book.
    • The book cover relates to what’s inside the book, including other images and even the manuscript flow. An unwelcoming cover will lead to contents undiscovered, the book itself untouched.

2. Save Thousands

    • Book designers can also help you get through the sometimes complicated and dangerous self-publishing process. 
    • They can save you thousands of dollars on printing and other services that predatory and dishonest “publishers” try to get you to buy.
    • If you really care, before deciding on the cover design for your picture book or novel, talk to a designer or illustrator about what you like and don’t like. It is essential to look for a wholesale children’s book designer.

3. Inspire The Readers More

Language Development 

      • While adults introduce and explain new words, children can practice sounding them out. They are easy to read aloud because they have rhythm and rhyme. Similar stories increase vocabulary by 14%.
      • Imagery in picture books helps new readers understand what they are reading. The illustrations can help children who struggle with the words.

Parent Bond and Discussion

      • Young readers gain confidence and can discuss the page, story, characters, and events when they have seen examples of parents doing this to them. In the library or classroom, work in threes with a picture book. 
      • When reading the book, one child should read the text aloud while another person such as a parent or a teacher concentrates on the illustrations, pointing out details as they are read.


      • Reading picture books should always be fun. A negative first reading experience may discourage a child from progressing from picture books to chapter books.

Final Words

In the role of writers, it is critical to create an atmosphere of inspiration for our readers and to be able to connect with them on a deeper level, sending messages that will have a lasting impact on the development of the entire world.

The steps taken by a children’s book designer are not only for aesthetic reasons, but they also serve as the backbone of a child’s narrative. Consider yourself a responsible writer if you consider even the visuals of your content.

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