Books! Lots and lots of Paul Nylander's design projects laid out on a table.

Insightful Design on Every Page

Collaborating with authors, artists, small presses, and businesses, Illustrada crafts books that open minds and enrich souls.

My book design services encompass captivating cover creation, meticulous interior layout, precise typesetting, and supportive production and publishing assistance. I am committed to transforming your ideas into beautifully realized, visionary books.

Based in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul, Minnesota, I serve clients worldwide.

“Every book should surprise and delight readers, offering more than just words on a page.”

I put my heart into each project and work with you to craft a book that attracts readers and reflects your vision.

But a beautiful cover isn’t the only goal.

As a small business owner, I understand the delicate balance of passion and pragmatism. In the end, the numbers need to add up. I provide a smooth, efficient process and help your business stay on schedule and budget.

A hardcover book featuring a narrow building orange glasses and a mustache, wearing a top hat with "book designer" written vertically

Crafting Distinctive Books

Illustrada specializes in bringing unique ideas to life through book design. Each cover and interior layout I develop aims to enrich the narrative and connect stories with their readers.

Imaginative design amplifies a book’s message, fuels the author’s enthusiasm, and captivates the reader, driving discovery and sales.

Beyond words and images, the success of a book hinges on its presentation, and my focus is on harnessing every element of design to maximize the book’s impact and reach.

Design Services

Cover Design

The cover is central to your book’s marketing—it must connect, yet surprise; fit in, yet stand out. My covers look as good online as in person.

Interior Layout

I create an intuitive interior design, invisible yet everpresent, guiding your readers from cover to cover. Mindful layout and typography enhance readability and communication of ideas, information, and emotion.


Typesetting sets the tenor of the entire project. I’ll ensure your book meets readers’ and reviewers’ expectations while stretching accepted practices in new ways.

Publishing Services

Photo retouching, custom illustration and photography, graphic development, and production and publishing assistance are available, including ISBN and LCCN support. I also provide marketing collateral, including press kits, banner ads, and bookmarks.

Inspired Design

See how I have helped publishers and their authors connect with readers.

A Plethora of Praise

Featuring Zimmerman's painted crane and loon, the book cover and open interior spread are colorful

“We are so grateful for Paul’s knowledge, talent, persistence, experience, and patience with us! … helping our illustrators to be the best they can be, he is such an asset to our company!”

Betsy Peacock, Black Bears & Blueberries Publishing

“… his commitment to quality was apparent in everything from the font to the final design files.”

Heather Boschke, Author/Illustrator of “Little Birdie Buddies”
Book cover featuring intimate look at St. Anthony waterfall atop an interior view showing the mill fires in vibrant reds and yellows

“Paul was an integral part of the process from start to finish; his attention to detail and organizational skills were consistently on display; and the result has garnered immediate accolades.”

Shannon Pennefeather, Minnesota Historical Society Press

“Paul’s book design and graphic design skills are matched only by his patient and generous spirit.”

Mary Taris, Strive Publishing

“Paul listens, asks questions, interprets, and shapes the conversation … then translates that into visual art.”

Akshay Rao, Author of “Patient”
Dark blue front and back cover featuring gold foil, along with an interior page showing an ornate script initial "A."

“He cherished the work but kept a very level head when I was heading to la la land. This part of Paul is priceless.”

Mary McKay, Author of “Fear Less”