Karina Granda

Karina Granda - Designer

New York, NY, USA

Designer and Art Director of YA, Middle Grade, Non-Fiction and Picture books—including several New York Times bestsellers for all age groups

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Hi! I am Karina, Art Director at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers. I have 10 years of experience working on Children's books across all age groups and formats, from Young Adult novels to Middle Grade chapter books, Young Adult or Illustrated Non-Fiction, Picture Books, and more. I previously worked at the Children's Design department at Simon & Schuster, and I have also designed many covers and interiors for clients including: Random House, S&S, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and Granity Studios.

My most known books (the New York Times bestsellers) include:

THE DOOR OF NO RETURN by Kwame Alexander

STAMPED by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi

THE INHERITANCE GAMES by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

THE PROUDEST BLUE by Ibtihaj Muhammad

THE MAGIC MISFITS series by Neil Patrick Harris

THE FOLK OF THE AIR series by Holly Black (The Cruel Prince, The Wicked King, The Queen of Nothing)

LOVE & GELATO series by Jenna Evans Welch

INTERNMENT by Samira Ahmed

BECOMING KAREEM by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld

I can create striking low-budget covers using inexpensive, royalty-free stock imagery or very simple custom illustrations; or, for higher budgets, I can propose, hire, and art direct illustrators in any style to create custom artwork. I have extensive knowledge of the Children's market, and I know how to design attention-grabbing, effective covers at many price ranges.

I am also a wiz at interior design. ;)

I love non-fiction. I love thrillers. I love funny books. I love coming-of-age modern classics. I love books that take me on adventures. I love books that remind me of home (even if that home is not my own).

My goal is to give your book a package that YOU love. Let's make a book together.
Biographies & Memoirs
Children’s Non-Fiction
Middle Grade
Middle Grade Fantasy
Picture Books
Thriller & Suspense
Women's Fiction
Young Adult

Work experience

Freelance Designer and Art Director

June, 2018 – Present (over 4 years)

Clients include: Simon & Schuster, Random House, Granity Studios, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Tanglewood Press, SourceBooks, MacMillan.

Art Director

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - Hachette Book Group
May, 2016 – Present (over 6 years)

Provide art direction and design for a wide variety of children’s books including high profile, New York Times Bestsellers across all age groups and formats: STAMPED by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi, THE INHERITANCE GAMES by Jannifer Lynn Barnes, THE MAGIC MISFITS series by Neil Patrick Harris, THE PROUDEST BLUE by Ibtihaj Muhammad, INTERNMENT by Samira Ahmed, THE FOLK OF THE AIR series by Holly Black.

(formerly Senior Designer, Associate Art Director)


Simon & Schuter (Pulse and Aladdin Imprints)
June, 2010 – May, 2016 (almost 6 years)

Led design and art direction for teen and middle grade titles, including many lead titles such as the New York Times Bestseller LOVE & GELATO, the rebranding of the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys chapter book series, and more.

(formerly Junior Designer)

The Inheritance Games

Barnes, Jennifer Lynn

Love & Gelato

Welch, Jenna Evans


Ahmed, Samira

The Magic Misfits

Harris, Neil Patrick, Marlin, Lissy, Hilton, Kyle

Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court

Abdul-Jabbar, Kareem, Obstfeld, Raymond

Spindlefish and Stars

Andrews, Christiane M.

New Friends (1) (Angel Wings)

Misra, Michelle, Chaffey, Samantha

Pool Party Puzzler (1) (Nancy Drew Clue Book)

Keene, Carolyn, Francis, Peter

The Canyon's Edge

Bowling, Dusti

Most Likely

Watson, Sarah

You Must Not Miss

Leno, Katrina


Leno, Katrina


Castroman, Nicole

Dear Universe

Gonsalves, Florence

The Summer of Us

Vinesse, Cecilia

This Side of Salvation

Smith-Ready, Jeri

Karina has 14 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Katrina Lee
Karina was fantastic to work with. She listened to all my ideas and brought them together and was patient with my indecision! I highly recommend her.

Katrina Lee, November 2022

Steven McCready
As a first time author I did think twice about whether I needed an interior designer. I am so pleased that I made the decision to collaborate with one and very lucky indeed to find Karina. I never would have achieved anything close to what Karina produced, she totally transformed and elevated my manuscript. Karina was a pleasure to work with and I can’t recommend her enough.

Steven McCready, October 2022

Karina Granda
Working with Steven was a joy! He is professional, thorough, collaborative, and very easy to work with. I hope we can work together again.

Reply from Karina Granda

Bradley Pay
Karina Granda is a fabulous cover designer. The hands and heart logo she designed for our book covers and social media is her graphic interpretation of our series. Wow – we are thrilled at how well she captured both the psychological twists and the romance in our books with that seemingly small logo, a pair of hands encircling a heart. We thank her for her patience and creativity. She has been ...
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Bradley Pay, October 2022

Diana Jules-Peene
As a new author , I was fearful not understanding the self publishing process, but Ms. Granda immediately put my fears to rest, by patiently guiding me though multiple steps outside the realm of layout designer. She provided fantastic feedback, provided alternate options and choices that best suited my book while staying true to my creation. She gave me additional information to make the be...
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Diana Jules-Peene, July 2022

Karina Granda
Working with Diana was a pleasure! She was collaborative and understanding and wonderful through the whole process. I look forward to our next project together.

Reply from Karina Granda

Jules McAleese
If you are looking for someone who is professional, kind, caring, exceptionally talented, with a strong work ethic, and a pleasure to work with then look no further than Karina. Karina goes above and beyond in all aspects of her job. She is an excellent communicator who deeply understands the U.S. market and provides thoughtful pro tips. The work she delivered on my project was beautiful an...
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Jules McAleese, May 2022

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