Paula Riley

Paula Riley – Designer

My visual style is bright, playful and modern! I specialize in: covers, design-rich interiors, book refreshes, and process management.


I am a freelance designer and art director. I've worked with American Girl publishing as an art director on their award-winning magazine, as well as printed books and ebooks, for over 7 years. Designing for children is a skill and passion of mine that I bring to all my projects whether it's for kids or adults. You'll find I have a bright, clean, and often whimsical style. My specialty is in covers and design-rich layouts, and I work in all mediums from printed (books, calendars, etc.) to digital (ebooks, online games, videos, etc.). I can handle everything from designing eye-catching covers, producing photo shoots, and commissioning illustrators - even dabbling in illustration myself. Uniquely, I'm a master at project managing books from start to finish, print processes, and meeting tight deadlines within budget. I am proudest of my typographic skills but can handle most challenges thrown my way. Batters up!
Calendars Children’s Non-Fiction Cooking, Food, Wine, & Spirits DIY & Crafts
Humor & Comedy Middle Grade Picture Books
  • American Advertising Federation - 4 Professional ADDY Awards (2008)
  • Parents’ Choice Silver Honor Award for American Girl Magazine (2015)
  • 2017 Moms Choice (gold) Award for The Lemonade Stand Cookbook
  • 2017 NAPPA Award (National Parenting Products Award) for Lemonade Stand Cookbook
  • Associate Degree of Applied Arts in Graphic Design and Illustration from Madison College

Work experience


Mar, 2015 — Present

Book art direction and design (including ebook conversions, full re-designs, and illustration editing). Some notable projects were with Burnt Cheese Press, Aubre Andrus, LLC. (author and classroom speaker), and the Literacy Network. I've worked with a variety of clients including independent authors, artists, bloggers, advertising agencies, start-ups, and non-profits. There isn't much that I haven't tackled in the 15+ years as a designer (both editorial and advertising!) Proudly, my greatest accomplishment is having influenced so many young minds and inspired many generations through my content and editorial designs.

American Girl Publishing - Magazine

Mar, 2008 — Jan, 2015 (almost 7 years)

Responsible for the look and integrity of American Girl’s bi-monthly, award winning children’s lifestyle magazine, ensuring that it fits within American Girl’s visual brand family. Including e-books, paper activity books, calendars, stickers, and online content.

Kennedy Communications Advertising Agency

Mar, 2007 — Mar, 2008 (about 1 year)

Concepting, art directing, and designing advertising campaigns for clients.

American Girl/Mattel Inc.

May, 2006 — Mar, 2007 (10 months)

Design print catalog. Assist with product photo shoots.


Kids have been running lemonade stands for decades, whether to raise money for a new bike, for a charitable cause, or simply to conquer boredom. Inspired by dozens of kid experts from all over the country, the author has poured her expertise as a food writer, ... read more
School is back in session and Frog and Hamster are ready to do it all again. They may not be the most talented or the most popular, but they are who they are, Frog and Hamster, best friends.
"Click." "Tap." Tag and post. An adored baby tells a modern tale about life in today's digital world. #BabyLove: My Social Life highlights the social phenomena of sharing daily activities using technology and social networks
A curious toddler loves to play…especially with his mommy's smartphone! When Mommy finds him using her phone without permission, it’s the perfect teaching moment. Mommy reminds her little one that what matters most in life is time together filled with love and... read more
Refresh Your Room eShort

Mary Richards Beaumont

No more boring bedroom! This e-short contains tons of ideas for decorating your room to show off your own unique style, plus tips for organizing your stuff to make space clutter-free.
Celebrate your unique talents! Shine Bright is all about exploring what makes you extraordinary, whether you're in or out of the spotlight. You'll find fun ways to embrace your personal sparkle, from quizzes to exciting activities and crafts.
You'll love designing your own detailed desserts, sensational sweets, and complex confections! Large fold-out posters, special foil- and flocked-art pages, and intricate art designs promise hours and hours of coloring fun! When you're finished with an art piec... read more

Paula has 8 reviews





Jeff V.

Jeff V.

Jan, 2018

Ms. Riley is superb. She not only has the requisite expertise to brilliantly assist in book design, she has creative instincts, a very professional work ethic, and a collaborative spirit. Highly recommended!
Julie M.

Julie M.

Sep, 2017

The task wasn't easy: create from zero the design of an entire illustrated cook book. Paula understood in very short time what was needed to do and thanks to her incredible expertise she managed to realize the best design for this kind of project. I would hire her again and I certainly will :-)
Julie M.

Julie M.

Sep, 2017

Paula has been, from the first minute to the last one the most both professional and kind person that you can possibly find. Her work has given to my drawings a much higher depth, making them stand out from the page. We worked in a two language project (English and Italian) and she has always been very careful about all the details, checking the words to be sure that there were no mistakes. She...
Read more
Corinne W.

Corinne W.

Jun, 2017

Paula did a fabulous job on my ebook cover. She was wonderful to work with and completed my design quickly.
Bob F.

Bob F.

May, 2017

Paula was awesome. Her work was creative, high quality and timely.

Sign up to read more reviews

Create a free Reedsy account to connect with Paula and thousands of other publishing professionals on Reedsy.

Professionals similar to Paula

Get a range of offers by requesting quotes from multiple professionals.

Aiora Astiz

Aiora A.

🎨 Experienced book illustrator & designer crafting magic between the pages for years! Let's turn your stories into visual wonders! 📚

Tolosa, Spain

100% reply rate

View profile
Nikos Panagiotopoulos

Nikos P.

Graphic designer with a passion for book layouts, and a strong background in the educational books sector.

Athens, Greece

100% reply rate

View profile
Lee-Anne Schmidt

Lee-Anne S.

Freelance illustrator and graphic designer with over 25 years experience available for freelance work.

Barcelona, Spain

100% reply rate

View profile