Stephanie Drake

Stephanie Drake - Designer

Cambridge, UK

An experienced Children's Book Designer with a demonstrated history of working in the publishing industry.

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Hello! I’m Stephanie, and I want to help you turn your children's book into a reality.

I am passionate about children's books - and I'd love to help you make yours come to life!

I'm happy to chat through your ideas, get in touch and let's see how we can work together.

Graphic Design

I design across a wide spectrum of product formats from sticker and activity books to treasuries, picture flat titles, novelty books, soundboards, and creative kits. With a strong understanding of typography, artworking, and graphic design, I utilise specific technical skills to produce high-quality finished products that retail in high street stores both nationally and across the globe.

I have a thorough knowledge of the Adobe creative suite (InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator) working to professional industry standards, as well as a solid basis in traditional media. I am well versed in applying style guides and working to existing in-house specifications, additionally, I am confident in supplying you with creative design solutions to your project no matter the size!

I am open to collaborations on; book covers, interior layouts, image art-working, original illustration, or full project management.

Art Direction

If you are new to this field, I can creatively guide you through your project, providing initial sketches and draft layouts, and working together to shape your publication. I can provide art briefing and picture references in the planning stages of your publication so that that book includes all the details needed to tell your story to the best effect.

I have a broad experience of working with a huge variety of illustrators and styles – am comfortable briefing all range of mediums from vector artwork to traditional watercolour.

Having a designer on-board before briefing illustrations has huge benefits; it allows your pages to be laid out ahead of commissioning so that the text and artwork flow in sync. Having a designer add valuable art direction to images and help you avoid the pitfalls of incorrect image placement – there’s nothing worse than a character in the binding gutter.

Already have your images ready? no worries, let's see what you've got!


Once your artwork is commissioned sometimes it needs a little tweaking. It isn’t always possible to go back to an external illustrator with every small amendment as a book is developed, as such images sometimes require in-house artworking. I am skilled at editing images in Photoshop and Illustrator. My own experience of illustration allows me to make amendments where they are needed or to patch up areas in the correct style.

TIP: If you are commissioning illustrations prior to getting a designer on board, please request correctly sized, layered files, CMYK, minimum 350DPI, minimum 0.2" bleed interior page, 1" bleed cover image, as part of the final deliverable. This allows more robust artworking to take place during the design phase.
Also, check your sizing and ratio with your end print platform prior to commissioning your artwork.


I can provide illustration services for your product - I am a published illustrator with experience in working in children’s artwork, I work in digital format providing initial sketches, tightened drawings, and colour work. I have produced work for picture flats, activity books, and middle-grade fiction.

Alternatively, if you have a style in mind that I cannot meet – I can almost certainly find you someone who can!

Meeting Print Specs

Upon approval, I can design your book to a print-ready format meeting the specifications of your intended printing service - so all you need to do is hit *send* and your much-loved book is a reality. We can work together on making your title a beautiful product that you're proud of.
The files you need to supply for each printing platform require very different PDF settings/configurations to meet print specifications. These are specific to the intended printing platform and a single file could not be submitted across platforms.
I will supply with you the print-ready files for the printers of your choosing so it should be as simple as uploading them to the platform. Just let me know which printing platform you intend to use and I’ll make sure I meet the file specifications.

Marketing materials

I can provide 3D mock-ups of your publication before your book even exists in the real world. These 3D mock-ups serve two main functions: they allow you to see what the book may look like before a proof arrives, and secondly, they give you the perfect sales material to promote your book.

Editorial Extras

It is beneficial to have someone give your manuscript a proofread and editorial review at the start and end of the project to ensure the text is robust and mistake-free.

If you do not have an editor assigned to the project I regularly work alongside a freelance editor who can provide services; proofreading, development edit, editorial assessment.

Please let me know what editorial services you have in place, or what you may need.

Want to work together? Drop me a message...
Children’s Non-Fiction


  • Ba(Hons) Fine Art - Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design


  • 2007 - Sydney Andrews Prize for exemplary Creative and Artistic Achievement
  • 2009 - Winner of Benni Esposito Drawing Award
  • 2012 - National Drawing Award Finalist
  • 2012 - Ian Eadie Award

Work experience

Children's Book Designer

July, 2020 – Present (over 2 years)

I provide freelance design support to anyone looking to bring their ideas or publications to life through tailored design solutions and illustrative support.

Senior Designer

Igloo books
January, 2015 – July, 2020 (over 5 years)

Role: I worked as a Senior Designer within the Children’s Book department of a mass-market publisher.

I project-managed the creation of children's books within the team, ensuring materials were produced to high design quality and technical accuracy and meet schedule deadlines.

My design input was from the initial concept, and illustrative commissioning through to print ready files. Working closely with authors and illustrators to produce impactful cover design, page interiors, and project packaging. I verified files were technically accurate during all stages of production to produce professional industry-standard publications.

The titles I worked on are available in retail stores both in the UK and across the globe.

Graphic Illustrator and Product Designer

Inspirational Playgrounds
January, 2013 – January, 2015 (about 2 years)

Role: I designed a comprehensive range of education products for games, interactive signs, murals, and classroom furniture that inspired learning through play.

I produced the concepts, original illustrations, and product design for primary and nursery school resources for UK education settings.

Textile Designer

Stitch -Mi- Lane
January, 2012 – January, 2013 (about 1 year)

Role: I designed and marketed a garment range focusing on the bicycle commuter sector.

I worked on design and product development of a range of textiles and garments.

Portfolio (19 selected works)

Magpie and Penguin: The Big Switch

Kemp, Lisa, Kemp, Lisa, Drake, Chantal Georgette, Drake, Stephanie

The Birthday Party: A Cool Kids Book

Koons, Marissa, Wettersten, Ellen, Drake, Stephanie


Potvin, Richard, Drake, Stephanie

Penguinville: Come Find Yourself

Palmisano, Joe, Drake, Stephanie, Watson, Laura, Vitale, Brooke

Bird Hide

Higges, Geoffrey, Drake, Stephanie

The Nativity

The Nativity, The Nativity, The Nativity, The Nativity, The Nativity

My Frenchie & Me Postcards from Paris

Menneke, Michelle, McClung, Amber

Trick or Treat: A Cool Kids Halloween

Koons, Marissa, Wettersten, Ellen, Drake, Stephanie

Stephanie has 27 reviews

Communication & Punctuality
Communication & Punctuality

Brittany Parra
Working with Stephanie on my very first Children's book was a dream! From the beginning stages all the way to the final message was such a pleasant exchange with clear communication and questions that brought to light every detail of my vision for the illustrations. Stephanie not only captured my hopes for every page, she read the story herself and understood what needed to happen visually to...
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Brittany Parra, November 2022

Amra Sayed
Stephanie's professionalism made it extremely easy to work with her. She brought my vision to life! I hope to continue on future projects with her. Being a first time author, Stephanie went above and beyond providing me valuable information.

Amra Sayed, May 2022

Alicia J Pfaff
This is the 5th or 6th time I have worked with Stephanie, she is awesome!

Alicia J Pfaff, March 2022

Michael Arevalo
Stephanie was an absolute pleasure to work with! She was very detailed and communicative. She was open throughout the entire process and even provided guidance in publication. Her work is vibrant and active. She has a unique art style and can really bring your vision alive. I cannot say enough about how I enjoyed my working relationship with Stephanie.

Michael Arevalo, March 2022

Alicia J Pfaff
I am a repeat customer because I am highly impressed with Stephanie's work. I highly recommend her.

Alicia J Pfaff, January 2022

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