How To Choose An Illustration Style

March 23, 20223 min. Read

How to choose an illustration style - Palmetto Publishing

What are your favorite books? Call to mind the books that stood out to you in childhood through adolescence and into adulthood. Can you envision the book illustrations, either the internal illustrations or the book cover design? Of course, the primary substance of a book comes from the written story itself and the book editing. Yet, book illustrations play an important role in conveying the imagery, setting, and style of a novel. 

Choosing an Illustration Style 

There is no one illustration style that the best books have in common. To choose an illustration style, first, consider what age group your book is written for. The demographic of your audience will impact your decision, especially if you are writing children’s books. The illustration style of a child’s first book will likely be different than those included in a children’s chapter book. 

Next, get familiar with the illustration styles that are appropriate for your demographic. There are a variety of styles to choose from, ranging from hand-drawn black and white sketches to full-color digitally created images. 

Finally, decide on how to incorporate illustrations into your book. Books can be illustrated with full-page illustrations, half-page, or spot illustrations where the images take up less than one-third of the page. Plus, book layout help, including book interior formatting, can be found through a self-publishing service, like Palmetto Publishing

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Illustration Styles 

The illustration style you choose will be responsible for reinforcing the tone and imagery of your book. Some styles will be better suited to your work than others. You may want to consider a few of the most common illustration styles. 


Illustrations created through realism generally portray specific scenes from a book and usually work best for academic or educational works and older readers. This style will likely be hand-drawn rather than digitally created. 

Black and White 

Black and white illustrations can often appear as sketches, offering a clean and simple, hand-drawn effect for young readers. They can also provide boldness and contrast to a page, possibly expressing a comic style that would be enjoyed by older children and young adult (YA) readers. 


Watercolor illustrations are common in children’s books and can add beautiful imagery to your story. Using a wide range of colors and intensities can emphasize meaning and tone. These illustrations are usually created by hand. 


Digital illustrations are used to create some of the most vibrant images and can be used for various themes. These work well with full-page illustrations, giving the illustrator the ability to create stunning work with ease. 

Illustration Services 

Palmetto Publishing is a top-tier self-publishing service. We can help you format your book, ensuring that you have a professional book design and book title page. We also offer services that help with the step-by-step process of book distribution, from book editing to book printing and marketing. 

For illustration services, we offer a diverse range of illustrations styles in partnership with various illustrators. Spot illustration options start at $199 with plans offered for half-page and full-page illustrations. To explore all the illustration and publishing services that are available, contact Palmetto Publishing today. 

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