Think back on all of life’s big events: weddings, the first year of college, your child’s first Christmas. These images deserve to be properly displayed in the center of your home. A coffee table book is the first thing your guests will reach for when they kick back on your couch for a gathering. They inspire conversation, celebrate your family’s growth, and make guests feel welcome. These personalized photo albums also make perfect gifts for your friends, family, and wedding party whether you need to give thanks, wish happy holidays, or congratulate someone.
We’ve included some ideas for both themes and arrangements for your best images in a coffee table book. These books may show off your family’s travels, a recap of images from the past year, or even specific events like a marathon or graduation. You can even show off your own artistic talents by showcasing images that encapsulate your sense of photographic style. Once you’ve designed a photo album that you’re proud of, order bulk photo books for easy gift-giving for the whole family.
What Do You Want To Showcase?
When you make your custom photo books, it’s always best to hone in on a central theme. Even if your print photos include events from the whole year, there are ways to connect your images in the theme of friends, family, or travel.
You can also create entire personalized photo albums based on a professional endeavor or hobby. Are you building a small business? Show off your growth over the past year to display in your lobby. Perhaps you ran your first marathon. Choose a central storyline to show off the theme of your custom photo book.
Whether your theme is obvious or you’re having trouble choosing a topic, begin by taking a few basic steps to design your custom photo album to get you started:
- Gather all your best images into one folder on your computer or in one physical place if you’re scanning prints.
- Mix and match full color and black-and-white images.
- Combine large and small photos for different pages.
- Write down important dates, quotes, or stats that help tell the story of important photos.
- Group your images into their own sub-themes. This could be done based on time of the year or images from similar events.
- Consider different photo book options such as layflat pages, various covers, and unique bindings.
- Think about your audience. Are you ordering bulk photo books as photo gifts? This may affect what size book you choose.
- Title your custom photo book.
Photo Book Size, Theme, And Layout
Coffee table books are excellent tools for telling stories with very few words. Who are you telling the story to? Clients coming into your store or office? Family and friends visiting your home for the holidays? Perhaps you’re using a photo book to show off your artistic portfolio.
You can also send off coffee table books to your parents or close friends across the country for them to display in their own homes. This approach puts you in the gift-giving mindset. How will they follow the story of your photos in a book sent as a keepsake or gift for special occasions? Play around with custom or preset page layouts that naturally guide the eye from photo to photo. Use full pages to highlight your favorite photos instead of setting them next to other images.
Start off by choosing a photo book size that shows off the number of images you wish to display. Consider sizes that range from 7×9 to 11×14, soft or hardcover options, and anywhere from 20 to 111 pages. Once you have your basics set, choose photo layouts that match the way you grouped your different images together. Alternate between standard photos sizes, large showcased images, and different printing styles like a matte or glossy finish.
Choosing the size, theme, and layout of a book all begins with a theme. A few ideas include:
A new baby is always a reason to create a premium book of print photos for the whole family. You’ll want to cherish these images for years and even generations to come. Be sure to add small notes or a title on each page so that the reader can follow the story of your new little one. Consider starting with maternity photos and end with baby’s first birthday.
My First Marathon
Any kind of physical feat makes for an excellent photo collection. Do you have images from your running community as you trained? Photos from race prep or travel to the big race? What about any professional photos taken on race day? Whether a long hike, a big race, or a noteworthy sporting event, create a photo book to show off your proud moment to display in the center of the living room.
Our Wedding Album
Wedding photo books are popular when it comes to remembering your special day. In addition to laying out your professionally printed photos, personalized photo albums are easy thank you gifts for your family and wedding party. You can even use them as guest books on your big day. Choose page backgrounds and designs that reflect your wedding theme, colors, and energy of the day. Showcase standard photo sizes or have fun with some more unique shots.
Baby’s First Christmas
No matter how much your little one grows up, showcasing images from their first Christmas in a custom photo book will always be special. Play with unique holiday-colored covers and festive page spreads to show off all the key moments of that first look at a Christmas tree, taste of a Christmas cookie, and all of the baby’s first ornaments.
Graduation Day Picture Book
Create a personalized yearbook and party guest book for your grad after they’ve reached this huge milestone in life. Gather all their images with groups of friends and family as well as the celebration that followed. Include their plans for the future and notes about their best memories from school over the years.
A Year in Photos
Make your own photo book at the end of every year. Highlight high-quality images to introduce new chapters for big events, trips, or season. You can alternate standard photo sizes between collages of small photos and full-page color images. Add the year to the cover with a highlight photo and display across your coffee table.
Our Travel Book
If you’ve just traveled around the world on your own or with your family, you probably have hundreds of breathtaking images still on your computer or camera. Send your loved ones across the globe alongside you by displaying your adventurous images in a travel photo book. Consider breaking up your images in a few ways. If it was a short trip, group the images by day. You can also highlight special moments of the trip on each page such as a visit to a famous monument or museum. You can even focus on the food in a whole section of the photo album. If you regularly host people at your home, create a guest book for them to sign and showcase their own travels.
Growing a Business
Did you embark on a huge business venture such as opening a store or selling your artwork? Trace the journey of your business with images from the early brainstorming days to your opening day party. These photo books act both as PR tools and warm ways to welcome guests to get involved in your business’s story. Include a guest book next to your album for visitors to leave a message!
Looking for a unique holiday gift? Round up all your family recipes throughout the generations and create a photo book showing off all the finished meals. You can even upload vintage prints of your grandparents serving the meals to the family.
Tips For Changing Out Your Coffee Table Books
A coffee table book sets the tone for the gathering space of your home. Instead of having a collection of print photos in a traditional album, you can switch out the books itself. Reflect the energy of each season by changing out your custom photo books throughout the year. Keep your best photo books on a nearby shelf so you can also pull them out for special occasions.
If you love to redecorate your living room for each season, take this moment to change your coffee table photo book as well. Surround with seasonal elements like spring flowers, fall-scented candles, or winter decorations. Print photos for frames to add to your coffee table decor as well.
Here are a few opportunities to switch out your coffee table books:
- Seasonal switch: Show off holiday photos in the winter and travel books in the summer.
- Portfolio update: Are you an artist or designer? Update your best work for your customers or friends to explore.
- Monthly travel story: If you’re an avid traveler, keep a collection of travel stories nearby and switch them out each month for variety.
- Honor your guests: Are grandma and grandpa coming to town? Leave out albums from your recent family reunions. You can also have a photo book with plenty of white space for visitors to sign as a guest book.
- Anniversary celebration: If you have a big anniversary on the horizon, fill your living room with wedding images to mark the occasion.
- Birthday favorites: Create a display of photo books about your kids if one of them has a birthday this month.
- Match your decor: Photo books can add a layer of extra color to your space. Choose to display your favorite photos to balance with a surrounding design scheme.
Final Thoughts on Coffee Table Photo Books
Coffee table books used to be reserved for art and history. Show off all the wonderful stories from your life when you make your own photo books. Design a new book of print photos each time you celebrate another life milestone and make your book the focal point of your living room.