How to Design a Coffee Table Photo Book

Photo books are great coffee table additions for showcasing design samples, family photos, or anything else. They make excellent conversation starters or reading materials for waiting guests. So whether you’re looking for coffee table display materials for an office, guest house, or your home, we have you covered. Check out our coffee table photo book ideas below.

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Why Create a Coffee Table Photo Book

So why should you create a photo book? If you have a small office with a waiting room, coffee table photo books are an upgrade from traditional magazines. Or if you have a rental or guest home, these photo books can offer instructions and a showcasing of everything the home has to offer. Even creating a simple photo book of vacation or family photos for your home’s coffee table makes for an excellent conversation starter when you have guests. There’s a perfect photo book for every situation.

baby photo book used as coffee table photo book

Types of Photo Books

Not sure what type of photo book you should make? Don’t worry. We’ll help you craft the perfect keepsake with explanations of book sizes, styles, and finishing options below.

1. Vacation Photos

personalized custom photo book with collage pictures of vacations

Travel photo books make great conversation starters, making them one of the best options for a coffee table book. Upload photos from your latest vacation or choose your favorite pictures from trips over the last decade. With a variety of pre-arranged travel layouts, it’s easier than ever to create a travel photo book.

2. Wedding Photos

custom and personalized photo book with wedding pictures

If you’ve recently had a wedding or you’re looking to breathe new life into your old wedding photos, a wedding photo book is a great way to showcase those special memories. Create a high-quality coffee table book to showcase in your home for a centerpiece guests are guaranteed to love.

3. Portfolios

a portfolio photo book that is layflat and hardcover

If you own and operate a small business, you could benefit from a portfolio book showcasing your quality products and services. These are perfect for waiting rooms or bringing to meets with potential clients. These coffee table books are ideal for photographers, graphic designers, interior designers, and more!

4. Family Albums or Year-in-Review Books

best dads photo book in a square photo book and layflat design

Showcase your family’s most (or least) photogenic moments over the last year as a heartwarming conversation starter for guests. Consider including baby photos, pictures from vacation, and your annual family Holiday photos. Then pick a photo book design that best matches your family’s style.

5. Guest Books

travel photo book used as guest book

Fill your guest house coffee table photo books with instructions on how to use the facilities, property rules, and photo highlights showcasing the property’s best features. You can also include a guide for fun things to do and nice places to eat within the area to truly impress your guests.

6. Small Soft Cover Books

small softcover mini photo books with high quality photos

These small, soft cover books are the perfect way to showcase a recent collection of photos. Order a free 6X6 photo book a month to create a collection of mini photos books that tell the story of every month and year in your family’s lives. You can level a stack of these picture books on your coffee table to casual browsing or keep them safely on a bookshelf.

7. Hard Cover Photo Books

square hardcover photo book with personalized photos

Hardcover books are great for preserving your favorite photos, and for that reason, they make great coffee table books. Showcase a family photo album, travel photography, or high-end family portraits with a hardcover photo book that’s guaranteed to last. Stand them up or keep them stacked on your coffee table for a fun trip down memory lane.

8. Layflat Photo Books

layflat photo book used as coffee table photo book with personalized wedding photos

These beautiful photo books are perfect for wedding albums or special events. The special lay-flat pages preserve and showcase your memories with high-quality photo paper. Choose a glossy or matte finish to make your photos stand out, and opt for a dust jacket if you expect this coffee table book to be handled often.

How to Create a Coffee Table Book

Ready to get started creating your coffee table photo book? Just follow the simple instructions below:

1. Upload your photos. Upload your favorite photos and memories to your Shutterfly account. Place the photos into specific folders for your project to help you stay on track and organized while creating your photo book.

2. Choose your photo book style and layout. Browse a variety of photo book services and layouts to find the perfect match for your book. Services include make-my-book, in which you select your chosen photos and one of our designers creates the book for you; custom path, which offers the maximum amount of customization to bring your photo book to life; and simple path, which offers more simplicity than the custom path but more customization options than the make-my-book service.

3.  Add photos to your project. If you’ve chosen the custom path, it’s time to drag and drop images into the available layouts. If you’ve chosen the simple path, you can now swap out photos from their pre-arranged layout. Take care not to place duplicate images or leave photo slots empty.

4. Edit photos, captions, and embellishments. Make sure to edit and crop any photos that need fine-tuning. You can also add captions and embellishments during this stage. Try to use the photos, captions, and embellishments to tell a story through the book’s progression. Also, do your best not to leave any pages overcrowded or empty.

5. Review your order. Once you’re satisfied with your photo book, it’s time to review. Reviewing gives you the chance to check for any misspellings, photo mistakes, or duplicate images. You can also ask a friend or family member to review your book as an extra set of eyes. Once you’re confident there aren’t any errors, add the book to your cart and order away!

collage photo book with custom photos and hardcover design

Resources Related to Custom Photo Books

If you liked this resource on coffee table photo books and you’re looking for more inspiration, make sure to visit our related photo book resources: