What is a coffee table photo book? (and how to make one)

Picture this: you’re sitting in a coffee shop, latte in hand. Maybe you’re waiting to have a long-overdue catch up with a friend. Or perhaps you’re getting ready to hunker down in the warm embrace of a familiar cafe to study. Either way, before you start your agenda for the day, you have a blissful 10 minutes to enjoy the gentle hum of your surroundings.

Coffee table books were made for these moments. For the moments where you’re not quite sure what to do with your time. Intriguing and captivating in nature, these creative books are there to be flicked through, to entertain, and to inspire conversation. It is a book whose function has nothing to do with reading whatsoever — and we think that’s something worth talking about.

Coffee Table Book Origins

The term was first coined in a 1961 issue of Arts Magazine. Since then, coffee table photo books have materialised and multiplied in popularity across the globe. If there’s a flat surface in any communal area, it’s likely that you’ll find a coffee table book lingering about, waiting to be scanned by the eyes of curious viewers.

According to dictionaries, a ‘coffee-table book’ is ‘a large expensive book with many pictures that is typically placed on a table for people to look at in a casual way’. These books are usually filled with photos and short sentences giving context to each shot, also known as photo books.

Whilst some coffee table books do follow the Merriam Webster definition by the book, we’re here to tell you that a coffee table photo book doesn’t have to be large or expensive to make a significant impact. Your coffee table photo book is what you make of it;  the creative freedom is entirely in your hands.

A book with visual purpose

All books have a purpose to be read, right? Here’s where a coffee table book is slightly different. A photo book is there to be viewed, experienced, and traversed rather than read.

Instead of offering the reader educational information or an engaging storyline, a photo book satisfies the senses by showcasing captivating photos of a particular topic, memory, or event. Its purpose is entirely for pleasure, to quench someone’s curiosity in the topic, event, or memory being displayed.

Are coffee table books still relevant? 

We may live in a fast-paced and digitally-advanced world, but it’s still important that we appreciate images in their raw, physical form. And this is why photo books will always be relevant. From the feeling of flipping pages between your fingers to holding a photo book’s hardcover, there’s no better way to display your most important photos and memories. 

The beautiful thing about a photo book is that you can tailor it to any home’s interior aesthetic using popular photo book design trends. Maximalist, eccentric, minimalist or boho, a photo book has a place in every home.

You can create your own photo book, with your own selection of colour, layout, images and text. After all, there’s something extremely satisfying about thoughtfully choosing and curating a photo book made for conversing, inspiring, and reminiscing. 

Coffee table photo books are suited to any and every occasion - the perfect keepsakes for you, your loved ones, guests, and visitors to enjoy.

How to make a coffee table photo book

If you’re looking to design and create a photo book for a coffee table, it truly couldn’t be any easier.

All you need to do to get started is choose your photo book. It’s important that it encapsulates your memories in the way you want it to and utilises the art of storytelling to create a visually engaging photobook. 

This is why we have a range of creative photobook ideas for you to explore. With a selection of styles and sizes for you to choose from and create, any choice could make the perfect coffee table book.

Premium Photo Books

Our lay-flat premium photo books were designed to be displayed on a coffee table. With clear, vibrant, and vivid imagery, we recommend using our premium photo book for any special occasion or event. This could include weddings, landscape photography, and portfolios.


  • Available in 8”x8”, A4 landscape, A4 portrait, or A3 landscape
  • Cover type: hard, personalised matte cover
  • Paper finish: glossy or matte FUJIFILM Original Paper
  • Pages: 24-72

The lay-flat structure of our premium photo book is perfect for displaying images across two pages. This way, you’re guaranteed to be absorbed into the shot so you can relive the moment each time you turn the page.

photo book child memories

Standard Photo Books

Sometimes there’s no need to splash out on a premium photo book — and we get that. With our standard photo books, you can display your favourite images without compromising on quality.


  • Available in 8”x8” or 8”x6”
  • Cover type: personalised soft cover with glossy laminate
  • Paper finish: Satin 200gsm
  • Pages: 20-150

P.S. These standard photo books make great coffee table books, but they also make a heartfelt gift for friends and family.

photo book with child on cover

Square Photo Books

Who said that coffee table books have to be large to make a statement? If you’re looking to go against the grain, square photo books are a classy and minimalist way to showcase your treasured moments and memories. 


  • Available in 4”x4”, 5”x5”, or 8”x8”
  • Soft cover available in 4”x4” and 5”x5”
  • Hard cover available in 8”x8”
  • Paper finish: gloss or matte FUJIFILM Original Paper
  • Pages: 24-80

Although a square photo book is more compact than our other coffee table photo book sizes, there’s no need to worry: the power of your images will continue to radiate through the pages.

Give your memories the display they deserve

There are some photos in our lives that deserve to be exhibited, and proudly. In an area for all to see, and for curious eyes to stumble, wander and linger upon. It’s exactly what the coffee table book was made for.

Give your special memories and heartfelt snapshots a physical resting place, so every time you turn the page, you can relive the moment again, and again, and again. Start creating your very own coffee table photo books today.