Cosmo Kramer from Seinfield put it best when he said, “You know what would make a great coffee table book? A coffee table book about coffee table books!” 

Coffee table books are lavish and extravagant compilations of images, and stories relating to the same. While the amount of text in a coffee table book can be as little or as much as the author desires, the idea is for the reader to be able to flip through the images and get the same essence as that of reading through the words. It is this format that allows for coffee table books to have a wide variety of themes covering even the most niche topics.

Unlike most other texts, coffee table books are not made to be snuggled up with and binge-read, rather they are designed to be displayed. They are made to foster conversation, hence, a coffee table book must engage the reader from the get-go (because these are the books that will be judged by the cover). 

We compiled a list of themes that would make for engaging coffee table books to get your creative juices flowing.

Flexibility and Fashion

Art Book Design

Flexible styles to get your creativity flowing

Some of the biggest names in the world of fashion including, but not limited to, Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent, Dior, Vogue, Alexander McQueen, Tom Ford, etc have come up with their coffee table books to talk about anything and everything fashion! To that extent, supermodels like Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss have worked independently to release their books containing their work over their years in the industry.

Are you a fashionista or a fashion photographer? Then you may know that a small change in style or even the type of paper used to print the photos can change the effect of the image altogether. Coffee table books give the author the flexibility to experiment with various themes, fonts and papers allowing them to publish their work in its true glory.

Creativity and Cooking

Cookbook Travel

Get creative with your visual stories

We all know that the best part of a cookbook is the illustrations. With a coffee table book, you can take your love for food beyond just recipes. The format allows you to put on your thinking cap and decide how you would like to express your love for food. You can follow the traditional cookbook style or get a little crafty with your design or how about a going all blogger style with a compilation of your favourite restaurants, best places to pick ingredients, food combinations, and so much more. Using images will attract a wider range of audience and the coffee book format will still allow you to talk about your subject of passion in depth.

Exchange and Events

Photography

Let one picture tell a thousand tales

Remember setting the timer to your camera and running to join your group, before the shutters clicked or carefully saving the negatives for future use? Back in the day, our photo albums were akin to our memories. Today, we make collages on Instagram. Over the years, the medium may have changed, but our desire to preserve our memories has remained constant. Coffee table books are a great way to preserve these memories while helping create interactive content.

A book of your baby’s firsts or a book of your year studying abroad can be made so much more impactful with the correct combination of images and stories. Coffee table books can be used to enhance storytelling by allowing you to exchange both visual and written memories with your reader.

Inspiration and Interiors

Decor Book on Coffee Table

Showcase aesthetics that inspire creativity

Interior design enthusiasts understand the importance of aesthetics more than anybody else. Furniture catalogues do a good job of presenting the functionality of a piece of furniture, however, it is you who has to decide whether it will fit in with the design palette of your home. Coffee table books are a great way to communicate aesthetics. By compiling a book of interior design ideas and solutions, you can inspire creativity in your readers and motivate them to look at their homes in a new light.

Clarity and Corporate

If you work a corporate job, at some point, you have probably had to either write, read, or present a report of some sort. Not all reports are the same but most tend to ramble on for pages and use excessive jargon. Coffee table books, on the other hand, can be a great way to concisely present the same information. Whether it is an annual review, additions/changes to the standard operating procedures, or introducing a new service, corporates can greatly benefit from using coffee table books to present their employees with information in an interesting and engaging manner.

A coffee-table book is ultimately a one-stop-shop for the theme it is based on. They do not rely on traditional storytelling tools such as plots and narratives but tell a story by creating an experience. There is no wrong way to execute a coffee-table book as long as you have an interesting topic about which you can talk for ages.