Cicero once declared, “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” While coffee table books weren’t around in 43 BC, the sentiment remains true. In today’s world, these weighty, analog treasures are emerging as powerful communication tools, reflecting bespoke creativity, craftsmanship, authority, impact, and history. This article delves into the realm of custom coffee table books, exploring how they go beyond mere decoration to become immersive experiences that celebrate, inspire, and surprise.

The power of custom coffee table books

Commissioning a bespoke coffee table book is a profound statement about personal identity, corporate ethos, or brand essence. These special projects transcend corporate throwaways, becoming platforms to articulate values and beliefs through their large format and visually arresting aesthetics.

Custom coffee table book ‘Wonders of Kihavah‘ commissioned by Anantarah Kihavah

Our passion for designing and printing beautiful, custom coffee table books led us set up our own venture – SO Books. In collaboration with our long-standing strategic partners, Thinking Anew, we specialise in creating bespoke coffee table books that elevate, stimulate, and linger in the minds of those who encounter them.

Books beyond browsing

Coffee table books are not just symbols of intelligence or culture; they embody diverse roles. They are conduits of information, gateways to new worlds, conversation starters, and expressions of personality and history. Their visually stunning designs, captivating photography, and evocative illustrations serve as powerful tools in the corporate marketing toolbox.

Bespoke private commissions

These self published coffee table books extend beyond the corporate realm. They can be thoughtful gifts, commemorating a life well-lived, personal or business success, special birthdays, celebrations, or milestone achievements. Handled with discretion and care, these custom books become cherished tokens appreciated by those who value beauty and individuality.

We are often asked to create one-off custom books as gifts for HNW individuals

Expressing character, taste, and personality

Custom coffee table books provide a canvas for expressing the intricate facets of luxury brands and individuals. With scale, stature, and room for nuance, bespoke books convey both emotional and rational qualities, offering a unique glimpse into the essence of their subjects.

The tactile experience

In a world dominated by screens, coffee table books stand out as tangible treasures. The act of turning pages, smelling ink and glue, feeling the weight, and appreciating the craftsmanship make them true conveyors of luxury. Custom book boxes, crafted from wood, acrylic or other alternative substrates, enhance the overall experience, setting the stage for unparalleled storytelling.

Unforgettable sales tools

As McLuhan stated, “The medium is the message.” Custom coffee table books raise the bar and stand out as unforgettable sales tools. Through the lens of examples like  Above’ (Bombardier), ‘Wonders of Kihavah’ (Anantara Kihavah) and ‘Building the Future’ (3DD), their impact in delivering a brand’s message is undeniable.

Embracing the analog renaissance

In an age witnessing a resurgence of analog trends, coffee table books emerge as cool artifacts. The recent trend of ‘Bookshelf Wealth’ emphasises the aesthetic of bookshelves, celebrating the act of reading. This trend aligns with our belief that true wealth lies in the wisdom gained from reading.


At SO Books, our collaboration with Thinking Anew reflects a shared passion for luxury and custom coffee table books. With over 25 years of experience, we offer an end-to-end bookmaking service, seamlessly blending concept and design, with copywriting, photography, printing, box making and fulfillment.

Commissioning a custom coffee table book is not just an opportunity; it’s a statement – a chance for luxury brands and individuals to immortalise their inspirations, achievements, and legacy in an unforgettable format that resonates on a profound level. Explore our approach to custom book making, from sustainable print solutions to multi-language options, and let your luxury brand marketing deliver an emotion unlike anything else.

If you require a custom coffee table book, or have another special project you would like to discuss, we would love to help. Please email us or find out more about our end-to-end book making services.