7 Coffee Table Design Books to Inspire Conversations

The best way for a designer to get inspired is through visual inspiration. And, it’s even better if it comes from an aesthetically pleasing source as you sit comfortably in a chair while sipping on a hot cup of your favorite coffee.

As such, a good coffee table design book is a failsafe addition to your home and inspiration library, offering a glimpse into the intricate world of graphic design. Moreover, it can help stir up conversations and lighten up a sad little coffee table. Delve into the realm of creativity and aesthetics with our curated selection of the top 10 decorative books for your coffee table. These captivating volumes will inspire and entertain both budding designers and more experienced artists alike, fostering a deeper appreciation for the art of graphic design.

What is a coffee table design book?

A coffee table design book is a lavishly illustrated, oversized magazine meant for casual reading while sipping on a good strong cuppa. Furthermore, these decorative books for coffee tables are usually hard-covered and placed in areas where you would entertain guests. The book you choose should provide a stylish yet welcoming feel. It should also inspire conversations or just help you pass the time whilst lounging.

Coffee table design books for your space

Considerably, coffee table design books cover are design feats of their own. But they can also prove to be a helpful, condensed source of inspiration for your home decór. So, take a look at our list of the chicest and trendiest graphic design coffee table books to buy (or gift).

Bonus: A Detailed Guide For Book Cover Dimensions

Pantone: The 20th Century in Color

This one tops our list of the best coffee table designs books. It’s not new information that Pantone has become the world’s leading authority on color. In 2011, The company created  “Pantone: The 20th Century in Color,” a modern book that explores the colors within 200 pivotal pieces of art and design over the last century. This coffee table book is inspired by and holds a mirror to color trends and the psychology behind them, as well as their effect on society.

All-American Ads of the 90s

With this coffee table design book, authors Steven Heller and Jim Heiman take a closer look at the trends in ad designs for a range of iconic 1990s products. Take a stroll through time and learn about or relive the decade’s most memorable ads in fashion, toys, food, entertainment, and more.

Cereal Magazine’s City Guides

Cereal Magazine’s City Guides are THE coffee table design books to buy if your home’s aesthetic is all about minimalism. Unlike most travel guide coffee table books, these City Guides provide a sleeker, more modern look. To add to that clean aesthetic, are gorgeous black and white images. Available for top metropolitans like London, New York, Paris and Los Angeles, this one’s a real must-have.

Thinking with Type

This graphic design coffee table book will help you paint a picture with words, literally. This groundbreaking coffee table design book is curated by leading design educator Ellen Lupton. In the book, she provides concise lessons on typography skills, explores the psychology behind fonts, and also covers the history of typography in design.

Bonus: 7 Best Book Title Generators in 2024 [Free & Paid]

Menu Design in America

This coffee table design book is not just for the foodies to devour. It’s also for designers looking to merge their art with food, and why not? Written by Jim Heiman, Steven Heller, and John Mariani, this book has over 800 vibrantly illustrated menu designs that showcase the history of restaurants and dining in America.

Design: Vignelli

From American Airline to Knoll, Massimo and Lella Vignelli crafted the identity of some of the biggest brands in the world. The iconic husband and wife duo feature also in one of the best decorative books for your coffee table. Written by Beatriz Cifuentes-Caballero, this book celebrates the impact the couple’s studio had on the world of design. The publication presents Massimo and Lella’s multidisciplinary approach, featuring designs that range from corporate identities for the likes of Bloomingdale’s and Benetton to the New York subway system’s map and iconic signage. If you’re a design nerd, this book is your go-to coffee table design book!

Design by Nature: Using Universal Forms and Principles in Design

This nature-inspired coffee table design book takes you through a journey of limitless similarities between art, nature, science, technology, and design. Author Maggie Macnab does a wonderful job of pleasing all her readers with this inspirational and thought-provoking book for your lounge. The book captures the many inspirations man takes from nature and its impact on design.

Honorable mentions – decorative books for coffee tables

1. Art: The Definite Visual Guide

Bonus: Branding 101: How to Develop an Effective Brand Book?

2. Mid-Century Ads

3. Grid systems in graphic design

Collecting coffee table design books is a must for any designer that thrives on visual inspiration. Countless free graphic design table books are filled with stunning illustrations and jaw-dropping images to help you generate ideas. We hope that our list of the best design books on the market will help you get started in building your own unique collection. And as a bonus, these sleek books also make great additions to your home décor!

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Shubham Kulkarni
Design, Write, Edit videos, and Publish Content. Built For Teams.

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