Best Photo Book Ideas

Photo Books are books that are primarily comprised of photographs, art, and other types of pictures. They are usually made with a soft-cover perfect binding using a durable cover weight paper. Photo Books come in all shapes and sizes and from all types of people and organizations. No matter the theme of your photo book – we can print it for you!

  • School
  • Team Sports
  • Funerals
  • Travel
  • Anniversaries
  • History

PrintingCenterUSA provides a free online photo book design tool to help our customers easily create a stunning photo book that will preserve cherished family memories, high school memories, promote a business, showcase art, and so much more. In this blog we are going to take a closer look at the popular photo book types that we see and provide some insider tips on design and order specifications.

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Types of Photo Books

Wedding Photo Books

Wedding & Engagement Photo Books

Wedding Invitation Photo Book

Nearly every bride hires a professional photographer to document their wedding day. After waiting a few weeks for the images to be edited, you’re given a huge set of digital photographs. Other than sharing them on Facebook, what do you do with them? A common trend these days is to create a wedding photo book with your favorite photographs from the event. Some brides also want to make wedding invitation booklets with their engagement photos as a unique save-the-date. If you have the photos, then why not?!

But not every bride comes with designing experience. Using our photo book design tool allows you to easily drag and drop your special images into your desired order. Remember-images don’t need to be chronological!

Wedding Photo Books: Learn More

Photography Books

Photography books are mostly made by both amateur and professional photographers trying to showcase a body of work in one place. They make great gifts and are frequently sold for up to $35 a piece (which is an excellent return investment). A common photo book size among landscape photographers is a Landscape (horizontal-bound on short edge) 9 in x 6 in because the format fits best with the ratios of their photographs. This means that they have less cropping to do to their photographs. We also see a lot of 8 in x 8 in square photo books and 8.5 x 11 portrait photo books.

Photography books are a great way to display a unique arrangement of colors and textures present in photographs. Juxtaposing full images with up-close detail shots and/or solid swatches of color are recommended to help guide the viewer to the intended meaning of the photo book. All of this is very simple to do in our photo book design tool.

Business Photo Books

Believe it or not, photo books are huge for businesses across the board. You can showcase your products, employees, and portfolios in a way that reinforces your brand image. In our photo book design tool, you can easily add text to the pages.
Look Books and Portfolio Books are common examples of a Business Photo Book. Look Books (example on left) are generally associated with the Fashion & Apparel Industry and are made up of large photographs-usually one per page- showcasing the clothing line or jewelry line. There is minimal text involved.

Portfolio Photo Books (example below) are frequently used among creative studios for architecture, branding, and design. They consist of multiple case studies of that display the work made for various clients.

Memory Photo Books

Memory photo books make great gifts for family members and friends. They are usually full of photographs from a certain event, a person’s life, vacation, school year, etc.

School memory photo books are perfect for all levels of education. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a grade school, junior high, high school, or university – a memory book is perfect for your teachers and students!

  • Team Sports
  • Summer Camps
  • Prom
  • Club Activities
  • Class Photo Books
  • Fraternities
  • School Plays
  • Class Reunions
  • Sororities

Family Memory Photo Books capture your family’s history by creating a custom printed memory photo book. Photo books help the memories from your family reunion, holiday or vacation live on forever!

  • Photo Albums
  • Birthdays
  • Reunions
  • Vacations
  • Travel
  • New Baby
  • Fathers/Mothers Day
  • Graduation
  • Holidays
  • Life Stories
  • Memorials
  • Tributes
  • Pets
  • Children’s Milestones

Art Books and Coffee Table Books

Art books and coffee table books are very similar. They are used by artists that are wanting to professionally and creatively showcase a series of work. They include artist’s statements, large images, close up detail images, and captions for each work.

Coffee Table Books are usually thicker, or contain more inside pages, than an art book. Coffee Table books are great for professional waiting rooms or even just at home. 8 in x 8 in square perfect bound coffee table books are very popular right now.

There are many other types of photo books, such as yearbooks, that you can easily create in our online photo book design tool. The possibilities are endless with photo book printing!

Self Publish a Gallery-Quality Art Book: Learn More

Photo Book Design Tool

Our FREE online photo book design tool is the best option for you to design your photo book. It has easy drag and drop images, and the images can even be uploaded directly from Facebook!

There are pre-made photo layout templates that you can just plop your image into instantaneously! To show the layout template options, select the page you are working on, then click “layout” on the left hand navigation of the design tool. Layout options will appear.

You can add text to your photo book as well to caption your images if you’d like. Simply choose a “with text” layout in the layout section and it will be easy to edit from there!

Book Layout | 9 Easy Steps for Designing the Perfect Layout: Learn More

Recommended Order Specifications

You have a lot of options when it comes to order specifications on our pricing tool. Here are a few recommendations to bring your Photo Book project to the next level of quality.

Binding Type: Perfect Binding or Saddle Stitch
Perfect Binding will allow for a very sharp and professional look that will leave a lasting impression on the viewer. With a square spine, you can design and print on the edge as well to make it that much more official.
Saddle Stitch is another popular option for photo books with a smaller page count.

Paper: #100 lb Cover Cardstock and #100 lb Text
The heavier the paper, the higher the quality. Photo Books with thicker, nicer paper can be sold for more money.
While we recommend 100# for Cover and Inside pages, our customers also love our 80# Cover Cardstock, 80# Inside Text, and 70# Uncoated. For 100# and 80# weights, we usually recommend a gloss coating and a UV high gloss finish for the cover cardstock.

Choosing the Perfect Paper for Your Next Print Project: Learn More

Coating: UV Gloss Coating
You can make the cover of your photo book last longer and protect it from smudging or scratching with a luxurious uv high gloss coating.

Size: 8.5 in. x 11 in. Portrait
For most people ordering photo books, 8.5 in. x 11 in. is the most cost-effective option and is still a great size for viewing a lot of beautiful large photographs. We also offer the following sizes:


8.5 x 11

5.5 x 8.5

6 x 9

4.25 x 11


11 x 8.5

8.5 x 5.5

9 x 6


6 x 6

8 x 8

Note: for landscape photographers, we recommend ordering a landscape size such as 9 in. x 6 in.

Production Time: Wait & Save
Perfect bound photo books are slightly more expensive than saddle stitch photo books. To compensate for this increase in cost, select the “Wait & Save” production time option if your timeline allows for it. We also offer standard and rush production options if your timeline is more sensitive.

If you have any questions or thoughts about an upcoming photo book project, feel free to reach out to us a 800-955-1555 to speak to a representative. Our representatives will be happy to provide you with a free sample packet and to assist you with the design tool if you are having difficulties!

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