How to Choose the Right Headstone Inscription

December 7, 2020
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Designing a headstone is not an easy process. You are under a lot of pressure and stress, both mentally and emotionally. Choosing the inscription can be the most challenging part because that is the most important part of the headstone! Here are some tips Gifford Monument thinks will help you create the perfect inscription when you design a headstone. 

Simplicity is Key

Keeping the inscription short and straightforward is better than over-doing it. It will have more impact than a lengthy one. You probably want to add many things to the headstone, but make sure it is necessary. Otherwise, it is better to leave it off.

Try Not to Copy Others

Many monumental masons have templates you can use for the inscription. You want the headstone to be original and personal, so stay away from these if you can. For example. “In loving memory” is a prevalent phrase used. While this may be a perfect saying for most headstones, the headstone will be more meaningful if you add personal touches instead of copying others.

Think About Other Things Besides the Words

The headstone and the inscription are not just about the words. Consider the type of font you use, the spacing, and the overall placement of the inscription. It would help if you also considered the shape of the headstone itself. Different shapes can mean different things or give off different impressions.

The Material Affects the Inscription

Different materials handle different letterforms. This will affect your inscription’s look and length, so be aware of the material you choose. Limestone supports bolder, larger print, which means you’ll have a shorter inscription. Slate is the opposite. These are things to keep in mind when you consider the length and look of your inscription.

The Epitaph

An epitaph might not be something you particularly want, but you should choose one. You can get creative with it and the placement of it, so don’t feel constricted. It can be in a circle, lie on the side, top, or bottom, or even go on the back of the headstone.

Time is Key

Don’t feel rushed to choose a headstone or an inscription. Don’t let others rush you either. Some say to wait at least a year before choosing because when grief is raw, you might decide on something too emotional, look back later, and not like it. Some feel guilty leaving a temporary marker, but this is your loved one, and you decide when the time is right.

Don’t Settle for the First Mason

Take time choosing your mason, just as with your inscription. You should pick someone who’s style suits you and is willing to work with you and be patient. Weigh your options and take your time. 

Look for Inspiration

There are many images on the internet and multiple sources you can look at for inspiration. Going through churchyards is also a good place for inspiration. Remember, you want this to be personal, so looking at other creative versions is an excellent place to start if you can’t think of much. 

A headstone and its inscription are very important decisions and we would be happy to help you. Contact Gifford Monument online or call us at (800) 256-1061 to learn about headstones and their inscriptions. Don’t forget to follow our social media to stay up to date with everything we have to offer at our Wylie, TX & Ada, OK locations!