Take the mystery out of headstone design. Read this short article. There are links to related articles at the bottom of the page.
After the memorial service and cemetery burial you should take time to reflect upon the significance of your loved one and the life they lived. Before committing to a particular design, thoroughly consider the following aspects of headstone design.
Purpose of the Design
Headstones should commemorate and be a tribute to individual's life whose grave they are meant to mark.
Choose a Design Theme
You may approach the design theme in different ways. If the person was very religious then the headstone should reflect that. Maybe a particular cross or other religious symbol that was meaningful to the person would be appropriate in this case.
Another type of theme could be based on a floral (flower) design. Each flower has a special symbolic meaning. Roses, dogwood, and lilies are very popular. Ask your local headstone or monument dealer about these symbols.
If the person was an outdoors lover then it would be very appropriate incorporate some type of nature into the design. A beautiful mountain scene might be perfect. How about a beautiful evergreen tree? If the person loved to fish, maybe a nice lake view scene might be appropriate.
Choose the Headstone Color
There are many granite colors to choose from. In general, the most commonly used granite colors used for headstones are gray, pink, black, red and mahogany. But granite colors differ from region to region. The granite deposits in this region are mostly gray. That's why the headstones in the greater Philadelphia area are predominantly gray. These granite colors are less expensive in this area because there are less shipping costs.
India red and jet black are popular colors of imported granites. They are very beautiful but are more expensive because they have to be shipped here.
One thing to keep in mind when selecting the granite color is the contrast between the polished stone and the letters and carving that are sandblasted into it. Usually the darker the polished granite the greater the contrast. This contrast can make carvings and letters stand out. Ask your local headstone company to help you with this topic.
Incorporating Personal Information
The person's name and life dates quite often are carved in stone or cast in bronze on the headstone. Maybe other information will be appropriate. You should keep in mind the theme that you have decided upon as well as size limitations. Remember, this headstone will be commemorating your loved one for a long time. Keep it simple. Keep focused. Don't try to put too much information on the stone.
Add a Headstone Picture?
If there is enough space on the headstone, some individuals choose to add a ceramic picture to the headstone design. Ceramic pictures are made from a porcelain or ceramic material. These types of pictures have been used for many decades to adorn monuments and headstones with a likeness of the person the headstone is for. The process of transferring an image to a porcelain tablet has been refined over the years and now it is possible to have a very nice copy of an original photograph added to the headstone.
If it is appropriate to the theme of your headstone you may want to include an epitaph. Maybe you would like to create a special epitaph based on the person's life. Sometimes the perfect thought for your headstone has already been expressed. Poems and verses from songs have been used as epitaphs. It is ok to borrow from existing epitaphs. Another great source of beautiful epitaphs is bible scripture. For more information see our Headstone Epitaphsarticle.
Headstone design is simple if you know how. Decide upon a theme. If appropriate, add a symbol(s) related to the theme. Add personal information like the name and date. Keep in mind headstone space limitations. If the situation is right add a ceramic picture. Consider using a beautiful epitaph that represents the life of your loved one in a concise form. Sometimes nothing says it quite like a poem. If you live in the south/central part of New Jersey (or the greater Philadelphia area) and you have questions regarding your headstone design feel free to contact one of our Monuments of Distinction locations.